[chirp_users] ubuntu-hams ppa

Steve Conklin steve at conklinhouse.com
Wed Nov 30 16:28:51 PST 2011

On Fri, Nov 25, 2011 at 5:47 PM, Leigh L Klotz Jr WA5ZNU
<Leigh at wa5znu.org> wrote:
> It is where you get free ham software for Ubuntu Linux.
> You just add it to the list on your sytem and if you want to install chirp
> or fldigi or aprs software, it shows up in a list and you install it with
> one click.
> Leigh/WA5ZNU

It's a little more complicated than that, I'll try to clear it up . . .

First off, the PPA has moved, in order that we could keep the
ubuntu-hams team membership totally open, without having to add an
approval step. Since membership on the team confers the ability to
upload packages to the PPA, and since the ubuntu-hams team has over
200 members, it was decided to set up a PPA with limited access for
uploads, as a security policy. The new place to go for ubuntu ham
updates is here:


As always, the ubuntu-hams team is here, and anyone is welcome to join:


Now, on to the question . . .

The ubuntu hams PPA solved two problems.

The first issue is that when new software apps like chirp are packaged
and made available in Debian, they are imported automatically into the
next development release of Ubuntu, but are not automatically
backported to older releases. Kamal Mostafa and I have been
backporting these packages to older supported releases of Ubuntu, and
keeping the packages for those older releases more or less synced with
the latest upstream versions.

The second issue is that once an Ubuntu release is made, even if a new
upstream version of a package like chirp is packaged for Debian, it's
not automatically brought into the Ubuntu releases that the package is
already in. There is a process for requesting a sync from Debian with
a required justification, but it's a lot easier for us to just keep
the versions up to date in a PPA so everyone gets them as soon as

A good example of this second issue is the fldigi package, which has
been around longer than chirp. The versions in the Ubuntu archive for
various releases are:

    fldigi |  3.12.5-1   | lucid
    fldigi |  3.20.23-1 | maverick
    fldigi |  3.21.8-3   | natty
    fldigi |  3.21.13-1 | oneiric
    fldigi |  3.21.22-1 | precise

But if you look at the ubuntu-hams-updates PPA, you'll see version
3.21.28 available for karmic thru precise. A later version will be
sync'd into precise before it releases.

Most of the packages in the PPA are ones for which Kamal Mostafa or I
also happen to be the Debian package maintainer, and it's almost
trivially easy for us to keep the PPA up to date with the latest
version of the package, for all supported Ubuntu releases. When I
update a package in Debian, it probably only takes me an additional
2-3 minutes to update all the backports in the PPA, thanks to a script
Kamal wrote.

I hope this answers the question. You can almost always find Kamal or
I on #ubuntu-hams on freenode, if you have any questions.

Disclaimer: Kamal and I both work for Canonical, but maintaining these
isn't part of our jobs, this is giving back.


Steve AI4QR

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