One of the main objectives for the Ubuntu 12.04 cycle is to build upon the foundations set by the Ubuntu App Developer site, My Apps and the Ubuntu Software Centre and start building an Ubuntu App Developer community to realize the vision of a rich ecosystem of apps around Ubuntu. This is the first of a series of posts that will discuss several aspects of this goal, how to get involved, and the benefits of Ubuntu as a target platform for both developers and users.

An important aspect of each community is to ensure that there are easily accessible resources that can act as a venue for communication for anyone wanting to get involved. For the Ubuntu App Developer community, but also in general, the degree of involvement will then vary according to what the individuals connecting to our app developer story are looking for. Some will be seeking help, some will be able to provide help, some will want to contribute to build the developer story, some will want to stay up to date with the news, some will write applications… The first step is to ensure that we cover the main venues, or connecting points to our story for them.

We already started out creating some of these resources ready for the launch of the Ubuntu App Developer last cycle, but we’ve been adding some more recently and I thought at this point it would be a good opportunity to provide an overview of the variety of ways to get involved and stay up to date with App Development in Ubuntu. So without further ado…

Stay up to date

This is a set of channels to follow and share the news and announcements related to Ubuntu App Development.

The Ubuntu App Developer Blog – the official source for news, updates, new tutorials and other application development content in Ubuntu. You can read it and subscribe to it

Ubuntu App Developers on G+ – the Google+ page to for anyone interested in app development in Ubuntu to read and share updates. You can add it to your circles or +1 it

Ubuntu App Developers on Facebook – the Facebook page, also for enthusiasts of app development in Ubuntu to follow and comment on the latest news. You can like it.

Ubuntu App Developers on LinkedIn – the LinkedIn group for professionals wanting to know more about publishing their apps in the Software Centre. You can join it.

Ubuntu App Developers on Twitter – you prefer 140 character updates? @ubuntuappdev is also tweeting away in the microblogs world, spreading the news on Ubuntu App Development. You can follow it.

Ubuntu App Developers on – if your microblogging choice is the open source alternative to Twitter, Ubuntu app developers are also on You can follow it.

Get (or give) support

This is a set of channels to either get help, give help, or actively contribute to discussions related to Ubuntu App Development.

Ubuntu App Development on Askubuntu – the central place to get and provide support for all your app development questions. You can ask questions, answer questions, read the FAQ and subscribe to the questions feed.

Ubuntu App Development Mailing list – the list is also the place for support, but also for discussion of new topics, coordination of work and announcements related to building the Ubuntu App Developer story. You can subscribe to it or send e-mail.

Ubuntu App Development on IRC – for those seeking real-time support on text or simply a friendly chat amongst app developers. You can enter the IRC channel.


This is an overview of some of the ways in which to contribute to the Ubuntu App Developer story.

Create an app – the most obvious way to make an impact is to actually create an app to be distributed to millions in the Software Centre. You can learn how to get started, how to publish, and actually publish your application. Also check out the video tutorial in how to get started in app development on Ubuntu in a matter of minutes.

Submit a tutorial – knowledge sharing is a key contribution to app development in Ubuntu. If you know about an app development topic you’d like to see featured and shared in the Ubuntu App developer site, you can submit a tutorial.

Join the ARB – our vision is that both open source and commercial applications are the key to a successful app ecosystem in Ubuntu. The Application Review Board are a group of individuals committed to reviewing and helping open source apps thrive in this environment. If you have technical skills and want to contribute to this goal, they need your help.

All in all, this now gives no excuse not to know what’s going on in the app development world and to get involved. Now let’s get to work to have a stunning App Developer story!

Social Media Icons by Paul Robert Lloyd

  • Eric James Soltys

    Ubuntu App Developers on Twitter is active, but there are no posts on Maybe start by mirroring your posts?

  • Bart

    Looking good! Hopefully things will start to grow a bit and we will see some more user created apps in the app store, soon!

  • David Planella

    @Eric: yeah, you’re right. Mirroring is not set up, but rather we post to both services, Twitter and at the same time. The account is very new (was just created yesterday), but for some reason the first posts were not published.

  • sabik

    Possibly a somewhat faster turn-around would help encourage people to submit apps? Not to complain, but my app (349) has been sitting on “Pending review” for 3 weeks with no feedback (not even an ETA). How long does it take to check for grammar and profanity and make sure that something that’s already in a PPA can be successfully built and uploaded to a PPA?

  • David Planella

    I’m sorry to hear your app hasn’t been reviewed yet. The review for Free Software apps is done by a community of volunteers working together as the Ubuntu Application Review Board, who are working hard to go through the list of apps in the queue. I’d recommend you reach them by sending them an e-mail (app-review-board(AT)lists(DOT)ubuntu(DOT)com) or on their IRC channel (


  • Allison Randal

    Hi sabik, we looked at your app as soon as it came in. You’ve got clean and simple packaging with cdbs, which would usually put an app on the quick list. But, your package is installing into /usr/bin and /usr/share, when the standards would require it to install into /opt/… So, this puts your submission into the list of apps that need manual work before we can approve them, and unfortunately that list is growing a lot faster than the “quick approval” list. Sorry for the delay, we’re working our way through the submissions as fast as we can. As David mentioned, please do reach out to us in email or IRC if you have questions. We keep regular “office hours” on Fridays, to make it easy for people to find us:

    And, to anyone who has a little packaging experience and is looking to gain more, the ARB has a collection of small packaging fixups you could do to help apps get out the door quickly.

  • sabik

    Ah, no worries. I guess there are a lot of others with existing PPA packages that would like to get into the new app system. I’ll just be patient.

  • Mark

    Allison Randal: “But, your package is installing into /usr/bin and /usr/share, when the standards would require it to install into /opt/ ”

    Is there a link to the “standards”?

    I’m fairly new to Linux/Ubuntu development, and I thought /usr/bin / /usr/share were standard places to install programs, so this doesn’t seem something that is obvious to developers new to this :). I see does say to install to /opt/, but it says nothing about the “”?

    Also whilst it’s simple to change my application to install to /opt/, I worry that would make it incompatible with other Linux distributions, and it becomes more tricky to handle? Can you clarify if /opt/ is sufficient for the fast queue?