|This article needs additional citations for verification. (August 2010)|
|Web address||www.getdeb.net www.playdeb.net|
|Type of site||Ubuntu Software Portal|
|Created by||João Pinto|
GetDeb is an Ubuntu software portal with ready-to-install applications in Ubuntu's default package format. It was created to simplify the installation of new software for Ubuntu users. GetDeb focuses both on providing newer versions of software included in Ubuntu and software that is omitted from the official repositories.
On December 9, 2012 GetDeb went down due to a power outage with hardware failure. Because of this the database was lost and the maintainer had decided not to revive the project. On January 18, 2013, PlayDeb and the sister project GetDeb were discontinued by the developer in a statement released on Google Plus. The developer cited a recent server outage and the time consumption of the project as reasons for its discontinuation. Before disbanding, he released the repository (84 GiB in total) to the internet in hopes that it would be mirrored. However, Getdeb and Playdeb went back online on February 3. The developer found out that he had an up to date backup of the repository so he decided to put it back online.
PlayDeb is a sister project to GetDeb, likewise serving the Ubuntu community, but with an explicit focus on games.
As Ubuntu and Debian upon which it is based use the deb package format, it is easiest to install software packaged in that format. While utilities such as the GNU build system typically allow users to install or uninstall software after building it from source code, they do not integrate with any one Linux distribution, nor do they solve dependencies or handle updates. Thus, software is ideally installed in a distribution-specific format.
Debian packages (in combination with APT) package software such that it can easily be installed in a user-friendly point-and-click manner on Debian (and subsequently, several other Linux distributions), removing hurdles for less-technical users.
Pros and cons
GetDeb and PlayDeb serve two primary purposes. They allow Ubuntu users to install software that is not yet included in the main repositories, and offer current versions of many packages that are included in the Ubuntu repositories. The latter is of utility because, due to the release cycle adopted by Ubuntu, most packages will be several months out of date at the time of release, and will not receive feature updates until the next discrete release for stability reasons.
It is generally advisable to subscribe only to Ubuntu's own package repositories where possible, as software offered by GetDeb and PlayDeb has not been extensively tested with the current Ubuntu release and may suffer stability issues. However, in many cases newer versions of software are only omitted from a specific Ubuntu release due to releases typically being static except for security updates. In some cases, software packaged by GetDeb and PlayDeb may be beta or alpha releases.
Additionally, software offered may not conform to the Debian or Ubuntu packaging guidelines. GetDeb and PlayDeb overlap somewhat in purpose with the rolling release Debian Sid and the Ubuntu Backports repository.
In 2010, the server was off-line from February 28 to March 9. GetDeb was also down from May 28 until June 13 and from December 9, 2012 to February 3, 2013. The official blog for GetDeb is updated to reflect maintenance and downtime.
As an Ubuntu software portal and repository, the downtime of GetDeb, as with any other repository, can cause problems for users as they cannot install or update software that is provided through GetDeb if the service is unavailable.
- Purdy, Kevin (November 9, 2009). "GetDeb.net Repository Makes Newer Ubuntu Apps Easily Available". Lifehacker.
- "Sites GetDeb.net, PlayDeb.net and repository up again".
- Clem (January 30, 2008). "mintInstall to support GetDeb and APT (and CNR?)". The Linux Mint Blog.
- Pinto, João (May 28, 2010). "Web site and archive down *again*". All about getdeb.
- Korn, Christoph (December 9, 2012). "Server downtime". All about getdeb.