dpkg-buildpackage(1) dpkg suite dpkg-buildpackage(1)
dpkg-buildpackage - build binary or source packages from sources
dpkg-buildpackage is a program that automates the process of building a Debian package. It consists of the following steps:
1. It prepares the build environment by setting various environment variables (see ENVIRONMENT), runs the init hook, and calls dpkg-source
--before-build (unless -T or --target has been used).
2. It checks that the build-dependencies and build-conflicts are satisfied (unless -d or --no-check-builddeps is specified).
3. If one or more specific targets have been selected with the -T or --target option, it calls those targets and stops here. Otherwise it
runs the preclean hook and calls fakeroot debian/rules clean to clean the build-tree (unless -nc or --no-pre-clean is specified).
4. It runs the source hook and calls dpkg-source -b to generate the source package (if a source build has been requested with --build or
5. It runs the build hook and calls debian/rules build-target, then runs the binary hook followed by fakeroot debian/rules binary-target
(unless a source-only build has been requested with --build=source or equivalent options). Note that build-target and binary-target are
either build and binary (default case, or if an any and all build has been requested with --build or equivalent options), or build-arch
and binary-arch (if an any and not all build has been requested with --build or equivalent options), or build-indep and binary-indep (if
an all and not any build has been requested with --build or equivalent options).
6. It runs the buildinfo hook and calls dpkg-genbuildinfo to generate a .buildinfo file. Several dpkg-buildpackage options are forwarded
7. It runs the changes hook and calls dpkg-genchanges to generate a .changes file. The name of the .changes file will depend on the type
of build and will be as specific as necessary but not more; for a build that includes any the name will be source-name_binary-
version_arch.changes, or otherwise for a build that includes all the name will be source-name_binary-version_all.changes, or otherwise
for a build that includes source the name will be source-name_source-version_source.changes. Many dpkg-buildpackage options are
forwarded to dpkg-genchanges.
8. It runs the postclean hook and if -tc or --post-clean is specified, it will call fakeroot debian/rules clean again.
9. It calls dpkg-source --after-build.
It runs the check hook and calls a package checker for the .changes file (if a command is specified in DEB_CHECK_COMMAND or with
It runs the sign hook and calls gpg2 or gpg (as long as it is not an UNRELEASED build, or --no-sign is specified) to sign the .dsc file
(if any, unless -us or --unsigned-source is specified), the .buildinfo file (unless -ui, --unsigned-buildinfo, -uc or --unsigned-changes
is specified) and the .changes file (unless -uc or --unsigned-changes is specified).
It runs the done hook.
All long options can be specified both on the command line and in the dpkg-buildpackage system and user configuration files. Each line in
the configuration file is either an option (exactly the same as the command line option but without leading hyphens) or a comment (if it
starts with a '#').
Specifies the build type from a comma-separated list of components (since dpkg 1.18.5). Passed to dpkg-genchanges.
The allowed values are:
source Builds the source package. Note: when using this value standalone and if what you want is simply to (re-)build the source
package, using dpkg-source is always better as it does not require any build dependencies to be installed to be able to call
the clean target.
any Builds the architecture specific binary packages.
all Builds the architecture independent binary packages.
binary Builds the architecture specific and independent binary packages. This is an alias for any,all.
full Builds everything. This is an alias for source,any,all, and the same as the default case when no build option is specified.
-g Equivalent to --build=source,all (since dpkg 1.17.11).
-G Equivalent to --build=source,any (since dpkg 1.17.11).
-b Equivalent to --build=binary or --build=any,all.
-B Equivalent to --build=any.
-A Equivalent to --build=all.
-S Equivalent to --build=source.
-F Equivalent to --build=full, --build=source,binary or --build=source,any,all (since dpkg 1.15.8).
Calls debian/rules target once per target specified, after having setup the build environment (except for calling dpkg-source
--before-build), and stops the package build process here (since dpkg 1.15.0, long option since dpkg 1.18.8, multi-target support
since dpkg 1.18.16). If --as-root is also given, then the command is executed as root (see --root-command). Note that known
targets that are required to be run as root do not need this option (i.e. the clean, binary, binary-arch and binary-indep targets).
Only meaningful together with --target (since dpkg 1.15.0). Requires that the target be run with root rights.
Passed unchanged to dpkg-genchanges. See its manual page.
-a, --host-arch architecture
Specify the Debian architecture we build for (long option since dpkg 1.17.17). The architecture of the machine we build on is
determined automatically, and is also the default for the host machine.
