Unison is a cross-platform file synchronisation software. The latest version available on Debian is outdated: Debian has version 2.40.102-2 while other systems have version 2.48.3.

The thing is, Unison will not work between two machines that use different version, so Unison 2.48 on Mac OS will not sync with a machine using version 2.40 like Debian for instance. This makes Unison on Debian and Ubuntu useless for cross-platform synchronization.

Of course, one can download the source from Unison and build it on Debian, but this isn't convenient compared to a simple apt-get install unison, as straight-forward as the build is.

So my question is, as it looks like the maintainers don't update the Unison package anymore, what can I do to help?

I've never been involved in packaging for Debian, and I have no reputation at all in the Debian community. All I have is an updated Unison binary that I'd like to make available for a simple apt-get install.

  • You can install multiple versions of unison on the same machine. Set addversionno = true in your preference file and arrange for all pairs of machines to have at least one version in common. Commented Jun 12, 2015 at 22:22
  • Adjusting the existing packaging to work with the new upstream sources is probably not hard. And as Stephen says, you could submit your work to Debian so the package can be updated. Commented Jun 12, 2015 at 23:22

1 Answer 1


You don't need reputation in the Debian community to help out, just the willingness to help, and patience while you wait for the current maintainer to react. Given that Unison officially still has a maintainer in Debian, you should indicate your interest on the existing bug, and email the maintainer (both the OCaml maintainers' mailing list and Stéphane) to offer to help.

You probably know this already, but for general reference, there's a lot of documentation available you should read, starting from How to join. Unison is team-maintained so you should also read the corresponding wiki page.

If you have a package ready, you can upload it to http://mentors.debian.net/ so that others can review it, and point the current maintainer to that for review as well.

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