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 * [[DanielKahnGillmor/preferred_packaging|Daniel Kahn Gillmor]]

Checklist for Package Sponsors

The checklist below is not exhaustive; you should be applying all of the normal checks you do to your own packages in addition to these.

(If there are additional checks that you think should be added, feel free to add them.)

Checklists from individual DDs/groups

Determine if the package actually belongs in Debian

  • Is there a significant use case for the package?
  • Are there pre-existing packages that do a better job?
  • Would you use the package?
  • Does the maintainer use the package?
  • What is the maturity level of the upstream codebase?
  • Is upstream active (alive)? If not, is the maintainer capable of handling upstream problems? Are you?

Determine if the package can actually get into Debian

Determine if the maintainer can actually maintain the package

  • What is the skill level of the maintainer?
  • Are they familiar with the package and its languages?
  • How active are they?
  • Do they have existing packages?
  • Do they have too many packages or too many bugs?
  • How do they interact with users? [Check out their existing bugs.]

Determine if you can back up the maintainer

  • Is the package one that you are comfortable maintaining if the maintainer disappears?
  • Do you have time to assist the maintainer if they get stuck?

Make sure that the package can be distributed by Debian

  • Does debian/copyright list all of the copyrights of portions of the code?
  • Are all pieces licensed under licenses that Debian can distribute?
  • Does the proposed section (main, contrib, non-free) match the license?
  • Are there significant patents which the work infringes which are known to be enforced?

Make sure that the packaging is up to par


  • Is the description good?
  • Have they sent an ITP with the description to -devel? [Have they incorporated any comments?]
  • Are the dependencies correct? Are there missing recommends? Suggests?


  • Are the rules sane?
  • Are all of the targets there?
  • Are they using existing tools correctly? (debhelper? cdbs? quilt? etc?)
  • Have they removed (or commented out) useless debhelper calls?
  • Does the maintainer understand what their rules file does?


  • Are the changes to the packaging described?
  • Are ITP/ITA bugs closed?
  • Have the comments in the ITP/ITA bug been addressed?
  • Are existing bugs in the package fixed?
  • If a security issue is mentioned is a CVE id mentioned too?
  • Are bugs closed by the upstream code just closed or are the fixes described too?


  • Is the package lintian clean?
  • Does it build in a buildd pbuilder chroot?
  • Does it build correctly a second time after cleaning?
  • Does the resulting package install correctly?
  • Does it uninstall cleanly?
  • Does it pass piuparts tests?
  • Do the resultant packages work? Have you used them?
  • Does the package contain what it's supposed to contain?
  • Does the .diff.gz look sane?
  • Is the upstream source pristine?

Check out the upstream codebase

  • Is the upstream source sane?
  • If upstream provides md5sum/shasums for the source, does the signature still match?
  • Are you building against Debian distributed libraries and not against internal copies?
  • Are there potential security issues? (Daemons, tempfile vulnerabilities, setuid binaries?)
  • If building against internal code copies, has the maintainer notified the security team that there are embedded code copies?

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