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openSUSE:How to contribute to Factory

tagline: From openSUSE


This article will give you a view from the contributor perspective on openSUSE Factory, such as concepts, commands to execute, people to talk to and so on. It is meant as a starting point and does not intend to replace in-depth documentation for things like programming languages, compilers, packaging or the Open Build Service. You are expected to know about those things already. This article will show that contribution to Factory is both easy and very welcome.

How to submit a fix to a package

The easiest and most convenient way to contribute to Factory is to just submit fixes. If you know why a package does not build or does not work correctly, why not send a fix? If the version of a package is outdated, why not update it? To make this possible for everybody, the openSUSE developers leverage the collaboration features of the Open Build Service for Factory contributions. This means that everyone can branch packages from openSUSE:Factory, do modifications and submit them back; it is as easy as checkers. First, you need to checkout the package with osc in your project directory.

cd <your_project_folder>
osc branch -m 'Fix XY' openSUSE:Factory aaa_base

As you can see, the server created a copy of the package from the correct devel project and placed the result into your home project. Check it out to your local machine to do any changes.

osc checkout home:yourname:branches:Base:System/aaa_base

Remember to add an entry to the changelog so that it is easy for others to know about your changes.

osc vc -m 'Added fix XY for problem Z'

After you have changed what you wanted to fix and the package builds and works correctly, you can check in your changes to your branch.

osc checkin -m 'Added fix XY for problem Z'

Then submit them to the developer of the package for review.

osc submitrequest -m 'Added fix XY for problem Z'

The developer of the package will then get notified about your submission and will review it. We call this BURPing.

  • Branch,
  • Update,
  • Request,
  • the Package

How to add a new package to Factory

If you have never created a package before, you may want to visit this tutorial before you begin submitting packages to OBS.

First and foremost, your package needs to reside in a devel project, which will act as a feeder project to openSUSE:Factory for your package. The home: namespace is not permitted to act as a develprj. Look which devel projects with similar packages to yours are maintained, and when you have found a good project, try to contact its maintainers and tell them that you want to maintain a package there. The easiest way is to simply send your package to the devel project.

osc submitrequest -m 'I want to maintain python-cerealizer in Factory and would like to use devel:languages:python as the devel/feeder project.' home:yourname/python-cerealizer devel:languages:python

A list of the current devel projects can be found in the drop-down menu on top of this page. Find a public list of all projects here. If you cannot find a corresponding topic, you need to use our catchall project devel:openSUSE:Factory. If you have a completely new collection of packages that could form their own devel project, see #How to request a new devel project.

After you have found a devel project, you can send your package to openSUSE:Factory. The submit request (SR) must contain a note with information about the package. Preferably, you introduce the package to the opensuse-factory list and point to that introduction in your submitrequest. A good introduction contains information on the state of the upstream project and how maintainable it is and what the purpose of having it in the distribution will be.

osc submitrequest -m 'New package see http://lists.opensuse.org/opensuse-factory/2011-05/msg00018.html ' devel:languages:python/python-cerealizer openSUSE:Factory

How to request a new devel project

Scenario: There is a piece of software that is not in Factory, is it not maintained anywhere in the openSUSE Build Service (except possibly in the home: space), and you want to get it into Factory/Tumbleweed.

First, you need an OBS project somewhere outside of the home: namespace. In most cases, one of the existing devel projects will be appropriate for your new package. Just submit an SR to the appropriate devel project.

If you need a new devel project, one way to get one is to contact the maintainers of an existing top-level project and ask them to create a subproject for you. If none of the existing namespaces are a good fit, ask the OBS maintainers to create a new project space by opening a bug or writing to admin@opensuse.org.

If the project your package ends up in is an existing devel project, you can now submit the package to Factory.

However, if you had to make a new project for your package, there is more work to do. Each package in Factory/Tumbleweed has a "devel package" associated with it. These are the projects in the drop-down menu on top of the openSUSE:Factory project page. The location of the devel package (i.e. the project where it lives) determines what the devel project for that package is. In our case, both the package and the project are new: Factory doesn't know about them. When you submit from an project that is not in the list, the submission will be auto-declined.

This appears to be a Catch-22 situation. There is a way out, however, by whitelisting the new project/package combination in the osc plugin that vets Factory submissions. To do this, open a PR against the osc-plugin-factory GitHub project. Here is an example of such a PR. Once the PR is merged, you can submit the package.

If a package is already in Factory and is merely being moved to a new location, and that new location is not a Factory devel project yet, it can be made into one by issuing a changedevelreq for that package to the new location (after moving the package). If that new location was not yet a devel repo, upon accepting the chgdev, it _will_ become a devel repo and all future submissions from this repo, including all other packages there, will be accepted.

How to become a maintainer of a package in Factory

Just talk to the current developer if you want to help or take over responsibility and be aware of the duties and rights of a Factory maintainer

You determine the current maintainer by accessing build.opensuse.org or with this command:

osc maintainer openSUSE:Factory aaa_base

To get an email-address for contact, use

osc maintainer -e openSUSE:Factory aaa_base

Apart from just writing to the current maintainer, there are two more options:

  • osc requestmaintainership openSUSE:Factory aaa_base
  • go to build.opensuse.org, login, then search for the package you're interested in, then "Request role addition".

How to merge a fix for a package in a devel project

The Open Build Service will notify you about new requests via email. You also can also query it for all the new request.

osc request -s new

Merging the changes is as simple as accepting the request. Its a good idea to examine the changes first.

osc request show -d 12345

And if you like what you see you accept it

osc request accept 12345

How to submit a package to openSUSE:Factory

Once you are satisfied with the state of your package in your devel project, simply submit it to openSUSE:Factory.

osc submitrequest devel:languages:python/python-cerealizer openSUSE:Factory

How to submit a package to a released product

If you want to fix a package in a released distribution, like openSUSE 11.4, you have to do some additional steps. They are described in the package maintenance guidelines.

How to drop a package

Warning If you are not the maintainer of the package, please talk to the maintainer before doing any of the steps below.

Before you drop any package please consider our drop policy for openSUSE:Factory. Thanks in advance.

Let's assume that we want to drop the oldstuff package from Factory, and that its devel project is devel:openSUSE:Factory. You should first check that no other packages depend on oldstuff in Factory.

osc whatdependson openSUSE:Factory/vim standard i586

If some packages depend on it, you have several options:

  1. give up and accept to keep oldstuff
  2. drop those packages first
  3. change those packages to not depend on oldstuff

Once you have found a solution, just file a drop request for oldstuff in openSUSE:Factory, explaining why you want to drop the package.

osc deleterequest -m "Dropping oldstuff because XXX" openSUSE:Factory oldstuff

When a package is removed from Factory, it is not automatically removed from the devel project. The reason is that the package could still be used outside of Factory, in the devel project for some other reasons. So, depending on your needs, you might want to remove the package from the devel project too.

osc deleterequest -m "Dropping oldstuff because XXX" devel:openSUSE:Factory oldstuff

How to restore a dropped package

TBA