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I would like to package my java web application http://kunagi.org/ for Ubuntu (and Debian).

Should the package install a .war file which contains all the required dependencies (.jar files)? Or should the package install the unpacked web application without .jar files and place symlinks into the WEB-INF/libs/ directory?

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Traditionally there has been some friction between upstream and distribution level concerns with java packaging. Bundling dependencies has been one of the major points of contention. The security team particularly sees this as an unnecessary maintenance burden. Packages bundling libraries will likely be rejected from Debian.

Java webapp packaging policy in Debian is still evolving. There is currently a Debian Enhancement Proposal (DEP) under discussion around this issue. It aims to

propose a file layout, set of conventions and best practices, and a supporting script interface for packaging Java web applications (servlets) and deploying them in containers.

This discussion is taking place on the debian-java mailing list. It's also probably the best place for you to ask further questions about Java packaging. I'm sure you will be able to find people willing to review your package for you there and most likely a sponsor willing to upload it.

Here are some furthur links that might be of interest:

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Why you should use symlinks? You are more flexible with a .war Package, if you run the application in a Tomcat (or Jboss) cluster.

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I thought, debian has a rule, which says that libraries should not be duplicated? –  Witek Dec 9 '10 at 20:40

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