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Packaging Guide

7. Fixing FTBFS packages

Before a package can be used in Ubuntu, it has to build from source. If it fails this, it will probably wait in -proposed and will not be available in the Ubuntu archives. You can find a complete list of packages that are failing to build from source at http://qa.ubuntuwire.org/ftbfs/. There are 5 main categories shown on the page:

  • Package failed to build (F): Something actually went wrong with the build process.
  • Cancelled build (X): The build has been cancelled for some reason. These should probably be avoided to start with.
  • Package is waiting on another package (M): This package is waiting on another package to either build, get updated, or (if the package is in main) one of it’s dependancies is in the wrong part of the archive.
  • Failure in the chroot (C): Part of the chroot failed, this is most likely fixed by a rebuild. Ask a developer to rebuild the package and that should fix it.
  • Failed to upload (U): The package could not upload. This is usually just a case of asking for a rebuild, but check the build log first.

7.1. First steps

The first thing you’ll want to do is see if you can reproduce the FTBFS yourself. Get the code either by running bzr branch lp:ubuntu/PACKAGE and then getting the tarball or running dget PACKAGE_DSC on the .dsc file from the launchpad page. Once you have that, build it in a schroot.

You should be able to reproduce the FTBFS. If not, check if the build is downloading a missing dependency, which means you just need to make that a build-dependency in debian/control. Building the package locally can also help find if the issue is caused by a missing, unlisted, dependency (builds locally but fails on a schroot).

7.2. Checking Debian

Once you have reproduced the issue, it’s time to try and find a solution. If the package is in Debian as well, you can check if the package builds there by going to http://packages.qa.debian.org/PACKAGE. If Debian has a newer version, you should merge it. If not, check the buildlogs and bugs linked on that page for any extra information on the ftbfs or patches. Debian also maintains a list of command FTBFSs and how to fix them which can be found at https://wiki.debian.org/qa.debian.org/FTBFS, you will want to check it for solutions too.

7.3. Other causes of a package to FTBFS

If a package is in main and missing a dependency that is not in main, you will have to file a MIR bug. https://wiki.ubuntu.com/MainInclusionProcess explains the procedure.

7.4. Corrigindo o problema

Once you have found a fix to the problem, follow the same process as any other bug. Make a patch, add it to a bzr branch or bug, subscribe ubuntu-sponsors, then try to get it included upstream and/or in Debian.