-t, --host-type gnu-system-type
Specify the GNU system type we build for (long option since dpkg 1.17.17). It can be used in place of --host-arch or as a
complement to override the default GNU system type of the host Debian architecture.
Specify the Debian architecture the binaries built will build for (since dpkg 1.17.17). The default value is the host machine.
Specify the GNU system type the binaries built will build for (since dpkg 1.17.17). It can be used in place of --target-arch or as
a complement to override the default GNU system type of the target Debian architecture.
Specify the profile(s) we build, as a comma-separated list (since dpkg 1.17.2, long option since dpkg 1.18.8). The default behavior
is to build for no specific profile. Also sets them (as a space separated list) as the DEB_BUILD_PROFILES environment variable which
allows, for example, debian/rules files to use this information for conditional builds.
Number of jobs allowed to be run simultaneously, number of jobs matching the number of online processors if auto is specified (since
dpkg 1.17.10), or unlimited number if jobs is not specified, equivalent to the make(1) option of the same name (since dpkg 1.14.7,
long option since dpkg 1.18.8). Will add itself to the MAKEFLAGS environment variable, which should cause all subsequent make
invocations to inherit the option, thus forcing the parallel setting on the packaging (and possibly the upstream build system if
that uses make) regardless of their support for parallel builds, which might cause build failures. Also adds parallel=jobs or
parallel to the DEB_BUILD_OPTIONS environment variable which allows debian/rules files to use this information for their own
purposes. The -j value will override the parallel=jobs or parallel option in the DEB_BUILD_OPTIONS environment variable. Note that
the auto value will get replaced by the actual number of currently active processors, and as such will not get propagated to any
child process. If the number of online processors cannot be inferred then the code will fallback to using serial execution (since
dpkg 1.18.15), although this should only happen on exotic and unsupported systems.
This option (since dpkg 1.18.2, long option since dpkg 1.18.8) is equivalent to the -j option except that it does not set the
MAKEFLAGS environment variable, and as such it is safer to use with any package including those that are not parallel-build safe.
auto is the default behavior (since dpkg 1.18.11). Setting the number of jobs to 1 will restore a serial behavior.
Check build dependencies and conflicts; abort if unsatisfied (long option since dpkg 1.18.8). This is the default behavior.
Do not check build dependencies and conflicts (long option since dpkg 1.18.8).
Do not check built-in build dependencies and conflicts (since dpkg 1.18.2). These are the distribution specific implicit build
dependencies usually required in a build environment, the so called Build-Essential package set.
Do not clean the source tree (long option since dpkg 1.18.8). Implies -b if nothing else has been selected among -F, -g, -G, -B, -A
or -S. Implies -d with -S (since dpkg 1.18.0).
Clean the source tree before building (since dpkg 1.18.8).
Clean the source tree (using gain-root-command debian/rules clean) after the package has been built (long option since dpkg 1.18.8).
When dpkg-buildpackage needs to execute part of the build process as root, it prefixes the command it executes with gain-root-
command if one has been specified (long option since dpkg 1.18.8). Otherwise, if none has been specified, fakeroot will be used by
default, if the command is present. gain-root-command should start with the name of a program on the PATH and will get as arguments
the name of the real command to run and the arguments it should take. gain-root-command can include parameters (they must be space-
separated) but no shell metacharacters. gain-root-command might typically be fakeroot, sudo, super or really. su is not suitable,
since it can only invoke the user's shell with -c instead of passing arguments individually to the command to be run.
Building a Debian package usually involves invoking debian/rules as a command with several standard parameters (since dpkg 1.14.17,
long option since dpkg 1.18.8). With this option it's possible to use another program invocation to build the package (it can
include space separated parameters). Alternatively it can be used to execute the standard rules file with another make program (for
example by using /usr/local/bin/make -f debian/rules as rules-file).
Command used to check the .changes file itself and any artifact built referenced in the file (since dpkg 1.17.6). The command
should take the .changes pathname as an argument. This command will usually be lintian.
Pass option opt to the check-command specified with DEB_CHECK_COMMAND or --check-command (since dpkg 1.17.6). Can be used multiple
Set the specified shell code hook-command as the hook hook-name, which will run at the times specified in the run steps (since dpkg
1.17.6). The hooks will always be executed even if the following action is not performed (except for the binary hook). All the
hooks will run in the unpacked source directory.
