Primary Archive for Ubuntu

Asked by Pali


I needed backport some packages from ubuntu release maverick (or natty) to my PPA for karmic. So I downloaded dsc packages from and uploaded it to my PPA (for release karmic).

My question is: it is possible to use web launchpad interface for coping packages from Primary Archive for Ubuntu? Or some other simple way to backport ubuntu packages (from to my PPA for other relase? I have tried search for this PPA but link does not work.

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mycae (mycae) said :

No. The ubuntu archive is maintained by canonical -- the general populace does not have the permissions to do this, for obvious reasons (eg, security).

If you want, you can request backport of a package,

Though to be honest, this does not get much attention. There are very few packages in the -backports repos.

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mycae (mycae) said :

Oh, sorry, I appear to have misread your question -- you want to go from the archive to your PPA. This is indeed possible.

Just go to and download the package you want, then add it to your PPA as you normally would (Assuming you are the PPA maintainer)

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Pali (pali) said :

Yes, I wrote to question, that I download dsc archive from and uploaded to my PPA (as normal). But my question is if it is possible to simple copy package from ubuntu to my ppa using only launchpad web interface? (like copying package from one PPA to another). Has ubuntu some PPA which has all packages and it is possible to copy from it?

Download packages from, changing debian/changelog spends time. And copying package from other PPA to my is very simple. Only I select package names and LP automatically rebuild it. (It is not needed to download repack and reupload dsc package).

And some arch indep packages are not required to (re)build again. LP has option to copy only packages (not rebuild) and so I neednt wait while LP compile it.

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Launchpad Janitor (janitor) said :

This question was expired because it remained in the 'Open' state without activity for the last 15 days.

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Pali (pali) said :

I really want to have answer!

I see that some packages in PPA have status "Copied from Primary Archive for Ubuntu"...

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Julian Edwards (julian-edwards) said :

The only reliable way is to use the API, which is what those people are doing. The UI pages time out because they are designed for a PPAs with a few hundred packages, not the Ubuntu archive which has thousands.

See "syncSource" in the API help at

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Pali (pali) said :

Ok, can you give me example of using this command syncSource? I found info about API on and on

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Best Julian Edwards (julian-edwards) said :

You need something like this:

from launchpadlib.launchpad import Launchpad
launchpad = Launchpad.login_with('XXX', 'production')
distros = launchpad.distributions
ubuntu = distros['ubuntu']
main_archive = ubuntu.main_archive
person = launchpad.people['NNN']
ppa = person.archive
ppa.syncSources(source_names=["bzr"], from_archive=main_archive)

Replace the XXX with the application name you want to use for this script, replace the NNN with the person's name who has a PPA.

The example copies the "bzr" source from the main Ubuntu archive.

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Pali (pali) said :

Thanks Julian Edwards, that solved my question.