What is this page about

This page collects information about Debian-Installer (D-I) translations, how they're handled in Ubuntu and how to contribute to the Debian D-I translation team.

What is Debian-Installer

Debian-Installer is part of the Ubuntu distribution, a vital part of Ubuntu: it's the "program" that makes possible to install Ubuntu on as many systems as possible. The D-I package is maintained by the Debian team, Ubuntu use it, customize it to its needs and build its version, that's why it appears as translatable inside Launchpad.

How it is composed

The D-I package from Debian consists of 26 files divided in 5 levels and, at the time of this writing, more than 60 translations are included in D-I.

What is different in Ubuntu

The D-I package in Ubuntu consists of only one big file in which a subset of the 26 files, for each language, are merged together (debian-installer), plus two other packages (bootloader or gfxboot-theme-ubuntu and Ubiquity) that consist manly of strings for the graphical version of the installer and relative only to Ubuntu.

Ubuntu also has re-branded (branding) some of the strings from the D-I, in particular strings containing the word "Debian" into strings containing "Ubuntu".

These are the parts changed in Ubuntu and what has changed:

  • anna, cdrom-checker, choose-mirror, lilo-installer, main-menu: Ubuntu branding

  • cdrom-detect: hdparm tuning in expert mode

  • console-setup: keyboard layout selection

  • partman-auto: added "resize PARTITION and use freed space" method

  • partman-crypto: added advice on keeping passphrase in a safe place

  • partman-target: optional removal of conflicting files in system partitions

  • pkgsel: downloading of language support packages; upgrade handling policy

  • user-setup: encrypted private directory support

  • ubiquity: new

  • partman-auto-loop: new (loop-mount handling for Wubi)

  • oem-config: new

Warning /!\ This is not a complete list!
Warning /!\ Not all the changes involve new translations.

Warning /!\ At the moment there's no way to have a list of the differences between Ubuntu and Debian and of Ubuntu specific strings. Warning /!\

How translations in Ubuntu are handled

Translations of the D-I in Ubuntu are handled "by hand". These translations don't fall into the launguage-pack kind of translations and can be updated only once for each release. Usually the deadline for translating the D-I strings in Ubuntu is 15 days prior to the release date. For more detailed information, see the release schedule for each release.

Since this by hand work is a one-man-work and it's not easy to handle all the translations and to decide which translations are better (Ubuntu or Debian's), translators are advised to work directly with the Debian translation team for their language and once the translation upstream is settled, working out only the strings of Ubuntu is easier, for translators and also for the maintainer.

Translations for the D-I from Launchpad are used only for Ubuntu specific strings: all the modifications you might make to other strings will not be used and will be discarded. Debian translations will be used instead.

How branding is handled

The Ubuntu branding is handled manually, following what is written at the end of the page DistributionDefaultsAndBranding. Those are information gathered other the years by the maintainer of Ubuntu D-I package.

For all languages that don't decline names or do other things around them, and for all languages explicitly mentioned in that list, Ubuntu maintainer makes sure that they're kept up to date by hand every time they are merged from Debian. Launchpad is ignored for this, except when it's necessary to find out how to handle a new language or when translators report problems or errors.

If you see a problem in this branding for your language, please contact the Ubuntu Installer Team.

The translation for my language is incomplete or missing

If the translation of the D-I for your language is incomplete or is missing, you can still translate the D-I with Launchpad, but be aware that your translations WILL NOT be used nor in Ubuntu nor in Debian or other Ubuntu and Debian based distributions. Only Ubuntu specific strings will be used in Ubuntu.

If you want to use Launchpad for handling the translation process, you have to send your translations to the Debian team for them to be used in D-I, but remember that Ubuntu has only one big file while Debian has 26 files and there's no way at the moment for recreating each single file from Ubuntu's one.

If you want to contribute directly with Debian, the preferred choice, read the following document that describes all the processes involved in translating the D-I and how you can send your translations or patches:

If your language is really missing a translation for the D-I, you should get in touch with the Debian team first.

If you have any questions on how to contribute translations to D-I in Debian, feel free to ask on the Ubuntu Translators mailing list or on the #ubuntu-translators IRC channel (server


MiloCasagrande/DebianInstaller (last edited 2008-11-02 18:03:27 by mail)