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Developer

We continue to develop our programme and the services to meet the needs of application developers. We’ve tried to answer the most common questions below, but if you have a specific question that isn’t answered then please contact us.

Programme concepts

What is the Ubuntu Application Developer programme?
The Ubuntu Application Developer programme is the name for a set of resources available to application developers who would like to develop and distribute software on Ubuntu. Our objective is to create a community where application developers can get all the information and resources they need. The programme is available to everyone, whether individual or company.
Why do I need to register before I can publish software in the Ubuntu Software Centre?
You have to register for the Ubuntu Application Developer programme before you can publish software in the Ubuntu Software Centre. As part of this process developers must agree to specific legal terms and conditions. When you’ve completed registration you’ll be able to publish applications into the Ubuntu Software Centre.
Can I enroll as an individual or as a company?
Yes, you can enroll as an individual or on behalf of your company.
How long does my membership last?
Membership of the programme is annual and will be automatically renewed. If you’d like to leave the programme at any time then please contact us.
What are the programme fees?
The Ubuntu Application Developer programme is free of charge, there are no fees to join. If you sell an application through the Ubuntu Software Centre you’ll be charged a transaction fee, see the selling software section for further information.

Selling software and content

Can I distribute and sell proprietary software through Ubuntu?
Yes, you can distribute proprietary software through Ubuntu by joining the Ubuntu Application Developer programme. In some cases the software is provided without a charge, and the developer makes money through advertising or upsells. In other cases a software license is sold to the user giving them rights to the software. Both systems are allowed in the Developer Programme.
What is the transaction fee?
The application publisher chooses a global price to sell their application for. For each sale Canonical retains a transaction fee of 20% after tax. If you sell an application for 10.00 USD, then the fee will be 2.00 USD. Please note that credit card chargebacks are excluded and will be charged additionally to the developers account.
What is the minimum price I can charge for software?
The minimum price for applications is 2.99 USD. The transaction fee we charge has to off-set the credit card charges, bank charges and fraud detection that takes place within the payment platform. By enforcing a minimum price we ensure that processing transactions doesn’t cost more than the transaction fee. We intend to lower the minimum price over time.
Can I sell open source software?
Yes, you can sell open source software through the Developer programme. There are a specific set of restrictions which must be followed so please review the Publishing policy carefully.
Can I distribute software that makes money from advertising?
Yes, you can distribute commercial software through the Application Developer programme where revenue is made through advertising or in-app purchases. Please review the Publishing policy for further information and contact the business team for assistance.
Is there any copy protection or digital rights management?
There is no native DRM framework within Ubuntu so there is no system-wide restrictions. We do not believe that DRM is a successful formula because it punishes law-abiding users and doesn’t stop the minority of pirates. However, we do not limit individual developers from using their own rights management system.
Can I sell add-ons or expansion packs for my product?
Expansions and add-ons are a great way to increase the appeal of your application over the long-term. The Ubuntu Software Center enables you to display and sell add-ons easily.

Registration and account management

How do I join the Ubuntu Application Developer programme?
Register for the App Developer programme by completing the registration process at http://developer.ubuntu.com . Essentially, you need to create a login and agree to the terms and conditions.
How can I change the details on my account?
You can change the details on your account such as your email address at any time. Go to http://login.ubuntu.com and change them there directly, or make specific portal changes from the Developer Portal.
What graphics do I need to when I submit an application?
During the upload process the portal asks you to provide various graphics that are used to display your application in the Ubuntu Software Center. The most important graphic is a screenshot which displayed to prospective users the Ubuntu Software Center. Applications must also provide an icon which can be at a variety of sizes: the only required size is 64×64 PNG.
How do I support users?
As part of the publishing process you’re asked to provide a support location where users can get assistance. We recommend developers create some appropriate resources for users and providing a contact form or email address where they can contact you for further assistance.
What application statistics can I see?
The developer portal provides statistics on each developers published applications so you can see how well your application is doing. It displays the number of installs of each application with a graph showing installs over time.

Commercial Software Centre publishing policy

Does the Commercial Software Centre Publishing Policy apply to open source applications?
We make a range of open source and commercial applications available to Ubuntu. To deal with the range of issues there are two policies that cover publishing applications for users in the Ubuntu Software Center. If your application is commercial then the Commercial Software Centre Publishing Policy applies: this policy handles any application which makes money whether through direct or indirect methods. Alternatively, your application will be covered by the Extension Repository policy.
Does this policy apply to general Ubuntu applications?
This policy only applies to third-party applications which are being distributed through the Software Center or outside the normal repository framework. Applications that are contained in the standard repositories (ie Main, Universe, Restricted and Multiverse) are not covered by this policy.
What is the user privacy policy?
User privacy is very important and an area we keep under constant review. In some cases publishers want end-user information in order to provide better services such as subscription renewals. We do not provider user information to publishers. If you would like purchasers to provide contact information then you should do so through appropriate in-application prompts.

Packaging and developer support

Is there a way to enforce minimum system requirements prior to purchase?
You should specify minimum system requirements, for example video display, in your application description. However, there is no way to examine or enforce system requirements prior to purchase. If you want to check for system capabilities during installation you can run a custom program during the application installation.
How do I get developer support?
There’s a fantastic community of developers using Ubuntu who you can connect with for help and support. The best place to start for general development support is through AskUbuntu. If you’re having a specific issue with publishing through the Portal then please contact the business team.
How can I report a bug in Developer site?
You can report specific bugs on the Ubuntu developer portal project on Launchpad.

Payment

How do I get paid for the sales of my application?
Currently, we pay all publishers on a quarterly basis. Following publishing of your application we’ll contact you for confirmation of your invoice details. We’ll then pay you electronically, via PayPal, each quarter. In the future we’ll introduce monthly automated payment.
How will I receive my money?
You’ll receive an invoice and your payments on a quarterly basis. We pay the publisher either by electronic bank transfer or through PayPal. For Paypal payments we’ll pay the registered address that’s associated with your account in the Developer Portal.