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Linux 2.6 - man page for debhelper (linux section 7)

debhelper(7)				    Debhelper				     debhelper(7)

       debhelper - the debhelper tool suite

       dh_* [-v] [-a] [-i] [-s] [--no-act] [-ppackage] [-Npackage] [-Ptmpdir]

       Debhelper is used to help you build a Debian package. The philosophy behind debhelper is
       to provide a collection of small, simple, and easily understood tools that are used in
       debian/rules to automate various common aspects of building a package. This means less
       work for you, the packager.  It also, to some degree means that these tools can be changed
       if Debian policy changes, and packages that use them will require only a rebuild to comply
       with the new policy.

       A typical debian/rules file that uses debhelper will call several debhelper commands in
       sequence, or use dh(1) to automate this process. Examples of rules files that use
       debhelper are in /usr/share/doc/debhelper/examples/

       To create a new Debian package using debhelper, you can just copy one of the sample rules
       files and edit it by hand. Or you can try the dh-make package, which contains a dh_make
       command that partially automates the process. For a more gentle introduction, the maint-
       guide Debian package contains a tutorial about making your first package using debhelper.

       Here is the list of debhelper commands you can use. See their man pages for additional

	   reload AppArmor profile and create local include

	   automatically builds a package

	   automatically cleans up after a build

	   automatically configure a package prior to building

	   automatically runs make install or similar

	   automatically runs a package's test suites

	   install bug reporting customization files into package build directories

	   build Debian binary packages

	   clean up package build directories

	   compress files and fix symlinks in package build directories

	   fix permissions of files in package build directories

	   install GConf defaults files and register schemas

	   generate and install control file

	   Update Freedesktop icon caches

	   install files into package build directories

	   install and register SGML Catalogs

	   install changelogs into package build directories

	   install cron scripts into etc/cron.*

	   install files into the DEBIAN directory

	   install files used by debconf in package build directories

	   create subdirectories in package build directories

	   install documentation into package build directories

	   register an Emacs add on package

	   install example files into package build directories

	   install GSettings overrides and set dependencies

	   install if-up and if-down hooks

	   install info files

	   install upstart jobs or init scripts into package build directories

	   install logcheck rulefiles into etc/logcheck/

	   install logrotate config files

	   install man pages into package build directories

	   install Debian menu files into package build directories

	   install mime files into package build directories

	   register modules with modutils

	   install pam support files

	   install ppp ip-up and ip-down files

	   install udev rules files

	   register a window manager

	   register X fonts

	   create symlinks in package build directories

	   install lintian override files into package build directories

	   list binary packages debhelper will act on

	   automatically create shlibs file and call dpkg-gensymbols

	   generate DEBIAN/md5sums file

	   move files out of debian/tmp into subpackages

	   calculates Perl dependencies and cleans up after MakeMaker

	   perform cleanups in preparation for building a binary package

	   calculate shared library dependencies

	   strip executables, shared libraries, and some static libraries

	   test directory before building Debian package

	   ensure that a package is built as root

	   register configuration files with ucf

	   migrate usr/local directories to maintainer scripts

   Deprecated Commands
       A few debhelper commands are deprecated and should not be used.

	   deprecated no-op

	   old-style man page installer (deprecated)

	   calculates Python dependencies and adds postinst and prerm Python scripts (deprecated)

	   deprecated no-op

	   suid registration program (deprecated)

	   undocumented.7 symlink program (deprecated no-op)

   Other Commands
       If a program's name starts with dh_, and the program is not on the above lists, then it is
       not part of the debhelper package, but it should still work like the other programs
       described on this page.

       Many debhelper commands make use of files in debian/ to control what they do. Besides the
       common debian/changelog and debian/control, which are in all packages, not just those
       using debhelper, some additional files can be used to configure the behavior of specific
       debhelper commands. These files are typically named debian/package.foo (where package of
       course, is replaced with the package that is being acted on).

       For example, dh_installdocs uses files named debian/package.docs to list the documentation
       files it will install. See the man pages of individual commands for details about the
       names and formats of the files they use.  Generally, these files will list files to act
       on, one file per line. Some programs in debhelper use pairs of files and destinations or
       slightly more complicated formats.

       Note that if a package is the first (or only) binary package listed in debian/control,
       debhelper will use debian/foo if no debian/package.foo file can be found.

       In some rare cases, you may want to have different versions of these files for different
       architectures or OSes. If files named debian/package.foo.ARCH or debian/package.foo.OS
       exist, where ARCH and OS are the same as the output of "dpkg-architecture -qDEB_HOST_ARCH"
       / "dpkg-architecture -qDEB_HOST_ARCH_OS", then they will be used in preference to other,
       more general files.

       In many cases, these config files are used to specify various types of files.
       Documentation or example files to install, files to move, and so on.  When appropriate, in
       cases like these, you can use standard shell wildcard characters (? and * and [..]
       character classes) in the files.

