Monday, October 13, 2008

Creating a patch to fix an Ubuntu bug

Today I'm preparing a patch to fix Launchpad Bug #117984, which is also Gnome Bug #451734.

References: Ubuntu Wiki, Ubuntu Packaging Guide

It turns out that to do it properly, you need to make two patches. The first one is a .diff file for Debian and upstream. The second creates a .debdiff patch for Ubuntu.

There are circumstances, of course, where one of the patches is not neccessary, and some of these steps can be skipped.

    Note: Use steps 1-9 & 14-15 for just an upstream (.diff) patch. Use steps 1-4,5-7,11-13 & 15 for just an Ubuntu (.debdiff) patch.
  1. Open a terminal window
  2. Create a working directory with the command mkdir working
  3. Move to the working directory with the command cd working
  4. Download the latest source package using the command apt-get source packagename. This method automatically appends an '.orig' suffix, and unpacks the file, too. DON'T download the source from; instead ADD the repos to your Software Sources control panel using the instructions at the Ubuntu Wiki
  5. Make a copy of the unpacked folder with cp -r package-folder package-folder-orig
  6. Go into the unpacked folder (not the orig) with cd package-folder.
  7. Edit the file using nano path/to/file/to/fix. Fix the file
  8. Return to the working directory with cd ..
  9. Use diff -Nurp package-folder-orig package-folder > upstream-bug#.diff to create the upstream patch.
  10. Go back into the unpacked folder (not the orig) with cd package-folder.
  11. Use the command dch -i to update the changelog. Show the change and list the bug# fixed.
  12. Use debuild -S -us -uc to create the debdiff patch.
  13. Attach the .debdiff patch to the bug in Launchpad.
  14. Attach the upstream .diff patch to the Launchpad bug AND the upstream bug.
  15. Delete the working directory, and all contents.
Update February 5, 2009: Accepted and fixed!