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How Ubuntu is Made - page 2

Cat Herding with Launchpad

  • September 8, 2010
  • By Sean Michael Kerner

Ubuntu developers don't operate in a vacuum and are part of the broader upstream open source ecosystem. As a result, patches and contributions are made upstream by Zimmerman's team in an ongoing process. Sometimes, Ubuntu will have patches that have not yet been merged upstream.

"We do carry patches on top of upstream, but we have to in order to meet our deadlines," Zimmerman said. "Our goal is to keep the delta as small as we can. Every release cycle, we spend a good amount of our engineering time bringing our patch set forward."

Ubuntu also relies heavily on its relationship with the Debian Linux distribution, and Zimmerman noted that the vast majority of Ubuntu patches submitted to Debian are accepted. He added that with other upstream projects, where Ubuntu doesn't do as much work, there can be challenges.

"It's tough since we have to work across so many different projects with Ubuntu," Zimmerman said. "We can't have a close personal relationship with everyone in the open source community, but at the same time, we've got to be able to work together."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

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