Debian packaging 101

Speaker: Antoine Beaupré

Track: Open Day

Type: Workshop (2 hours)


Room: Potato

Time: Aug 05 (Sat), 14:30

Duration: 1:45

While Debian packaging is often seen like a daunting task, there are now over 100 000 different software packages in Debian and most of those are maintained on a regular basis. This shows that it is perfectly possible to create and maintain Debian packages, yet a lot of people do not exactly know how and simply assume someone else will package their tool for them.

This session introduces my personal quick development guide which was built from more than a decade of experience as a Debian contributor. My first experiences were as a bug reporter, then backporting software, then maintaining my own packages and finally working with the LTS security team to backport weird security patches into older Debian releases.

It is an opinioned guide: not every tool will be shown and my bias will be towards the tool I know and use every day. I will try show you how to find resources to deal with the random Debian packages you will find. This session is a reroll of the Montreal BSP (Bug Squashing Party) where I was invited to present my material to a broader audience. The workshop is also specifically geared towards backporting and bugfixing, although I can also help people get familiar with the basics of new package creation, depending on who will show up during the session.

If you have ever wondered how to work with Debian packages, to finally fix that gnawing bug that’s been bugging you, or to get your favorite tool better packaged in Debian, this hands-on session should get you started. You do not need prior experience with Debian packaging to attend this talk, although some experience with Debian itself and especially command line tools is expected. This is a hands-on session: no time will be wasted on slides or long dissertations on how to do things. You should bring your laptop, the software you want to package, or the bug you want to fix, and we’ll just get on with it.

While I will be leading the basic presentation and will bottomline the session, other Debian developers are welcome to join in and help users get familiar with Debian packaging.