Canonical launches Ubuntu Linux developers service

Launchpad Personal Package Archive will encourage team, individual development projects

A new software development collaborative service for Ubuntu Linux is being launched Monday to give developers a consolidated arena to build code for Ubuntu on the desktop, server and for mobile applications.

In an announcement, Isle of Man-based Canonical, the development and commercial sponsor of Ubuntu, said the new Launchpad Personal Package Archive (PPA) service is being added to its existing Launchpad development Web site to allow groups to collaborate on packages, as well as allow individual developers to publish their own versions of open-source software.

To use the PPA, developers can upload software packages to an account and participants can collaborate on it, according to Canonical. Each user gets up to 1GB of space to be used only for free software projects.

The PPA had been in beta testing and is now being fully launched, the company said.

"Many developers want to modify existing packages, or create new packages of their software," Christian Robottom Reis, who has led the PPA effort within Canonical's Launchpad project, said in a statement. "The PPA service allows anyone to publish a package without having to ask permission or join the Ubuntu project as a developer. This is a tremendous innovation in the free software community. We hope that PPA will make it easier for developers and development teams who have excellent ideas to get their work into the hands of users for testing and feedback."

"They also get to mix with experienced packagers to improve their skills," he said. "PPA is a build system, a publishing system and a community experience. We are also really excited to add the ability to create packages aimed at the mobile environment from launch."

Canonical said that the PPA service will connect developers directly with their users, who will then be able to take packages and install them by making a single update to their system. Those users receive automatic updates whenever new versions of the packages are built and published in that PPA, according to Canonical.

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Todd R. Weiss

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