[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Edlug Archive Feb 2006 ]

Re: [edlug] Debian and Ubuntu

On Fri, Feb 10, 2006 at 12:59:03PM +0000, Sean Hammond wrote:

> I remember when Ubuntu was first gaining popularity, there was a
> debate about whether Ubuntu was helping or harming Debian, whether it
> was a derivative or a fork.

It depends on your definition


> I get the impression that derivatives are
> considered beneficial but forks harmful, but what exactly is the
> difference?


> I seem to remember there was some issue about Ubuntu not
> contributing packages back to Debian, and Debian's Project Leader or
> someone spoke out against Ubuntu.

That was Ian Murdoch, (who's name is the 'ian' in Debian).  He was
complaining about how Ubuntu is not binary compatible with Debian.
The argument is nonsense since no distribution is binary compatible
with any other[1], including the DCC Aliance distro that Ian is now

The reason for the incompatibilties was because Ubuntu changes some
compiler options before Debian, not being stupid we agreed with Debian
all the changes before hand and since the people who look after the
toolchain in Ubuntu are the same in Debian it's not an issue.

[1] When I met him Ian asked me if Kubuntu is binary compatible with
Ubuntu, which it is since it uses exactly the same packages.

> The debate seems to have disappeared
> now so I wonder if it was resolved.

Yes, the changes in to the Ubuntu toolchain were put into Debian (once
the new Debian was released).

> Also in technical terms. Does Ubuntu literally take a snapshot of
> Debian unstable every 6 months, change it a bit for Ubuntu, and
> release?

Not quite, we sync all the packages from Debian unstable every 6
months and merge any changes made in the Ubuntu packages.

> Does that mean that Debian unstable is just as up-to-date as
> Ubuntu?

It can be up to 6 months ahead.  It's also "unstable" whereas we spend
6 months stabalising it in Ubuntu.

> Are the tools that have been developed specifically for Ubuntu
> now available in Debian unstable?

Which tools?  The Adept package manager I had made for Kubuntu has
been put into Debian recently but then it started life as a Debian tool.

Jonathan Riddell
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