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Some people within DebianScience would like to package again Sage for Debian. An old version of Sage got packaged long time ago by Tim Abbott, but, because of lack of maintainance, it became totally unusable and was removed from Debian. The status pages (master branch, develop branch) give an overview about package versions in Sage and Debian. If you want to help out, pick one of the open tasks or issues below and get going. Or contact us via the mailing list or in #debian-science on irc.oftc.net.

Steps to get an up-to-date Sage standard suite in Debian

New build system for Sage (the distribution)

this is slightly out of date, also, Sage (the community) is not interested in using packages that another distribution provides.

The Sage library is getting an autotools build system in the course of a Google Summer of Code project. With the new build system, it can be built against system libraries. There are tarballs with the code at http://tool.em.cs.uni-frankfurt.de/~felix/sage/. (There is also a git repository but the tarballs are recommended). Note that this is work in progress and problems are expected, but we are happy about testers. The transition of this work into Sage is coordinated via a bunch of Sage tickets. We have a Debian package sagelib that currently builds metapackages that help installing the build dependencies of Sage. To test building Sage against Debian packages, one should consult the control file. The dependencies of the metapackage sagelib-builddeps-git still need special treatment and can't be just installed from Debian.

The following Debian packages should be installed from the git repositories:

  • flint (branch master-gmp)

  • sagenb

  • singular (branch master-3-1-5, build with DEB_BUILD_OPTIONS=nodoc)

For the remaining packages where the Debian package is missing or is missing features required by Sage, it is currently most convenient to use the versions from Sage. This is done by configuring with

../configure \
--disable-all \
--enable-{boehm_gc,cython,ecl,flintqs,genus2reduction,maxima,pari,pexpect,pynac,rubiks,sagelib,sagetex,tachyon} \

New build system for Sage (the library)

There is some work in progress trying to make sagelib work on top of any software distribution. we use autotools to sort out dependencies, run time paths and provide standard build/installation routines. unlike the first approach, this is heading towards a fork and will likely not play well with the current upstream development process.

Open tasks

Many of the packages that are already in Debian were created by Tim Abbott. He is fine with us taking over maintainership of these packages (see mail quoted here). All packages where he is still listed as the maintainer need a new maintainer.


Bug / Link



Packages that need a new maintainer and an upload to Debian:




Python interface for pkgconf

pexpect 2.0

(Debian pkg: python-pexpect): Debian ships version 2.4, but Sage requires version 2.0 (though one of the necessary patches is already in 2.4). Plotting in the notebook is likely to break with newer versions that are in Debian; and >2.0 is reported to be slow. There is a new upstream version so Sage might update, see this sage bug.


singular 3.1.6 is packaged in debian-science's git and Sage >= 6.2 has also 3.1.6

Sage components that need a new maintainer and an upload to Debian:


a toy spkg -- low priority


the dependencies should be in Debian now (691509, 703541, 703531, 703533, 703534, 703535 and 703536)


Other Debian packages that need a new maintainer:



Does not appear on the status page, because it is part of the gap package in Sage. Is this strictly required for Sage?







Someone is working on it:



sage upstream would like to get rid of flintqs since some recent versions of flint ship with a quadratic sieve (see this ticket, but it hasn't been done yet). This mail of William Hart tells more about the state of the quadratic sieve code in both flint and flint2.


There is a request for help, see 719330

Packages that are (hopefully) not needed:


The Cephes Mathematical Library is only needed for systems where the libc doesn't provide appropriate mathematical functions (cygwin and FreeBSD) and so is not required for Debian.


The Debian package is broken, see 709073 . The program is included in pari >= 2.6.1, so the Sage package will hopefully disappear in the future.


is part of the libc


Will most likely be replaced by a wrapper for GAP.



mpir is supposed to be ABI-compatible with gmp. A lot of math packages use gmp and we hope we can have a purely gmp based Sage in Debian. Combining the two will most likely lead to conflicts, using mpir we would need an extra mpir version of many packages.

Other known or suspected issues

  • ecl in sage has several modifications to upstream, which the debian package doesn't have. This sage bug has some details, but here is a quick summary: (1) some sage patches make sense for upstream => Snark asked the debian maintainer to include (2) sage disables SIGCHLD in ecl by patching it => Snark provided a fix (3) sage has unicode issues => sage has a potential fix, Snark is pushing for its inclusion (4) sage compiles ecl without threading support => Snark will have a look when the rest will go forward

  • sage expects to use both ecl and maxima, together, but maxima in debian is using gcl and has no support for ecl ; Snark has fixes for that, but can't be sure they're complete until the ecl situation has cleared
  • pari in sage a quite heavily patched old version which they'll upgrade to a decent upstream 2.7.0 with this sage bug (and debian has 2.7.0 already, so things should take a good turn)

  • cddlib in sage is a fork so the current debian package won't replace it even if the versions match (see this sage bug)

  • jmol in sage has been modified to add a testjava.sh shell script, but Snark hopes to get it moved somewhere else (see this sage bug)

  • docutils 0.10 is in debian, but sage is stuck to 0.7, and there are changes in that very version jump which makes the sage documentation break, see this sage bug

Old sagemath package

The old, buggy sagemath Debian package source code is available via git (sagemath) and at http://snapshot.debian.org/package/sagemath/3.0.5dfsg-5.1/