I was reading through the Ubuntu Developer Programme Agreement for submitting applications to the Software Center and stubled across the following clause:

3.1 You must first test Apps you submit to confirm they are compatible with all currently supported versions of Ubuntu (as listed on Canonical's website at the date of submission by you) and your Apps must comply with the Publishing Policy.

Does this mean I must install both the 32 and 64 bit versions of Ubuntu 8.04, 10.04, 10.10, 11.04, and 11.10? If so, that's 10 installations of Ubuntu - is that really feasible (even with virtual machines)?

Alternatively, does anyone have suggestions for testing the application without actually installing each version? Some sort of chroot tool, perhaps?

Edit: I have begun setting up chroot environments for compiling and testing the applications. Is this considered testing and therefore satisfies the requirements of the license agreement?

  • Well, 8.04 is server only IIRC.
    – jrg
    Commented Nov 11, 2011 at 12:31
  • some apps like Wunderlist are compatible with only some version of Ubuntu and they sare shown in the software center of only supported version Commented Nov 14, 2011 at 14:24

2 Answers 2


The clause is meant to inform you, the developer, that it is your responsibility (obligation to use that terminology) to ensure your application runs on the supported versions of Ubuntu, not Canonical's. You are not forced to test on all versions, but it is in your best interest to ensure it runs on the latest Ubuntu release and prior versions.

For the purposes of the software center and paid applications, you should test 11.10, 11.04 and 10.10. You always have the option of only supporting the latest version if you wish and just need to inform the reviewer of that requirement when submitting your application.

In the case of ARB apps (FLOSS apps) you will want to ensure compatibility with all supported releases.

I hope that helps clarify the terms a bit better.

  • 4
    Can you link to sources for that statement?
    – jrg
    Commented Nov 14, 2011 at 13:51
  • 1
    No, the source will be the agreement itself. I just helped create the terms and am providing an interpretation. As with all legal agreements they can be interpreted differently. I'm responsible for Business Development for paid applications in the Software Center hence the reply.
    – zoopster
    Commented Nov 14, 2011 at 14:23
  • +125 (Yes, believe it or not that's how much rep. you just earned.) Thank you for the excellent answer - in my case, the application would not run on Hardy and therefore would support Lucid at a minimum. Commented Nov 15, 2011 at 0:46

To answer your first question, it is feasible, if time consuming. As you probably already read:

Normal Ubuntu releases are supported for 18 months. Previous Ubuntu LTS (Long Term Support) releases are supported for 3 years on the desktop and 5 years on the server. Starting with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, LTS releases will be supported for 5 years on both the desktop and the server. - https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Releases

So, yes, as of November 2011, you must test with

  • 8.04 (server edition)
  • 10.04
  • 10.10
  • 11.04
  • 11.11

Using a virtual machine would be one way. Another way would be to download the .iso files for each release's LiveCD, then use your bootloader to create an entry for each .iso. You can find instructions here to add entires to /etc/grub.d/40_custom which will survive kernel upgrades.

Note that 'versions' does not mean architectures. You do not need to test on both 32- and 64-bit architectures, so there are only five tests you need to run, not 10 :)

  • What if bandwidth is an issue? (Downloading 4 extra CD ISO files is nearly 3GB of downloading.) Commented Nov 11, 2011 at 18:16
  • 2
    @GeorgeEdison "hire" me to download it, and then do it for you. :P
    – jrg
    Commented Nov 11, 2011 at 18:18
  • Actually it's not too bad since I have Lucid running on a server somewhere, I have Natty on one machine, and of course an Oneiric VM. That just leaves Maverick and Hardy. Commented Nov 11, 2011 at 18:29
  • 1
    @GeorgeEdison You could always sign up for a free Amazon Web Service account (if you don't already have one) and run each of the versions in a micro instance, testing there. Micro instances and simple operations should keep you well in the 'free-tier' where you wont rack up any charges.
    – aquafunk
    Commented Nov 11, 2011 at 19:14

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