Note: If you just want to look at my bash script and related text files (without packages), you can download them here.

Following from my last post, I decided that the best way to try and solve this issue would be to create a free-multiverse repositroy. To do this, I hacked together a bash script that would compare sid-main with ubuntu-multiverse (using packages lists I downloaded manually and removed the headers from) and pull any of the packages that overlapped between the two. I also got it to read an extras file, for packages that are in multiverse but not sid main, but yet are still free.

So, I now have a demonstration free-multiverse (which I call multistanza). This is currently hosted on my own pc, so will dissapear at night. If you are interested, try this link. compare.sh is the main script and the repo an be added as “deb http://bjwebb.homelinux.com:81/multistanza/ binary-i386/”. I will look for some off site hosting if I decide to pursue this further. If anyone does use my repo, I suggest using it in conjunction with medibuntu (see below).

But, the question is. Is this the best way to pursue this? What I’ve done so far has been no loss to me, because I’ve learnt some more bash scripting; but it is only worth continuing if my new repositry will be of use to other people. Thus, it would be a good idea to know if this has been done already. As far as I know, it hasn’t quite been done the way I want it. However, there is medibuntu, which contains packages not allowed in ubuntu, and is separated nicely into free and non-free. In fact, since I have the repo added, some of the apps get pulled from medibuntu instead of my repo. Unfortunately, not all the packages in medibuntu are as new as the ubuntu ones (hence why my repo and medibuntu could be complimentary) and some are not there at all (vlc for example).

So, I think that the best and most consitent way of having a free “extras” repo, and to avoid duplication of effort, would be for medibuntu to offer all of the free packages in multiverse in their free repository. I think this would fit in with their goal, but I’m not sure if they’d agree. I will contact them about this issue, and see where to go from there.

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