In the Ubuntu community we always need more packagers. There are literally thousands of applications out there that need maintenance, and one of the major reasons why people choose Ubuntu is that there is a huge catalog of software that is ready to install and use. These thousands of applications are maintained by a large and growing community of community volunteers who help to package these applications and maintain high quality packages. As the number of applications grows though, we need more and more volunteers.

Generally if someone expresses an interest in packaging, we point them to MOTU/GettingStarted and off they go. Another great way to get people up to speed is with...Packaging Jams!

With a huge world-wide network of LoCoTeams, more and more teams are running Packaging Jams - special events in which people meet up and a few instructors show the attendees how to get involved with Ubuntu package maintenance. Not only are these events extremely valuable in attracting new packagers, but they are huge fun! This page offers a simple guide to running a Packaging Jam. Smile :)


A Packaging Jam is very similar to any kind of jam, but it's a bit special. You need a few things:

  • Tutor(s) - Someone that knows packaging fairly well and can handle questions and some of the unexpected likely to come up. (Tutor needs to have experience with the Packaging Guide.)

  • A bit more time - A day with some spare time. As an example, the Michigan LoCo went from noon until 8pm on a Saturday. Progress will be slower than you might expect, so provide plenty of time.

  • Local Ubuntu Mirror (optional) - this is very helpful if the internet connectivity is weak or altogether lacking. A good how-to for setting up an ubuntu mirror can be found here:

You also want to provide some snacks and drinks to help people through their new packaging journey. Alternatively you can schedule a time when you go to a nearby pizza place or anywhere else to get some food.

Asking people to prepare for the Jam

Running The Jam


  • Check for connectivity, and watch out for people with different versions of Ubuntu running. It's not a deal killer, but adds for surprises.
  • Start out getting everyone set up (Packaging Guide, chapter's "Introduction" and "Getting Started")

Holding the Session

  • Follow the Packaging Guide material.

  • Alternatively (if you plan to have more time):
    • First go through the Getting Started section to get everyone's packaging environment setup.
    • Then walk through the "Basic Overview of the debian/ Directory" together. A helpful hint is to keep one version back when you download initially. This gives you a chance to walk through upgrading the package to the latest source available later on.
    • After getting hello packaged try to update to the latest source version by using uupdate. This should be a nice quick exercise.

    • Once you get through packaging hello, see if anyone brought a packaging problem the group can work on together.
  • Plug MOTU/GettingStarted a couple of times. Smile :-)

  • Get help on #ubuntu-motu.

  • Find tasks on MOTU/TODO and fix them! Smile :-)




Translate the Packaging Guide

Go to and translate away! Smile :)


Jams/Packaging (last edited 2016-10-27 07:44:00 by dholbach)