       You can also put comments in these files; lines beginning with # are ignored.

       The following command line options are supported by all debhelper programs.

       -v, --verbose
	   Verbose mode: show all commands that modify the package build directory.

	   Do not really do anything. If used with -v, the result is that the command will output
	   what it would have done.

       -a, --arch
	   Act on architecture dependent packages that should be built for the build

       -i, --indep
	   Act on all architecture independent packages.

       -ppackage, --package=package
	   Act on the package named package. This option may be specified multiple times to make
	   debhelper operate on a given set of packages.

       -s, --same-arch
	   This used to be a smarter version of the -a flag, but the -a flag is now equally

       -Npackage, --no-package=package
	   Do not act on the specified package even if an -a, -i, or -p option lists the package
	   as one that should be acted on.

	   Do not act on the packages which have already been acted on by this debhelper command
	   earlier (i.e. if the command is present in the package debhelper log).  For example,
	   if you need to call the command with special options only for a couple of binary
	   packages, pass this option to the last call of the command to process the rest of
	   packages with default settings.

	   Ignore the specified file. This can be used if debian/ contains a debhelper config
	   file that a debhelper command should not act on. Note that debian/compat,
	   debian/control, and debian/changelog can't be ignored, but then, there should never be
	   a reason to ignore those files.

	   For example, if upstream ships a debian/init that you don't want dh_installinit to
	   install, use --ignore=debian/init

       -Ptmpdir, --tmpdir=tmpdir
	   Use tmpdir for package build directory. The default is debian/package

	   This little-used option changes the package which debhelper considers the "main
	   package", that is, the first one listed in debian/control, and the one for which
	   debian/foo files can be used instead of the usual debian/package.foo files.

	   This is used by dh(1) when passing user-specified options to all the commands it runs.
	   If the command supports the specified option or option bundle, it will take effect. If
	   the command does not support the option (or any part of an option bundle), it will be

       The following command line options are supported by some debhelper programs.  See the man
       page of each program for a complete explanation of what each option does.

       -n  Do not modify postinst, postrm, etc. scripts.

       -Xitem, --exclude=item
	   Exclude an item from processing. This option may be used multiple times, to exclude
	   more than one thing.

       -A, --all
	   Makes files or other items that are specified on the command line take effect in ALL
	   packages acted on, not just the first.

       All of the dh_auto_* debhelper programs sets environment variables listed by dpkg-
       buildflags, unless they are already set. They support DEB_BUILD_OPTIONS=noopt too.

       The following command line options are supported by all of the dh_auto_* debhelper
       programs. These programs support a variety of build systems, and normally heuristically
       determine which to use, and how to use them.  You can use these command line options to
       override the default behavior.

       -Sbuildsystem, --buildsystem=buildsystem
	   Force use of the specified buildsystem, instead of trying to auto-select one which
	   might be applicable for the package.

       -Ddirectory, --sourcedirectory=directory
	   Assume that the original package source tree is at the specified directory rather than
	   the top level directory of the Debian source package tree.

       -B[directory], --builddirectory=[directory]
	   Enable out of source building and use the specified directory as the build directory.
	   If directory parameter is omitted, a default build directory will chosen.

	   If this option is not specified, building will be done in source by default unless the
	   build system requires or prefers out of source tree building.  In such a case, the
	   default build directory will be used even if --builddirectory is not specified.

	   If the build system prefers out of source tree building but still allows in source
	   building, the latter can be re-enabled by passing a build directory path that is the
	   same as the source directory path.

	   Enable parallel builds if underlying build system supports them.  The number of
	   parallel jobs is controlled by the DEB_BUILD_OPTIONS environment variable ("Debian
	   Policy, section 4.9.1") at build time. It might also be subject to a build system
	   specific limit.

	   If this option is not specified, debhelper currently defaults to not allowing parallel
	   package builds.

	   This option implies --parallel and allows further limiting the number of jobs that can
	   be used in a parallel build. If the package build is known to only work with certain
	   levels of concurrency, you can set this to the maximum level that is known to work, or
	   that you wish to support.

       --list, -l
	   List all build systems supported by debhelper on this system. The list includes both
	   default and third party build systems (marked as such). Also shows which build system
	   would be automatically selected, or which one is manually specified with the
	   --buildsystem option.

   Multiple binary package support
       If your source package generates more than one binary package, debhelper programs will
       default to acting on all binary packages when run. If your source package happens to
       generate one architecture dependent package, and another architecture independent package,
       this is not the correct behavior, because you need to generate the architecture dependent
       packages in the binary-arch debian/rules target, and the architecture independent packages
       in the binary-indep debian/rules target.

