[GNC-dev] Help packaging GnuCash 3.x for Ubuntu Bionic

Tommy Trussell tommy.trussell at gmail.com
Sun Sep 29 00:46:40 EDT 2019

Stephen -- I got a reply on the Repositories and Backports forum:

SO this person said we should be using the Backports repository. That
changes all the rules! I added a follow-up question.

In case you don't know, Backports is a special standard repository for each
version of Ubuntu containing newer packages for that release. It's fairly
easy to get packages into Backports. (See below.**) It turns out nowadays
(for quite a few years now; I missed the memo) backports is activated by
default in Ubuntu. But apparently NOT in the sbuild chroot!

I probably won't be able to try again this weekend. It should be fairly
straightforward to activate the backports repository in sbuild, but if you
or I start tinkering with a PPA I don't know what to do. I suppose they
have it activated there.

Here's what I would suggest. Create a new file for sources.list in the
chroot having two lines
$ sbuild-shell bionic-amd64
$ su
# cd /etc/apt/sources.list.d/
# cat > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/bionic-backports.list

[paste the following two lines into the file, and then type ctrl-Z]

deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ bionic-backports main restricted
universe multiverse
deb-src http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ bionic-backports main restricted
universe multiverse

Then you can update apt in the chroot to see that the backports repository
is available.

**The backport process: Someone wants a newer package, and builds it (on
sbuild or pbuilder or a PPA) to confirm it builds in x version of Ubuntu,
then that person requests that it go into the Backports repository for
Ubuntu x. A backport volunteer confirms that it builds, and copies into the
repository for Ubuntu x. The new version then becomes available to everyone
who has the Backports repository activated (everyone).

If, for example, the latest GnuCash package builds without errors with
backported packages for Bionic, then theoretically it can easily go into
the Backports repository for Bionic. No PPA needed! (Not that I expect this
to happen for Bionic, but it might work for Disco, for example.)

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