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 * Video recording [[https://chuangtzu.ftp.acc.umu.se/pub/debian-meetings/2022/DebConf22/debconf22-222-fast-track-repository-for-delivering-fast-paced-projects.webm|Video Recording]]  * Video recording [[https://meetings-archive.debian.net/pub/debian-meetings/2022/DebConf22/debconf22-222-fast-track-repository-for-delivering-fast-paced-projects.webm|Video Recording]]

For Users

Debian Fast Track is a repository that allows making “backports” of packages available to users of the stable distribution, if those packages cannot be maintained in testing and backported in the usual way.

Checkout https://fasttrack.debian.net for using packages from Debian FastTrack repository. Some of the software currently available via FastTrack include Gitlab, Virtual Box, Singularity container. Matrix Synapse was in buster-fasttrack briefly (now it is available in backports).

Presentation at DebConf 22 in Kosovo:

Server space is provided by Infomaniak (thanks to Zigo).

Archived version of the website at https://archive.is/7QPDI can be used as a fallback option if the main site is not accessible.

For maintainers

See https://fasttrack.debian.net/#FAQ for frequently asked questions about Fast Track.

Deciding which suite to target

  • fasttrack-or-backports.png

  • Packages permanently blocked from official backports go to -fasttrack (either it does not qualify for backports or its maintainers specifically don't want it in backports)
  • Others go to -backports (if relevant outside -fasttrack) or -backports-staging (for convenience)

We can upload a package to backports only if it is in testing already. Also first time upload to backports usually takes at least a week to clear backports-NEW. If we don't want to wait for a package to reach testing or clear backports-NEW, we upload to backports-staging. If a package is useful for others and not just for gitlab, we try to upload to backports. gitlab, gitaly, ruby or ruby C extensions or packages depending on C extensions, we upload to fasttrack.

May be we can simplify this for bookworm, see https://salsa.debian.org/fasttrack-team/support/-/issues/34 for the proposal.

Sample changelog entries


gitlab (13.12.8+ds1-1~fto11+1) bullseye-fasttrack; urgency=medium

  * Rebuild for bullseye-fasttrack.

 -- Pirate Praveen <praveen@debian.org>  Thu, 08 Jul 2021 22:56:17 +0530

Since we started including newer ruby and ruby native libraries in fasttrack, we are now changing +fto suffix to ~fto.

What other packages can be in -fasttrack?

Ruby team does not want to support newer ruby versions in official -backports, so these are also uploaded in -fasttrack. ruby native packages that needs a rebuild against newer ruby versions, and any rubygem that depends on a native packages should be uploaded to -fasttrack (to avoid maintaining it in both -fasttrack and -backports). For example, ruby-rails and any gem that depends on a rails component is uploaded to -fasttrack.

Packages temporarily blocked from official backports (backports-staging)

We have a suite for temporarily uploading packages that otherwise qualify backports criteria but we want in backports before it hits testing (transitions, freeze, backports-new or NEW blocking security update of a package in fasttrack).

Note: To avoid confusion with official backports, we are using -backports-staging suffix from bullseye.

ruby-snowplow-tracker (0.8.0-1~bpo12+1) bookworm-backports-staging; urgency=medium

  * Rebuild for bookworm-backports-staging.

 -- Pirate Praveen <praveen@debian.org>  Fri, 17 Mar 2023 00:03:57 +0530

ruby-marcel (1.0.1+dfsg-1~bpo11+1) bullseye-backports-staging; urgency=medium

  * Rebuild for bullseye-backports-staging.

 -- Pirate Praveen <praveen@debian.org>  Mon, 10 May 2021 15:26:41 +0530

Once it qualifies for official backports, it should be uploaded to official backports. Once it is accepted into official backports, it should be removed from fast track repo. Follow BuildingFormalBackports instructions to build these packages.

Since many dependencies are only relevant for packages in -fasttrack, we relax this rule to upload packages that qualifies for official backports to be uploaded there to avoid extra maintenance work (as we have to upload anyway to -backports-staging to avoid backports-new delay). If a backported package is useful outside -fasttrack it is recommended to upload it to official -backports.

Building packages for fasttrack


  1. Create bullseye-fasttrack branch from the last release tag (Example: git checkout -b bullseye-fasttrack debian/1.1.2-1. Use git log for finding last uploaded tag).
  2. Add new changelog entry: run dch --bpo and modify version s/~bpo11/~fto11/ and s/bullseye-backports/bullseye-fasttrack/)
  3. Add tag gbp tag --debian-branch=bullseye-fasttrack
  4. Sample sbuild command for building packages targetting fasttrack (you will have to install fasttrack-archive-keyring package).

sbuild -A -s --force-orig-source -c bullseye-amd64-sbuild \
--extra-repository='deb http://deb.debian.org/debian bullseye-backports main' \
--extra-repository='deb http://fasttrack.debian.net/debian bullseye-backports-staging main' \
--extra-repository='deb http://fasttrack.debian.net/debian bullseye-fasttrack main' \
--extra-repository-key=/etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/fasttrack-archive-keyring.gpg \
--build-dep-resolver=aspcud -d bullseye-fasttrack --no-run-lintian "$@"

Uploading to Fast Track

Add this to your ~/.dput.cf

fqdn                    = fasttrack.debian.net
incoming                = /pub/UploadQueue/
login                   = anonymous
allow_dcut              = 1
method                  = ftp
# Please, upload your package to the proper archive
# http://fasttrack.debian.net
allowed_distributions   = (?!UNRELEASED|.*-security)

$ dput fasttrack gitlab_11.11.8+dfsg-1~fto10+1_amd64.changes

Note: Source only uploads are not supported at this time. Help is welcome to setup a buildd instance.

You can see the ?UploadQueue at ftp://fasttrack.debian.net/pub/UploadQueue/

See FastTrack/Buster for buster specific instructions.

Contact FastTrack Team

Contact fasttrack team via matrix/irc or opening salsa issues as mentioned at https://fasttrack.debian.net/#Contribute or write an email to team at fasttrack.debian.net

For FastTrack Admins

See FastTrack/Admins

CategorySystemAdministration | CategoryPackageManagement | CategorySoftware | CategoryPackaging