Earlier this week at DebConf there was a discussion about Debian derivatives so that Debian's offspring could share their experiences and also for the Debian developers to share various derivative-related initiatives. Some friction between Debian and distributions based upon it (namely Ubuntu) were exposed.
Here's a list of some of the prominent items brought up during this DebConf 12
BoF from Managua, Nicaragua:
- Ubuntu for a while now has been working on AppArmor integration, as one of their security efforts, which the Debian developers are interested in pulling back upstream. However, they need developers to work on it and hope that Canonical would help out too. The Debian AppArmor support and other features would be a feature for "Wheezy + 1" due to Wheezy now being in its code freeze period.
- Likewise, Ubuntu has been working on UEFI support
. Debian developers hope that some of the Canonical/Ubuntu work here will end up back upstream in Debian. Although as far as UEFI SecureBoot for Debian is concerned, Debian developers aren't sure what to do
- Canonical remains unwilling to support PPAs (Personal Package Archives) via Launchpad for Debian, but only Ubuntu. Canonical's reasoning for not supporting the building of PPAs on upstream Debian is that it's an expensive service to operate.
- There's been some friction with upstream Debian due to not accepting some things, e.g. dpkg lzip package support
(plus this original bug report
- It's been hard to get fixes in Debian stable due to "the culture of maintainers not caring about stable."
- Some developers are scared of Debian mentors since they seem "scary" or just slow to respond.
Some of the work that Debian is doing to help its offspring include:
- Debian Derivatives Front Desk
for helping these other Linux distributions to contribute their changes back into Debian.
as a means of improving Debian and its derivatives through cross-community teamwork.
- The Debian Derivatives Census
to collect useful information for Debian developers.
- There's a Debian Derivatives Guideline
to help out distributions based upon Debian.