I've read a lot (e.g., http://developer.ubuntu.com/packaging/html/, http://developer.ubuntu.com/resources/) but still can't figure out the following questions.

Is there cutting-edge Ubuntu package development environment as "constant" as Debian Sid? By "constant" I mean you just set your apt source once and will always remains on the leading edge.

I also read that it is recommended to build Ubuntu packages under the current development release, and the TestDrive is the tool for that. However, If I keep my system updated using apt-get, do I still need TestDrive? Also true is the recommendation to build packages in DebootstrapChroot or pbuilder.

Third, if all I'm building is my own tool and release into my own ppa, do I have to stay on the "bleeding-edge"? I'd assume it is OK not to, but it is also against the highly recommended suggestion.


Firstly, there's no rolling release model in Ubuntu. It was discussed, but never realized (See this for further details).

Secondly, regardless of what your system is like, building a package with a tool like pbuilder is an easy way of finding out whether your package will build cleanly on a skeleton system. Which release you build for with said tool is up to you, whether it's yesterday's or tomorrow's it doesn't matter.

Thirdly, no. Reading the previous points should have made it clear that the current state of your system doesn't matter for package development. Build with pbuilder and you don't have to worry about what packages you have to install on your system or in what state it is in. The only thing you worry about is for which Ubuntu version your package shall be built.

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  • Thanks @fuero. If my building environment is already a skeleton system , a VM created especially for package building, pbuilder won't introduce more benefit, would it? Thanks. – xpt Apr 22 '13 at 13:28
  • it would. you can build for multiple versions on a single system and don't have to create VMs for every build target. Furthermore, it will reset every time you run a build, ensuring all dependencies are listed correctly. – fuero Apr 22 '13 at 13:39

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