Note: Hooks can affect the build process, and cause build failures if their commands fail, so watch out for unintended consequences.
The current hook-name supported are:
init preclean source build binary buildinfo changes postclean check sign done
The hook-command supports the following substitution format string, which will get applied to it before execution:
%% A single % character.
%a A boolean value (0 or 1), representing whether the following action is being performed.
%p The source package name.
%v The source package version.
%s The source package version (without the epoch).
%u The upstream version.
Pass option opt to dpkg-genbuildinfo (since dpkg 1.18.11). Can be used multiple times.
When dpkg-buildpackage needs to execute GPG to sign a source control (.dsc) file or a .changes file it will run sign-command
(searching the PATH if necessary) instead of gpg2 or gpg (long option since dpkg 1.18.8). sign-command will get all the arguments
that gpg2 or gpg would have gotten. sign-command should not contain spaces or any other shell metacharacters.
Specify a key-ID to use when signing packages (long option since dpkg 1.18.8).
Do not sign the source package (long option since dpkg 1.18.8).
Do not sign the .buildinfo file (since dpkg 1.18.19).
Do not sign the .buildinfo and .changes files (long option since dpkg 1.18.8).
Do not sign any file, this includes the source package, the .buildinfo file and the .changes file (since dpkg 1.18.20).
Force the signing of the resulting files (since dpkg 1.17.0), regardless of -us, --unsigned-source, -ui, --unsigned-buildinfo, -uc,
--unsigned-changes or other internal heuristics.
Passed unchanged to dpkg-source. See its manual page.
Pass option opt to dpkg-source (since dpkg 1.15.6). Can be used multiple times.
Pass option opt to dpkg-genchanges (since dpkg 1.15.6). Can be used multiple times.
Change the location of the dpkg database (since dpkg 1.14.0). The default location is /var/lib/dpkg.
Show the usage message and exit.
Show the version and exit.
If set, it will be used as the command to check the .changes file (since dpkg 1.17.6). Overridden by the --check-command option.
If set, it will be used to sign the .changes and .dsc files (since dpkg 1.17.2). Overridden by the --sign-key option.
If set, it will contain a space-separated list of options that might affect the build process in debian/rules, and the behavior of
some dpkg commands.
With nocheck the DEB_CHECK_COMMAND variable will be ignored. With parallel=N the parallel jobs will be set to N, overridden by the
If set, it will be used as the active build profile(s) for the package being built (since dpkg 1.17.2). It is a space separated
list of profile names. Overridden by the -P option.
Sets the color mode (since dpkg 1.18.5). The currently accepted values are: auto (default), always and never.
Even if dpkg-buildpackage exports some variables, debian/rules should not rely on their presence and should instead use the respective
interface to retrieve the needed values, because that file is the main entry point to build packages and running it standalone should be
dpkg-architecture is called with the -a and -t parameters forwarded. Any variable that is output by its -s option is integrated in
the build environment.
This variable is set to the value obtained from the Rules-Requires-Root field or from the command-line. When set, it will be a
valid value for the Rules-Requires-Root field. It is used to notify debian/rules whether the rootless-builds.txt specification is
This variable is set to gain-root-command when the field Rules-Requires-Root is set to a value different to no and binary-targets.
This variable is set to the Unix timestamp since the epoch of the latest entry in debian/changelog, if it is not already defined.
System wide configuration file
User configuration file.
Compiler flags are no longer exported
Between dpkg 1.14.17 and 1.16.1, dpkg-buildpackage exported compiler flags (CFLAGS, CXXFLAGS, FFLAGS, CPPFLAGS and LDFLAGS) with values as
returned by dpkg-buildflags. This is no longer the case.
Default build targets
dpkg-buildpackage is using the build-arch and build-indep targets since dpkg 1.16.2. Those targets are thus mandatory. But to avoid
breakages of existing packages, and ease the transition, if the source package does not build both architecture independent and dependent
binary packages (since dpkg 1.18.8) it will fallback to use the build target if make -f debian/rules -qn build-target returns 2 as exit
It should be possible to specify spaces and shell metacharacters and initial arguments for gain-root-command and sign-command.
dpkg-source(1), dpkg-architecture(1), dpkg-buildflags(1), dpkg-genbuildinfo(1), dpkg-genchanges(1), fakeroot(1), lintian(1), gpg2(1),
18.104.22.168 2018-04-16 dpkg-buildpackage(1)