       To facilitate this, as well as give you more control over which packages are acted on by
       debhelper programs, all debhelper programs accept the -a, -i, -p, and -s parameters. These
       parameters are cumulative.  If none are given, debhelper programs default to acting on all
       packages listed in the control file.

   Automatic generation of Debian install scripts
       Some debhelper commands will automatically generate parts of Debian maintainer scripts. If
       you want these automatically generated things included in your existing Debian maintainer
       scripts, then you need to add #DEBHELPER# to your scripts, in the place the code should be
       added.  #DEBHELPER# will be replaced by any auto-generated code when you run

       If a script does not exist at all and debhelper needs to add something to it, then
       debhelper will create the complete script.

       All debhelper commands that automatically generate code in this way let it be disabled by
       the -n parameter (see above).

       Note that the inserted code will be shell code, so you cannot directly use it in a Perl
       script. If you would like to embed it into a Perl script, here is one way to do that (note
       that I made sure that $1, $2, etc are set with the set command):

	 my $temp="set -e\nset -- @ARGV\n" . << 'EOF';
	 system ($temp) / 256 == 0
	       or die "Problem with debhelper scripts: $!";

   Automatic generation of miscellaneous dependencies.
       Some debhelper commands may make the generated package need to depend on some other
       packages. For example, if you use dh_installdebconf(1), your package will generally need
       to depend on debconf. Or if you use dh_installxfonts(1), your package will generally need
       to depend on a particular version of xutils. Keeping track of these miscellaneous
       dependencies can be annoying since they are dependant on how debhelper does things, so
       debhelper offers a way to automate it.

       All commands of this type, besides documenting what dependencies may be needed on their
       man pages, will automatically generate a substvar called ${misc:Depends}. If you put that
       token into your debian/control file, it will be expanded to the dependencies debhelper
       figures you need.

       This is entirely independent of the standard ${shlibs:Depends} generated by
       dh_makeshlibs(1), and the ${perl:Depends} generated by dh_perl(1).  You can choose not to
       use any of these, if debhelper's guesses don't match reality.

   Package build directories
       By default, all debhelper programs assume that the temporary directory used for assembling
       the tree of files in a package is debian/package.

       Sometimes, you might want to use some other temporary directory. This is supported by the
       -P flag. For example, "dh_installdocs -Pdebian/tmp", will use debian/tmp as the temporary
       directory. Note that if you use -P, the debhelper programs can only be acting on a single
       package at a time. So if you have a package that builds many binary packages, you will
       need to also use the -p flag to specify which binary package the debhelper program will
       act on.

   Debhelper compatibility levels
       From time to time, major non-backwards-compatible changes need to be made to debhelper, to
       keep it clean and well-designed as needs change and its author gains more experience. To
       prevent such major changes from breaking existing packages, the concept of debhelper
       compatibility levels was introduced. You tell debhelper which compatibility level it
       should use, and it modifies its behavior in various ways.

       Tell debhelper what compatibility level to use by writing a number to debian/compat. For
       example, to turn on v8 mode:

	 % echo 8 > debian/compat

       Unless otherwise indicated, all debhelper documentation assumes that you are using the
       most recent compatibility level, and in most cases does not indicate if the behavior is
       different in an earlier compatibility level, so if you are not using the most recent
       compatibility level, you're advised to read below for notes about what is different in
       earlier compatibility levels.

       These are the available compatibility levels:

       v1  This is the original debhelper compatibility level, and so it is the default one. In
	   this mode, debhelper will use debian/tmp as the package tree directory for the first
	   binary package listed in the control file, while using debian/package for all other
	   packages listed in the control file.

	   This mode is deprecated.

       v2  In this mode, debhelper will consistently use debian/package as the package tree
	   directory for every package that is built.

	   This mode is deprecated.

       v3  This mode works like v2, with the following additions:

	   -	   Debhelper config files support globbing via * and ?, when appropriate. To turn
		   this off and use those characters raw, just prefix with a backslash.

	   -	   dh_makeshlibs makes the postinst and postrm scripts call ldconfig.

	   -	   Every file in etc/ is automatically flagged as a conffile by dh_installdeb.

	   This mode is deprecated.

       v4  Changes from v3 are:

	   -	   dh_makeshlibs -V will not include the Debian part of the version number in the
		   generated dependency line in the shlibs file.

	   -	   You are encouraged to put the new ${misc:Depends} into debian/control to
		   supplement the ${shlibs:Depends} field.

	   -	   dh_fixperms will make all files in bin/ directories and in etc/init.d

	   -	   dh_link will correct existing links to conform with policy.

	   This mode is deprecated.

       v5  Changes from v4 are:

	   -	   Comments are ignored in debhelper config files.

	   -	   dh_strip --dbg-package now specifies the name of a package to put debugging
		   symbols in, not the packages to take the symbols from.

	   -	   dh_installdocs skips installing empty files.

