I have been tracking a patch for the portaudio library, and I wonder if I'm tracking properly:

Searching launchpad for the version number given by the Debian source (as seen in the link I just mentioned), it looks to me like this patch has been incorporated in the forthcoming Groovy (20.10) release lately, and for the time being not backported to any existing release.

Am I tracking right for such a matter?

And judging by the version numbering scheme (to which I am alien) what could one say, as a speculation, about the odds of this patch making it to already released Ubuntu versions such as the latest LTS (20.04 AFAIK).



You are correct. The patch is in Groovy.

Let's review how to confirm:

  1. You already did the hard part: You found the patch in Debian.
  • Information: One line in the patch header includes the Debian bug number (944509), which is very handy:

    Bug-Debian: https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=944509
  1. You found the lowest version of Portaudio19 that includes the patch from either the URL, the web page, or the changelog: 19.6.0-1.1

  2. You checked Ubuntu for the releases that include that version or higher...

    $ rmadison portaudio19
      portaudio19 | 19+svn20111121-1       | precise         | source
      portaudio19 | 19+svn20140130-1       | trusty          | source
      portaudio19 | 19+svn20140130-1build1 | xenial          | source
      portaudio19 | 19.6.0-1               | bionic/universe | source
      portaudio19 | 19.6.0-1build1         | focal/universe  | source
      portaudio19 | 19.6.0-1.1             | groovy/universe | source

    ...so Bionic definitely does NOT have the patch, Focal might (or might not), and Groovy definitely does have the patch.

Let's look more deeply into Focal. Here's the changelog on launchpad.net for the Focal package. The lack of a patch mention or a bug number in the changelog is a flare-lit tip-off that Focal does NOT have the patch:

portaudio19 (19.6.0-1build1) focal; urgency=medium

  • No-change rebuild for libgcc-s1 package name change.

Finally, let's double-check that the patch is in Groovy. Here's the changelog. The mention of the patch, with the corresponding correct Debian bug number is conclusive proof that the patch in question was applied in this build.

portaudio19 (19.6.0-1.1) unstable; urgency=medium

  • Non-maintainer upload.
  • Apply crash fix patch (Closes: #944509)

BONUS: See how the Groovy version was a "Non-maintainer upload?" That often means that the volunteer Debian package maintainer welcomes help keeping the package up to date. It's not difficult or time-consuming, and it's a great way to contribute to Ubuntu. Debian (and Ubuntu) welcome new volunteers to learn the skills and contribute a bit of effort to keep everybody's favorite distro going strong.

| improve this answer | |
  • Thanks a million, and I will revisit whenever I go through a similar drill! – matanster Sep 26 at 18:51
  • So just for exercise sake, if this patch is introduced as an update for Focal Fossa in the future, would it show on the very same changelog, and on the rmadison portaudio19 command at that time? or would that kind of information be available only elsewhere given that it's not a version release but an update? – matanster Sep 26 at 18:57
  • It would show on the changelog, which is a great way to find the version number. Then you can check rmadison to see which releases have that version (or higher). – user535733 Sep 26 at 19:05
  • Sorry, but I have to admit I did not understand how things would look in case an update to a library was introduced as an update to an already released version, e.g. for example sake, as an update to Focal Fossa. Will any of the information outlets indicate whether the library update was part of the image install v.s. an update that gets installed by Ubuntu's software updates feature? – matanster Sep 28 at 8:59
  • Depends upon if the new upstream release fixed a critical bug or vulnerability. If so, upstream will usually also release a patch. New releases of Ubuntu get the new release, and their changelog will say "New Upstream Release version X.Y.Z". Old releases of Ubuntu get the patch (or nothing if it's not a critical fix), and their changelog will say "Patch to fix blah (Bug#)" Backporting new upstream releases to older versions of Ubuntu is very rare. – user535733 Sep 28 at 13:28

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