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Dropping support for debian & Ubuntu packages

Aaron Wells's profile picture
Posts: 896

04 April 2013, 5:06 PM

Hello Mahara community,

Short version: We're considering dropping support for the Mahara Debian and Ubuntu packages, because we no longer have the resources to keep them up to date. Thoughts?

Long version:

It's not mentioned much in our documentation, but Mahara has been available as a Debian package and an Ubuntu package for a few years now. We don't have any reliable indication about how many people are installing it via that mechanism, but it rates pretty low in the Debian popularity contest (32 active users) and similarly in the Ubuntu popularity contest (45 active users), and we seldom hear from anybody on the forums who has installed it via the packages (though maybe that's just because they tend not to have installation issues...).

Francois set up the packages a few years ago, which was fairly easy for him to do because he's a registered Debian Developer. Since then he's moved on, and it's become increasingly difficult for us to find the resources to update the debian and Ubuntu packages. In fact, the Debian security folks have already decided to remove mahara from wheezy because we've been slow to update that package with the latest security patches.

So, given that we at the Catalyst Mahara team lack the time and resources to maintain the Debian & Ubuntu packages, and that it's already been removed from wheezy, and that there are relatively few users using the packages, I think now's the time to officially drop support for them.

As far as I can see, the downsides to it are fairly minor:

  • The package users will be using older, insecure versions until they switch to getting the code via git
  • We'll no longer be able to get CVE numbers for security issues through Debian
  • We'll lose some visibility

Any thoughts? And anyone want to volunteer to be Mahara's Debian/Ubuntu package maintainer? Wink


Aaron Wells's profile picture
Posts: 896

10 September 2013, 12:48 PM

An update on this: We haven't had anyone step up to be the packaged Mahara maintainer, and we still lack the resources on the Catalyst Mahara team to do it, so these packages are officially no longer supported.



Melissa Newman's profile picture
Posts: 112

08 October 2013, 7:02 AM

I just installed Mahara, and I used the ubuntu package installer.  It was through the Ubuntu package installer that I learned about Mahara.



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