	   -	   dh_install errors out if wildcards expand to nothing.

       v6  Changes from v5 are:

	   -	   Commands that generate maintainer script fragments will order the fragments in
		   reverse order for the prerm and postrm scripts.

	   -	   dh_installwm will install a slave manpage link for x-window-manager.1.gz, if
		   it sees the man page in usr/share/man/man1 in the package build directory.

	   -	   dh_builddeb did not previously delete everything matching DH_ALWAYS_EXCLUDE,
		   if it was set to a list of things to exclude, such as CVS:.svn:.git. Now it

	   -	   dh_installman allows overwriting existing man pages in the package build
		   directory. In previous compatibility levels it silently refuses to do this.

       v7  Changes from v6 are:

	   -	   dh_install, will fall back to looking for files in debian/tmp if it doesn't
		   find them in the current directory (or wherever you tell it look using
		   --sourcedir). This allows dh_install to interoperate with dh_auto_install,
		   which installs to debian/tmp, without needing any special parameters.

	   -	   dh_clean will read debian/clean and delete files listed there.

	   -	   dh_clean will delete toplevel *-stamp files.

	   -	   dh_installchangelogs will guess at what file is the upstream changelog if none
		   is specified.

       v8  This is the recommended mode of operation.

	   Changes from v7 are:

	   -	   Commands will fail rather than warning when they are passed unknown options.

	   -	   dh_makeshlibs will run dpkg-gensymbols on all shared libraries that it
		   generates shlibs files for. So -X can be used to exclude libraries.	Also,
		   libraries in unusual locations that dpkg-gensymbols would not have processed
		   before will be passed to it, a behavior change that can cause some packages to
		   fail to build.

	   -	   dh requires the sequence to run be specified as the first parameter, and any
		   switches come after it. Ie, use "dh $@ --foo", not "dh --foo $@".

	   -	   dh_auto_* prefer to use Perl's Module::Build in preference to Makefile.PL.

       v9  This compatability level is still open for development; use with caution.

	   Changes from v8 are:

	   -	   Multiarch support. In particular, dh_auto_configure passes multiarch
		   directories to autoconf in --libdir and --libexecdir.

	   -	   dh supports use of standard targets in debian/rules without needing to
		   manually define the dependencies between targets there.

	   -	   <dh_auto_configure> does not include the source package name in --libexecdir
		   when using autoconf.

       Debhelper includes support for udebs. To create a udeb with debhelper, add "Package-Type:
       udeb" to the package's stanza in debian/control, and build-depend on debhelper (>= 4.2).
       Debhelper will try to create udebs that comply with debian-installer policy, by making the
       generated package files end in .udeb, not installing any documentation into a udeb,
       skipping over preinst, postrm, prerm, and config scripts, etc.

   Other notes
       In general, if any debhelper program needs a directory to exist under debian/, it will
       create it. I haven't bothered to document this in all the man pages, but for example,
       dh_installdeb knows to make debian/package/DEBIAN/ before trying to put files there,
       dh_installmenu knows you need a debian/package/usr/share/menu/ before installing the menu
       files, etc.

       Once your package uses debhelper to build, be sure to add debhelper to your Build-Depends
       line in debian/control. You should build-depend on a version of debhelper equal to (or
       greater than) the debhelper compatibility level your package uses. So if your package used
       compatibility level 7:

	 Build-Depends: debhelper (>= 7)

	   Set to 1 to enable verbose mode. Debhelper will output every command it runs that
	   modifies files on the build system.

	   Temporarily specifies what compatibility level debhelper should run at, overriding any
	   value in debian/compat.

	   Set to 1 to enable no-act mode.

	   Anything in this variable will be prepended to the command line arguments of all
	   debhelper commands. Command-specific options will be ignored by commands that do not
	   support them.

	   This is useful in some situations, for example, if you need to pass -p to all
	   debhelper commands that will be run. One good way to set DH_OPTIONS is by using
	   "Target-specific Variable Values" in your debian/rules file. See the make
	   documentation for details on doing this.

	   If set, this adds the value the variable is set to to the -X options of all commands
	   that support the -X option. Moreover, dh_builddeb will rm -rf anything that matches
	   the value in your package build tree.

	   This can be useful if you are doing a build from a CVS source tree, in which case
	   setting DH_ALWAYS_EXCLUDE=CVS will prevent any CVS directories from sneaking into the
	   package you build. Or, if a package has a source tarball that (unwisely) includes CVS
	   directories, you might want to export DH_ALWAYS_EXCLUDE=CVS in debian/rules, to make
	   it take effect wherever your package is built.

	   Multiple things to exclude can be separated with colons, as in

	   A set of example debian/rules files that use debhelper.

	   Debhelper web site.

       Joey Hess <joeyh@debian.org>

8.9.0ubuntu2.1				    2012-10-20				     debhelper(7)

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