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which of the two it is?

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3 Answers 3

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Both.

In every Ubuntu release, there's an initial import from Debian unstable for many packages in main. After 9 weeks or so, that process is frozen and the versions are locked down.

However, there is still tracking done by the MOTU team for universe. Many packages come across from testing. (Many packages are also wholly original too.)

For both sets of packages, bug tracking is done on Launchpad and custom patches will be introduced or backported from the previous Ubuntu release.

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Actually it depends. For previous releases we have synced with Debian Unstable. However for 10.04 LTS we synced with Debian Testing.

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+1 @OP: I think the syncing from testing for Lucid was an experiment. Remember that some packages (those that are maintained separately from Debian) aren't synced from Debian at all. –  Umang Aug 5 '10 at 14:58
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Neither, but it resembles Unstable more of the two.

Ubuntu syncs packages during the development cycle from unstable and those packages then get stabilized and/or modified before release. At the time of the release, Ubuntu has fallen behind of Unstable quite a bit, but it adds time to find and fix the bugs that have crept in.

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