We've been providing a DoudouLinux Debian repository for binary packages since the beginning of the project but no source package repository. As we're now part of Debian Derivatives and as we're also moving to ARM™ architecture, we needed to setup a source repository too. For Debian Derivatives, this will allow our father project Debian to automatically fetch all our patches of standard Debian packages. For our ARM™ port, this will ease the compilation of binary packages targeting either the armel or armhf flavor.

Our source package is now online, although it is not complete yet. It can be fetched using the standard way to add source repositories, in /etc/apt/sources.list or /etc/apt/sources.list.d/:

deb-src http://debian.doudoulinux.org/ lenny main
deb-src http://debian.doudoulinux.org/ squeeze main

The source repository is completed for the stable version of DoudouLinux, based on Debian Lenny. The development branch, based on Squeeze is not completed yet, due to difficulties to deal with the new package format Quilt 3. Most of packages have their sources for the development version however :). Finally we now have to set up an experimental branch based on Wheezy to be able to build armhf packages (only armel can be built upon Squeeze).

The way we built the source repository consisted in changing first our package build script to make it automatically generate and collect source packages, then our repository build script to make it handle source packages too. To build the Debian repository, we're using reprepro, an official Debian tool which is quite simple to use:

  1. Create a directory for your Debian repository, say debian/.
  2. Create a file debian/conf/distributions that sets your repository parameters (name, architectures, codename, etc.).
  3. Invoke reprepro for each package to be added, with the options matching your package.

For a binary package:

reprepro -V --basedir debian/ --architecture <arch> includedeb <codename> <debfile>

where <arch> is i386, amd64, armel, etc., <codename> is your distribution codename and <debfile> the binary package to be added.

For a source package the command is slightly different:

reprepro -V --basedir debian/ --type dsc includedsc <codename> <dscfile>

where <dscfile> the DSC file of your source package. It will copy the corresponding .tar.gz file and .diff.gz file (whenever available) that are used to restore the patched source code.

In the future we intend to setup a buildd or buildd-like server that will build all our packages transparently, automatically from source code, whatever the target architecture and the distribution flavor. This way we won't have to do manual operations to update our repository any more.