Revision 76 as of 2008-02-01 13:58:58

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What is REVU?

[ REVU] ( is a web-based tool to give people who have worked on packages a chance to "put their packages out there" for other people to look at and comment on in a structured manner.

Once a packager's ["GPGKey"] has been added to the REVU keyring, the packager can begin to upload his packages to REVU. The packages can then be commented on by reviewers, and the packager can send updates of their package to REVU until it gets advocated by at least 2 ["MOTU"]s. At that point, a MOTU can upload the approved package to Universe.

This service is experimental at the moment, and involves some manual interaction.

Contribute as an Uploader

Why contribute as an Uploader?

If you've built a package of a program that's not available in the development version of either Ubuntu (currently HardyHeron) or Debian (Sid), you can upload it to REVU. It can then be checked over by MOTUs and advocated into Ubuntu's Universe archive.

In order to do this, you need to register as an uploader on the REVU system.

Register as a REVU uploader

You need:

In order to upload to REVU, you will need to be added to the REVU keyring. Be sure that you have a [ Launchpad] account and that you have added your ["GPGKey"] to it. Then, ask [ to be added to the Ubuntu Universe Contributors team]. Next, ask the REVU admins in #ubuntu-motu to re-sync the REVU uploaders keyring, which grants you upload rights to REVU. If you don't get a reply within 24 hours, the keyring is resynced nightly via cron, so you will be able to upload after this happens. It is a good idea to GetYourKeySigned, but it is not a requirement for using REVU.


You don't need a password to upload packages, only to log in to the website and reply to comments.

Once you have uploaded a package to REVU, a password will be created for you. To get it, enter your e-mail address into the login box, leaving the password field blank, and click Login. Click Recover, and REVU will display an encrypted message with your password in it.

attachment:IconsPage/note.png Your GPG key needs to have an Elgamal secondary key in order to allow encrypting data as well as signing it. If you don't create an Elgamal key, you will be able to upload to REVU but not to recover your password, and hence, to login on the web interface.

Upload your packages

Uploading to REVU uses dput.

Since Ubuntu 6.06 LTS (Dapper Drake), dput is already configured for REVU uploads, with the [revu] entry. However, if are running an earlier version you can add the following entry to your /etc/

  fqdn =
  incoming = /incoming
  login = anonymous
  progress_indicator = 2
  allow_unsigned_uploads = 0

If you are not an Ubuntu developer, you can set REVU as the default host for dput by modifying the [DEFAULT] section in This way, you don't need to specify what host to use when using dput to upload.

  default_host_main = revu

Building a package for upload

Uploads to REVU should only be signed source files, with the original tarball. Please do not upload unsigned source or binary packages. The allow_unsigned_uploads = 0 in the [revu] stanza in should be enforcing this anyway.

Inside your package directory, issue

   dpkg-buildpackage -S -sa -rfakeroot

-S builds a source package, and -sa includes the original source. If your GPG key is not configured correctly, add -kGPGKEYID to the command line.

Uploading it

dpkg-buildpackage will output a package-version_source.changes file, which is uploaded with dput.

   dput revu package_version_source.changes

If your firewall requires passive FTP, dput may hang while uploading. In that case, try dput -P package-version_source.changes.

attachment:IconsPage/note.png If you haven't set REVU as the default host (as explained previously), you need to specify to dput that you wish to use it on the command line: dput revu *_source.changes. The default host is the Ubuntu official repository, and if you are not an Ubuntu developer, your upload to the Ubuntu repository will be rejected.

If you are reuploading a changed package (after receiving reviews), you may get an error like this:

  Upload package to host revu
  Already uploaded to
  Doing nothing for myapp_source.changes

To fix, add the -f option to dput to force the upload.

If you aborted an upload in progress, you might get an error like this:

  Error '553 Could not create file.' during ftp transfer of myapp.dsc
  Note: This problem might be caused by files already existent on the server.
  For the official Debian upload queues, the dcut(1) utility can be used
  to remove stale files from unsuccessful uploads.

To solve this, just wait 5 minutes. Processing of uploads is done every 5 min. If your upload doesn't show up, please contact the REVU administrators on the IRC channel #ubuntu-motu:

How to log in

After your first upload, you will be automatically registered to the database and assigned a random password. Use the email address you used in the changelog file of your upload as the login name, and press the 'recover password' link, so as to receive your password by email.

View and comment uploads

Packages uploaded to REVU are made public. You can browse them without logging in to the system. However, commenting uploads is only available to registered users. As an uploader, you can only comment on your own uploads. This can be useful to give reviewers some info on the changes you have made between two uploads of your packages.

Additional rules

  • you must have reviewed this package for known security vulnerabilities and provide patches for all of them
  • we can refuse the package on the grounds of known security problems and design
  • you must have included a copyright and license file, and those must allow inclusion of the package in the universe component and on mirrors
  • the package must be known to build on top of the main component of the current ubuntu stable release; it may require other packages already in universe

Getting help

If you need help on these steps or if you have more questions about REVU, you can ask on #ubuntu-motu on the Freenode network.

Contribute as Reviewer

Why contribute as Reviewer?

Do you have some experience in packaging and know policy well? Then you can help improving the packages uploaded to universe and guide packagers in doing so, by contributing as a reviewer on REVU.

Register as reviewer

What you need :

  • A ["GPGKey"]
  • Be a ["MOTU"]

Please contact one of the administrators on the IRC channel #ubuntu-motu. We will mark you as Reviewer in the database.

Using REVU-Tools to review on REVU

See [:/REVU-Tools].

Reviewing Guidelines

When reviewing a package that needs work before upload, please summarise as many issues as possible in the REVU comment, so that the Uploader has a larger work list. It can be very frustrating to revise the package for each issue, and Uploaders may wonder if it will ever end.

If you advocate a package, please paste the URL in #ubuntu-motu with a notification of advocation, to encourage someone to upload it.

Feature Requests

Please submit feature requests and bug reports to the [ REVU Project] on Launchpad.