What’s New in Bazaar 2.2?

Bazaar 2.2.0, released on the 6th of August 2010, marks the start of another long-term-stable series. From here, we will only make bugfix releases on the 2.2 series (2.2.1, etc), while 2.3 will become our new development series. The 2.0 and 2.1 series will also continue to get bugfixes. (Currently 2.0 is planned to be supported for another 6 months.)

The main changes in 2.2 are: better local and network performance, reduced memory usage, and several user-interface improvements.

Users are encouraged to upgrade from the other stable series. This document outlines the improvements in Bazaar 2.2 vs Bazaar 2.1. As well as summarizing improvements made to the core product, it highlights enhancements within the broader Bazaar world of potential interest to those upgrading.

Bazaar 2.2.0 includes all the fixes from 2.1.2 and 2.0.6.

Over 120 bugs have been fixed in total. See the Bazaar Release Notes for a full list.

Bazaar 2.2.1 includes all the fixes from 2.1.3 and 2.0.6 (that weren’t included in 2.2.0).

See the Bazaar Release Notes for details.

Bazaar 2.2.2 focused on fixes to improve our Ubuntu release workflow (which should also help all other distributions).

See the Bazaar Release Notes for details.

Bazaar 2.2.3 focused on fixes related to interactions with the launchpad server and python-2.7 compatibility.

Bazaar 2.2.4 fixed a regression for some interactions with the launchpad server.

Bazaar 2.2.5 fixed a regression in some rare conflict resolutions and warns when branching an out-of-date ubuntu packaging branch.

See the Bazaar Release Notes for details.

Bazaar 2.2 is fully compatible both locally and on the network with 2.0 and 2.1, and can read and write repositories generated by all previous versions.

Behaviour changes

There are some compatibility changes in this release.

  • For commandline users we no longer guess user identity for bzr commit: users must specify their identity using bzr whoami (you don’t need to specify your identity for readonly operations). This avoids problems where the previous guessed default caused commits be recorded as coming from, for example <sam@localhost>.

Improved conflict handling

Tree-shape conflicts can be resolved by providing --take-this and --take-other to the bzr resolve command. Just marking the conflict as resolved is still accessible via the --done default action.

Local performance

  • bzr init does not recursively scan directory contents anymore leading to faster init for directories with existing content. (Martin [gz], Parth Malwankar, #501307)
  • Less code is loaded at startup, so there’s less overhead on running all bzr commands. (Andrew Bennetts, Martin Pool)
  • Reduce peak memory by one copy of compressed text. (John Arbash Meinel, #566940)
  • Avoid repeated locking of local objects in diff, missing, and pull, so those options are faster. (Andrew Bennetts)

Network performance

  • Bazaar now reads data from SSH connections more efficiently on platforms that provide the socketpair function, and when using paramiko. (Andrew Bennetts, #590637)
  • Index lookups in pack repositories search recently hit pack files first. In repositories with many pack files this can greatly reduce the number of files accessed, the number of bytes read, and the number of read calls. An incremental pull via plain HTTP takes half the time and bytes for a moderately large repository. (Andrew Bennetts)
  • Index lookups only re-order the indexes when the hit files aren’t already first. Reduces the cost of reordering (John Arbash Meinel, #562429)

Command improvements

  • Added bzr remove-branch command that can remove a local or remote branch. (Jelmer Vernooij, #276295)
  • bzr export now takes an optional argument --per-file-timestamps to set file mtimes to the last timestamp of the last revision in which they were changed rather than the current time. (Jelmer Vernooij)
  • Tag names can now be determined automatically by automatic_tag_name hooks on Branch if they are not specified on the command line. (Jelmer Vernooij)
  • Tree-shape conflicts can be resolved by providing --take-this and --take-other to the bzr resolve command. Just marking the conflict as resolved is still accessible via the --done default action. (Vincent Ladeuil)
  • The --directory option is supported for a number of additional commands: added, annotate, bind, cat, cat-revision, clean-tree, conflicts, deleted, export, ignore, ignored, lookup-revision, ls, merge-directive, missing, modified, nick, re-sign, resolve, shelve, switch, unbind, unknowns, unshelve, whoami. (Martin von Gagern, #527878)
  • bzr commit accepts -p (for “patch”) as a shorter name for --show-diff. (Parth Malwankar, #571467)
  • bzr ignore now supports a --default-rules option that displays the default ignore rules used by bzr. The flag --old-default-rules is no longer supported by ignore. (Parth Malwankar, #538703)
  • bzr pack now supports a --clean-obsolete-packs option that can save disk space by deleting obsolete pack files created during the pack operation. (Parth Malwankar, #304320)
  • New command line option --authors to bzr log allows users to select which of the apparent authors and committer should be included in the log. Defaults depend on format. (Martin von Gagern, #513322)
  • The bash_completion plugin from the bzr-bash-completion project has been merged into the tree. It provides a bash-completion command and replaces the outdated contrib/bash/bzr script with a version using the plugin. (Martin von Gagern, #560030)
  • A new transport based on GIO (the gnome i/o library) provides access to samba shares, webdav using gio+smb and gio+dav. It is also possible to use gio for some already existing transport methods as gio+file, gio+sftp, gio+ftp. (Mattias Eriksson)

