Debian Maintainers are people who are not full developers but have a restricted ability to upload packages to the Debian archive.
the Debian Maintainers concept was introduced on 5th August 2007 by General Resolution.
A Debian Maintainer has their key in the debian-maintainers keyring (available in the debian-maintainers package).
This keyring is used by dak on the Debian archive as part of the checks as to whether an uploaded package is to be accepted.
Packages signed by a key in the debian-maintainers keyring will be accepted if the package is not new and the previous version of the package contains both the maintainer in the Maintainer control field and the DM-Upload-Allowed control field.
Becoming a Maintainer
To become a Debian Maintainer, you must:
agree to the social contract and DFSG (see http://www.debian.org/social_contract)
agree to the Debian Machine Usage Policies (dmup, http://www.debian.org/devel/dmup)
- publically state your agreement to the above two documents, signing your declaration with your PGP key. Most people will post their declaration to the debian-newmaint mailing list.
- have your PGP key signed by at least one (but ideally more than one) Debian Developers.
- have at least one (but preferably more) Debian Developers advocate you. This is usually a signed mail to debian-newmaint (often a reply to your declaration mail).
- submit a jetring changeset as a patch to the bug tracking system, filed against the debian-maintainers package
Once you have your key in the keyring, you will be able to upload packages, where the following conditions hold:
the package lists you in the Maintainers control field
the package has the DM-Upload-Allowed: yes control field
- the package is not NEW
At the moment, dpkg does not understand the DM-Upload-Allowed field and will not add it to the DSC. You need to prefix it with 'XS-' for it to make it into the DSC file (see http://lists.debian.org/debian-newmaint/2007/11/msg00201.html)
Advocating a Maintainer
A developer should only advocate a candidate if they are familiar with the candidate's existing work in Debian and believe it to be of a suitable standard both technically and socially.
http://www.debian.org/vote/2007/vote_003 - GR and details of procedure
http://packages.debian.org/debian-maintainers - keyring package
http://bugs.debian.org/debian-maintainers - pending keyring change requests
http://lists.debian.org/debian-newmaint - list which typically has the proclamation and advocacy mails posted to it
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