I wanted to get a program, which is installed via bzr.

I have successfully installed bzr, but it asks me to authenticate (despite that I`m logged in to Launchpad). Bzr help seems to be oriented towards developers, and says nothing about logging in.

How should a non-technical user use it? Is there a GUI?

  • You should not need to authenticate in order to simply check out a bzr branch. I've run into a similar problem recently while trying to fix a Software Center bug; have you run any bzr commands other than the one posted in the linked question? Jan 8, 2012 at 18:52

5 Answers 5


Bazaar is a version control system, like git or svn. It used by developers to help collaborate on a project. If your using bzr to download a program it means your getting source code which you will need to compile. Yes there is a gui in the software centre but I think the command line would be simpler.

What is the program you are trying to get and what's the bzr branch called?

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revision_control


Since all you want is to get the program, you don't need to login with Bazaar or within Launchpad in your browser (and Bazaar doesn't (have the means to) know about this!).

Bazaar is a program that will get the (source code of the) program you want, and all the files (and steps, on README file) you need to get the program working.

There is a graphic front-end for Bazaar. It is called Bazaar Explorer. To read more about it see:

enter image description here

Steps you need to do now (really easy):

  • create some directory to put files in (example: /home/you/fbuntu)

  • in a terminal, change to that folder (cd ~/fbuntu)

  • and then do the bzr command (bzr branch lp:fbuntu) --> it will warn you about Launchpad ID, but do not worry, you don't need it to get the program working! It will download all the files, and once it's done, you can open them normally.


If all you care about is getting a copy of the code, it's pretty simple:

bzr branch branch_url

For example, if you wanted the trunk branch for my hypothetical project "foo", you'd do:

bzr branch lp:~scott.severance/foo/trunk

Launchpad allows you to keep a branch of of your code on your public repository like how it is on github(the term used is clone).

Logging in to Launchpad with helps pushing the code into one's own public repository in launchpad.net.

To login run bzr launchpad-login launchpad-id .

To push code into your own repository run bzr push lp:~launchpad-id/projectname/trunk

The bzr equivalent of git clone is bzr branch lp:projectname

edit: adding cmdline for branching

  • Well that seems a step further, but in fact, it now asks me to deal with ssh for publishing my code, and it seems a bit too much :) In fact, I just want to use FB notifications. Jan 8, 2012 at 18:14
  • @JustinasDūdėnas Do you want to publish code, or do you just want to download it? This answer is for publishing code. Jan 8, 2012 at 18:17
  • 1
    well. you don't need to give your launchpad id to just branch code. it just generally complains about registering but it does let me to branch the code I want to .
    – viyyer
    Jan 8, 2012 at 18:17
  • true, it did get a copy, even when complaining :) That is what confused me, thanks. There was no need to deal with ssh. Jan 8, 2012 at 18:23

As far as I know and use Bazaar, it is meant for development use, to upload, download, manage versions of codes you are working on yourself or with a group of developers. Bazaar, abbreviated to bzr, is a client-side application that connects to Launchpad, where codes are stored and viewable by all.

You can learn basics about Bazaar on this short tutorial.

Launchpad is a platform created and managed by Canonical, the organisation behind Ubuntu.

If you are looking at downloading usable programs (as with the Ubuntu Software Centre), then you should be using apt instead. See man apt in your terminal for more info.

If however you are looking at downloading code to compile it yourself (how the compiling is done is specific to the code) then you can use Bazaar as explained in the doc:

>>> bzr branch lp:name-of-branch-you-wish-to-copy ~/path/to/copy/to


>>> mkdir ~/path/to/copy/code/to
>>> cd ~/path/to/copy/code/to
>>> bzr init
>>> bzr pull lp:name-of-branch-you-wish-to-copy

It is asking to log-in on Launchpad at this point indeed and I don't know if there is a way around that. Anyway, a Launchpad account is always a good thing if you need to ask questions or report bugs to your favorite softwares hosted there. You will need to register your Launchpad account to bzr before you are able to perform branching.

NB: the pull command will be better than the branch command if you need to update to the latest version, branch will create a copy of the existing branch on launchpad only and subsequent use of this command will create confusion imo. Subsequent updates of the code you downloaded--if new versions are published--is done with:

>>> cd ~/path/to/copy/code/to
>>> bzr pull lp:name-of-branch-you-wish-to-copy
  • I wanted to get FB notifications for desktop, according to these instructions: askubuntu.com/questions/53422/… Does getting it via bazaar mean, that it is most likely unfinished, unstable and not reccomended for daily use? Jan 8, 2012 at 17:34
  • 2
    @JustinasDūdėnas: The bzr branch is likely a development version. What exactly that means depends on how the developers work. Some try to keep a main branch (trunk) that always works. In other cases, trunk might sometimes be broken. The safest thing is to use a released version, not a bzr branch. Jan 8, 2012 at 18:13
  • @JustinasDūdėnas I edited the reason you provided in your comment above for using bzr back into your question. For future reference, it's helpful to add such details back into your question so people don't have to look through all of the comments for clarification and important details. Thanks! Jan 8, 2012 at 18:31
  • @WarriorIng64 - i`m not so sure. I intentionally ask for general idas and logic patterns, instead of asking others help solving some tiny single problem. This way I intend to get a broader view and avoid digging into specific workarounds. Jan 8, 2012 at 18:40
  • 1
    @JustinasDūdėnas True, but it is easier for us to provide you with help if you mention which issue you have specifically, so we know exactly what you mean. For instance, there is a difference between using bzr to simply check out a branch for personal use, versus doing the same with the intent of doing actual development work. The details just make it clearer which kind of solution you need. Jan 8, 2012 at 18:46

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