How do I deal with bug fixes on my platform

Peter Samuelson peter at
Wed Aug 23 16:15:23 GMT 2000

[Ron Alexander <rcalex at>]
> If I find a bug and fix it for my specific platform, what is the
> 'normal' way to handle the release/version name?

Here's what the Debian Project does.  Debian is a non-profit org that
publishes a distribution of Linux[1] software.  Most Debian packages (like
Samba) originate outside the Project, so they have the convention of
using a hyphenated version, where the "upstream" version is before the
hyphen and the Debian release is after the hyphen.  Debian, like most
distributors, regularly fixes bugs in packages without upgrading to a
new upstream version, so this information propagates as the Debian
part of the version number.

  [1] Actually there are works-in-progress for Debian releases of
      FreeBSD/i386 and GNU Hurd/i386 as well, but Debian is still
      *mostly* Linux.

Debian packages that are written/maintained entirely "in-house" -- and
there are quite a few of those -- get version numbers without hyphens.

It's more complicated than that, actually, since Debian has the concept
of a "maintainer" -- the individual responsible for maintaining each
package.  If someone else needs to make a release, say to fix a serious
bug or a security problem or whatever, the Debian release is
incremented by 0.1 instead of by 1.  Thus we have, as a mostly
fictional example:

  samba_2.0.6-1     first release by Eloy Paris (the Debian Samba
  samba_2.0.6-2     second release by Eloy
  samba_2.0.6-2.1   a non-maintainer upload (NMU) for whatever reason
  samba_2.0.6-2.2   another NMU
  samba_2.0.6-3     another Eloy release, usually including the changes 
                    from the NMUs in between, though not always
  samba_2.0.7-1     first release of 2.0.7 by Eloy, which usually
                    includes any relevant customizations from the 2.0.6 

Debian maintainers generally do their best to propagate bug fixes on to
the upstream maintainers but meanwhile the above is what happens.


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