Ever heard of OBS, also known as the openSUSE Build Service? You may not recognize the acronym, but if you’re using openSUSE you’re certainly using software built by OBS. The build service provides an invaluable tool for developers to overcome some of the challenges caused by the slight fragmentation between the various Linux distributions.
The OBS provides developers of all your favorite apps with an easy to use tool for creating and distributing packages for openSUSE, Ubuntu and Fedora on a number of architectures. The idea of it all being that a developer can upload their code to the OBS and it will produce packages such as
.deb packages which are ready for openSUSE/Fedora and Ubuntu/Debian respectively.
Let’s say for example, the devs for an app like Skrooge decide not to use the OBS. To support the various Linux distributions they have a couple options:
- To not support other distributions
- To enlist package maintainers on each distro
- To build the packages themselves for each distro
This approach seems to be more and more common with applications developed targeting Ubuntu, such as Pino, which has taken route #2.