Popcon to be removed from the standard seed

Hi all,

We are planning to remove the “popularity-contest” package from the standard seed, meaning that new installs will not include it. This package is intended to report (anonymously) the most installed packages on Ubuntu systems to the Ubuntu developers. It turns out the package and backend have both been broken since 18.04 LTS without being much missed so we have decided to remove the package from the default install and discard the Ubuntu delta for the package.



for the Ubuntu Foundations team


Hello everyone,

Given this migration away from popcon, and I wondered if there’s a possibility of accessing historical data so that this information is not lost.

Some quick background – I’m a graduate student studying under Benjamin Mako Hill here at the
University of Washington. I study collaboration – in particular, how people collaborate to build and maintain great software. For this work, one of my data sources is Debian popcon data – but I had hoped to move on to Ubuntu next.

For Debian, I’ve been using APIs to collect this data, but I haven’t found an equivalent service for Ubuntu.

Can anyone help? I’m not sure where in the community to best address this request, and I’ll appreciate any pointers folks can offer.

[Community Data Science Collective: http://communitydata.science]

1 Like

I don’t know what APIs are available for Debian’s version of popcon, but I’d suspect that all the same .gz files at popcon.debian.org are also at popcon.ubuntu.com.

Yes, the single-day files are the same – but the historical data, with popcon reports going back to the beginning of time, is not there.

Are the single-day files perhaps rotated to some other dir when the next day’s data comes in? Maintained in a database that is potentially queryable (perhaps the same db that is a back-end to the graphs on the site)? My fallback plan is to pull dailys from the wayback machine, but I was hoping for something a bit more comprehensive.

FWIW Debian QA exposes an API that I can use to fetch JSON (example: https://qa.debian.org/cgi-bin/popcon-data?packages=dpkg+libdpkg-dev+dpkg-dev+libdpkg-perl+dselect;from_date=2004-01-24;to_date=2020-07-24).