Following Packages

A package tracker is mainly of interest to retrieve information about packages. Depending on your needs, there are multiple ways to get those information.

Visiting the Package’s Page

Each source package has its own web dashboard displaying information aggregated from various sources. This page is accessible at the URL https://distro-tracker-domain/pkg/package-name.


If a binary package name is entered, the user is redirected to the corresponding source package’s page.

A convenient search form is provided on the front page as well as on each package’s page which allows users to jump to another package page. It supports auto-completion for both source and binary package names.

The information currently provided for each package is divided into the following panels:


Contains general information extracted from the package currently available in the development repository:

  • name of the source package

  • current version

  • current maintainer and uploaders

  • list of supported architectures

  • standards version field

  • URL(s) for the VCS repository


For each repository tracked, lists the version of the source package that it contains.

versioned links

Provides links to files which are specific to a given version. The set of links can vary depending on the configuration but here are the links that can be put in place:

  • .dsc file (source package)

  • debian/changelog (checklist icon)

  • debian/copyright (balance of law icon)

  • debian/rules (tools icon)

  • debian/control file (package icon)


Lists the binary packages built by the source package and provides related links.

action needed

Lists various issues affecting the source package. This information is mainly of interest to package maintainers and contributors. The higher priority issues are displayed first. More information can be displayed by clicking on the chevron on the left of each entry.


Sorted list of news related to the package. Clicking on the link shows the full content associated to the news. Most news are actually email messages that one can get by subscribing to the package.


Statistics and links to bug reports.


Links to external sources of information that have something relevant for this source package.

Other vendor-specific panels can appear. For example, the Debian Package Tracker has an ubuntu panel with information related to the state of the package in the Ubuntu derivative distribution.

Getting Updates by Email

If you don’t want to visit the web page regularly, you can subscribe to the package to receive updates by email (see Email Messages to have an idea of what messages you can get).

There are two ways to subscribe to a package:

Subscribing on the Website

On each package page (https://distro-tracker-domain/pkg/package-name) you will find a Subscribe button. If you are authenticated, it will immediately subscribe you and show you an Unsubscribe button that you can use to revert the operation. If you are not authenticated, it will invite you to login first to be able to complete the operation.

If you have have multiple emails associated to your account, the subscription process will ask you to select the email address that will receive the notifications.

Subscribing by Email

To subscribe to a package through email, you will have to send an email to control@distro-tracker-domain containing the command subscribe package-name either in the subject or in the body of the mail. This will subscribe the email address that you used to send the message. You can ask for the subscription of another email address by using the command subscribe package-name email.

The mailbot will send back a confimation mail to the email address being subscribed. The message will contain a confirmation command that the user must send back to the mailbot. A simple reply is usually enough for this as the mailbot is smart enough to detect the command even when it’s quoted in the reply.

Following Updates with an RSS Feed

Each package provides a dedicated RSS feed available at the following URL: https://distro-tracker-domain/pkg/package-name/rss

You can find a small rss feed icon at the top-right of the news panel on the package’s page, it is linked to the RSS feed.

The RSS feed collates the regular news (from the news panel) as well as the items from the action needed panel.