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Creating a deb for a Java based project, and saying hi to the mailing list

Hello all.

I though I would introduce myself.

But first things first... Well done to all the deb devs I've used ubuntu for last umpteen years (Started with Caldera, tried OpenSuse, then hit ubuntu in 2004 / 2005, and have been on Debian since 2010 for personal use and on servers (although I like ClearOS for it's quick and easy 'out of the box' network admin) etc and recommend Ubuntu, Mint, Steam, Bodhi for 'friends and family'). Keep up the good work.

So onto my personal project...

I have just taken on a task of creating a deb package for an open source Java based project (runs in Tomcat or other embeded container).

project : http://openmrs.org

brief info : Opens source hospital informations management system for working with the Electronic Medical Record (EMR ~ AKA Electronic Health Record ~ EHR). Hooks into Odoo (openERP), a Lab info system, PACS.

follow the conversation : here

Includes a 'virtual box' / Vagrant install known as Bahmni, this is currently available as a set of RPMs to Install Bahmni on centOS.

All this would seem to be right up my street with a background in clinical research and hospital environmnents... and some programming (mostly java, but also web) and system admin.

Currently they use a set of gradle.build files for the creation of the RPM packages. I've done some reading around on gradle builds and realise that there are gradle plugins for both RPM or deb packaging.

So my initial questions are :

Is there a preference for which plugin should be used for gradle builds within the debian project ?

As I / we would like the package to be available for the largest number of debian derivatives as possible are there any special considerations I should be aware of ?

Are there any 'Gothas' I should be aware of for converting from an existing rpm gradle build to a deb gradle build ?

Any Java specific items I should be aware of
  • preference for a certain Java application server ~ currently set to use apache tomcat or an embeded application server (not sure which).
  • particular JVM (I personally use OpenJava, not sure for the main project)
  • preference for specific Database (currently uses MySQL or an 'embeded' DB (again not sure which), has an 'extension' for Postgres).

I'm bound to have more questions as I go along.

Final note:

I'm not a newbie to linux, but this is going to be my first attempt at linux packaging, I did have a go at using the JNLP a while back, but definitely a first for building a deb package.

If all goes well I / We (the project) may want to be included in the main repos, so again if there are any things I should be aware of to more easily make the transition from simple published deb available for download, to a ppa and then onto 'official deb package' now may be a good moment ;)

Best regards to you all...

David 'SciBearSpace' Myers.

ps. If you search for the 'SciBearSpace name you will find me around on the internet, although I'm not hugely active, I tend to read more than post...

GitHub : SicBearSpace
GitLab : SciBearSpace repo
SO : User profile

AKA : thedavemyers (on the ubuntu forums if I remember correctly)

Eventually I will get my own personal web space....


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