I want to start contributing to Ubuntu projects and while going through the Beginner's guide, I noticed that the suggested VCS for Ubuntu development is Bazaar.

I currently use Git and find it very easy to work with.

In such a case, would it be wise for me to adopt Bazaar for my Ubuntu projects.

In what ways, if any, is Bazaar better than Git?


As is often the case, the answer is "it depends." It depends on exactly what kinds of contributions you are hoping to make. Ubuntu is a vast project made of many different software packages.

Some, like Unity or Software Center, are developed as part of the Ubuntu project. The "upstream" code lives in bazaar repositories, and the best way to contribute to those projects will be by proposing merges on Launchpad. Their development models are closely tied to this process with continuous integration tests run on each commit before it lands into trunk.

For most other software packages, Ubuntu is simply the "downstream." This software is either packages by Ubuntu developers or comes by way of Debian. The upstream development of these thousands of packages is of course done in many different VCSs, from CVS to git. For example, GNOME projects all live in git. In order to work on these packages in a unified way using a DVCS, Ubuntu needed to make a choice. The choice of bazaar makes sense for us for a number of reasons. The fact that Canonical is the corporate sponsor of both Ubuntu and Bazaar was obviously a main factor. Ubuntu benefits from this greatly as Bazaar upstream resources are often used to specifically work on integrating with Ubuntu and pain points Ubuntu developers identify. Bazaar and Launchpad are already tied closely together. As Ubuntu already used Launchpad for bug tracking, it makes sense to keep development centralized there.

  • So, if you are planning of contributing to one of the projects that Ubuntu is the "upstream" for, Bazaar is certainly the way to go.

  • If you are developing your own software that you hope to include in Ubuntu, you can use any VCS you want.

  • If you want contribute to packaging software and making fixes to packages in Ubuntu, the packages are all imported into Bazaar repositories, but you do not need to use those if you aren't comfortable with it. This is done to give people that want it the power of a DVCS, but you can still contribute by so-called "traditional packaging methods" for lack of a better word. Before Bazaar was adopted for Ubuntu development, these were the typical methods for contributing to Ubuntu.

As to the question of in what ways is Bazaar better than Git, that seems to be a bit of a different question.

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