Controlling plugins

  • Plugins can be disabled by defining BZR_DISABLE_PLUGINS as a list of plugin names separated by ‘:’ (‘;’ on windows). (Vincent Ladeuil, #411413)
  • Plugins can be loaded from arbitrary locations by defining BZR_PLUGINS_AT as a list of name@path separated by ‘:’ (‘;’ on Microsoft Windows). This takes precedence over BZR_PLUGIN_PATH for the specified plugins, and is expected to be most useful for plugin developers. (Vincent Ladeuil, #82693)

Apport crash reporting

  • If the Apport crash-reporting tool is available, bzr crashes are now stored into the /var/crash apport spool directory, and the user is invited to report them to the developers from there, either automatically or by running apport-bug. No information is sent without specific permission from the user. (Martin Pool, #515052)

Improved Launchpad integration

  • Merges can be proposed on Launchpad with the new lp-propose-merge command.

Better documentation

  • bzr help patterns now explains case insensitive patterns and points to Python regular expression documentation. (Parth Malwankar, #594386)
  • Numerous improvements have been made to the developer documentation.

Changes to plugins

bzr grep

The grep plugin has developed well during the bzr 2.2 cycle. bzr grep can search the versioned files in the working tree, or in one or a series of revisions, or it can search through only the changes in a revision range.


qbzr, a cross-platform graphical interface to Bazaar, gained many features and fixes in its 0.19 release, including:

  • qannotate has new look and feel; with new features: find text and goto to line.
  • Improved performance of qlog, and treewidget-based dialogs (qcommit, qadd, qrevert etc.)
  • qpush, qmerge, etc.: when there are uncommitted changes in the working tree, user has the option to commit, or revert.
  • qcommit: user can update bound branch/checkout if it is not up to date.
  • Better support of Mac OS X: dialog windows no more start in background.
  • qlog: Context menu actions for tag and revert will now show a branch menu if more than one branch is open.
  • qlog: more context menu actions for update, cherry-pick, and reverse cherry-pick.
  • Language of GUI can be set in DEFAULT section of bazaar.conf as language = code. Language codes are the same as for LANG environment variable. Environment variable LANGUAGE still preferred over settings in bazaar.conf.

Platform-specific changes

Microsoft Windows

  • There’s a new py2exe windows program bzrw.exe, which allows for starting a Bazaar GUI with out have a console open in the background. (Gary van der Merwe, #433781`)
  • The all-in-one Windows installer will now be built with docstrings stripped from the library zip, reducing the size and slightly improving cold startup time. Bundled plugins are unchanged for the moment, but if adding other new plugins to an all-in-one installation, ensure they are compiled and installed with -O1 or help may not work. (Martin [gz])
  • Parsing of command lines, for example in diff --using, no longer treats backslash as an escape character on Windows. (Gordon Tyler, #392248)

API changes

  • BzrError subclasses no longer support the name “message” to be used as an argument for __init__ or in _fmt format specification as this breaks in some Python versions. errors.LockError.__init__ argument is now named “msg” instead of earlier “message”. (Parth Malwankar, #603461)
  • The old bzr selftest --benchmark option has been removed. <https://launchpad.net/bzr-usertest> is an actively-maintained macrobenchmark suite. (Martin Pool)
  • bzrlib library users now need to call __enter__ and __exit__ on the result of bzrlib.initialize. This change was made when fixing the bad habit recent bzr versions have had of leaving progress bars behind on the screen. That required calling another function before exiting the program, and it made sense to provide a full context manager at the same time. (Robert Collins)
  • The bzr front end now requires a bzrlib.ui.ui_factory which is a context manager in the Python 2.5 and above sense. The bzrlib base class is such a manager, but third party UI factories which do not derive from bzrlib.ui.UIFactory will be incompatible with the command line front end.
  • URLs like foo:bar/baz are now always parsed as a URL with scheme “foo” and path “bar/baz”, even if bzr does not recognize “foo” as a known URL scheme. Previously these URLs would be treated as local paths. (Gordon Tyler)

Further information

For more detailed information on the changes made, see the the Bazaar Release Notes for:

For a summary of changes made in earlier releases, see: