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Launchpad (website)

Web address .netlaunchpad
Commercial? Yes
Type of site
Project Hosting Server
Registration Optional
Available in English
Owner Canonical Ltd.
Created by Canonical Ltd.
Launched January 2004
Alexa rank
6,728 (April 2014)[1]
Current status Active
Launchpad Suite
Developer(s) Francis J. Lacoste and 52 others[2]
Initial release 15 June 2005 (2005-06-15)
Stable release 3.0 / 23 September 2009 (2009-09-23)
Preview release 3.1.10
Written in Python
Available in English
Type Project Management
License GNU Affero General Public License
Website /launchpad-project.netlaunchpad
Mark Shuttleworth with other Canonical Ltd. employees discussing Launchpad at a design sprint in Germany

Launchpad is a web application and website that allows users to develop and maintain software, particularly open-source software. It is developed and maintained by Canonical Ltd.

On 21 July 2009, the source code was released publicly under the GNU Affero General Public License.[3] As of January 2013, the Launchpad repository hosts more than 30,149 projects. The domain attracted 1 million visitors by August 2009 according to a survey.[4]


  • Components 1
  • Users 2
  • Transition to Free Software 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


It has several parts:

  • Answers: a community support site and knowledge base.
  • Blueprints: a system for tracking Specifications and new features.
  • Bugs: a bug tracker that allows bugs to be tracked in multiple contexts (e.g. in an Ubuntu package, as an upstream, or in remote bug trackers).
  • Code: source code hosting using the Bazaar version control system.
  • Translations: a site for localising applications into different human languages.

A significant but less visible component is Soyuz, "the distribution management portion of Launchpad." Launchpad is currently primarily used in the development of Ubuntu, an operating system. Launchpad uses the FOSS (free/open source) Zope 3 application server.


Several of Canonical Ltd.'s own projects use Launchpad for development including Ubuntu and Bazaar. Development of Launchpad is itself managed in Launchpad.

Other prominent projects using Launchpad for various aspects of managing their development include:

Transition to Free Software

Launchpad was initially criticized by the Jem Report and other members of the free software community for not being available under a free license, such as the GNU GPL, despite its aims. In response, the developers stated that they aimed to eventually release it under a free software license, but that it could potentially take years.[11] On 9 July 2007, Canonical Ltd. released Storm, the first Launchpad component made available under a free software license.[12]

Founder Mark Shuttleworth's response to this criticism was that Launchpad needed paid programmers to continue the development of the Launchpad platform, and that there would be no point in developing multiple versions of Launchpad due to the probable incompatibility of the forks.[13] However, this still left some members of the open-source movement dissatisfied.[14] On 22 July 2008, Mark Shuttleworth announced at OSCON that the complete source code would be released within the next twelve months.[15]

On 19 December 2008, Canonical Ltd. released the Launchpad component "lazr.config" and "lazr.delegates" under version 3 of the GNU LGPL.[16][17]

An open API is currently in beta testing, which will allow programs to interact with the website. Calls for an open API to be released were aided by projects like Leonov that resorted to screen scraping to get data from Launchpad.

In December 2008, Canonical announced that the source code to the Launchpad website would be released under a free software license by 21 July 2009.[18][19] It was also announced that two large components of Launchpad, Soyuz (which is responsible for the build system, package management and Ubuntu package publishing) and Codehosting, would not be released under a free software license.[20] Later, the specific date was changed to a more general timeframe of July/August 2009.[21][22] However, on 21 July 2009, the software was released under the AGPLv3 (a fully free license specifically for web services),[23] including the two components (Codehosting and Soyuz) that were initially planned to remain proprietary.[24]

See also


  1. ^ " Site Info".  
  2. ^ "Canonical Launchpad Engineering in Launchpad". 15 June 2005. Retrieved 14 May 2012. 
  3. ^ "Canonical releases source code for Launchpad". Canonical Ltd. Retrieved 21 July 2009. 
  4. ^ "launchpad attracts 1m visitors yearly". Retrieved 1 August 2009. 
  5. ^ "Inkscape moving to Launchpad!". 21 November 2007. Retrieved 9 September 2008. 
  6. ^ "(Inkscape) Source code repository has moved to Launchpad". 9 December 2009. Retrieved 25 December 2009. 
  7. ^ "". 22 July 2009. Retrieved 14 May 2012. 
  8. ^ "". Retrieved 14 May 2012. 
  9. ^ Arnö, Kaj (19 June 2008). "Version Control: Thanks, BitKeeper - Welcome, Bazaar". Retrieved 19 June 2008. 
  10. ^ Canonical Ltd. (2 April 2007). "Launchpad 1.0 Beta Released" (Press release). Retrieved 20 June 2008. 
  11. ^ "Launchpad Frequently Asked Questions". Canonical. 5 August 2006. 
  12. ^ "Canonical Releases Storm as Open Source". 10 July 2007. 
  13. ^ "Launchpad should be free software (free as in freedom)". 18 April 2007. 
  14. ^ "Ubuntu is built with proprietary software". 10 July 2007. 
  15. ^ "Launchpad Source-Code Within 12 Months". 22 July 2008. 
  16. ^ "lazr.delegates 1.0". Retrieved 14 May 2012. 
  17. ^ "lazr.config 1.0". Retrieved 14 May 2012. 
  18. ^ "Youtube - UDS Jaunty - Graham Binns". 9 December 2008. Retrieved 14 May 2012. 
  19. ^, OpenSourcing
  20. ^, "How we are open sourcing launchpad"
  21. ^ "Open Sourcing Launchpad". Canonical Ltd. Retrieved 4 July 2009. The process should be completed in July / August 2009. 
  22. ^ "Canonical releases source code for Launchpad". Canonical Ltd. Retrieved 21 July 2009. Canonical, the founder of the Ubuntu project, announced today that it has open-sourced the code that runs Launchpad, the software development and collaboration platform used by tens of thousands of developers. 
  23. ^ "Launchpad License". 25 January 2010. Retrieved 14 May 2012. 
  24. ^ "Launchpad is now open source". 21 July 2009. Retrieved 14 May 2012. 

External links

  • Official website
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