dpkg-architecture(1) dpkg suite dpkg-architecture(1)
dpkg-architecture - set and determine the architecture for package building
dpkg-architecture [option...] [command]
dpkg-architecture provides a facility to determine and set the build and host architecture for package building.
The build architecture is always determined by an external call to dpkg(1), and cannot be set at the command line.
You can specify the host architecture by providing one or both of the options --host-arch and --host-type. The default is determined by an
external call to gcc(1), or the same as the build architecture if CC or gcc are both not available. One out of --host-arch and --host-type
is sufficient, the value of the other will be set to a usable default. Indeed, it is often better to only specify one, because
dpkg-architecture will warn you if your choice does not match the default.
Print the environment variables, one each line, in the format VARIABLE=value. This is the default action.
-e, --equal architecture
Check for equality of architecture (since dpkg 1.13.13). It compares the current or specified Debian host architecture against
architecture, to check if they are equal. This action will not expand the architecture wildcards. Command finishes with an exit
status of 0 if matched, 1 if not matched.
-i, --is architecture-wildcard
Check for identity of architecture (since dpkg 1.13.13). It compares the current or specified Debian host architecture against
architecture-wildcard after having expanded it as an architecture wildcard, to check if they match. Command finishes with an exit
status of 0 if matched, 1 if not matched.
-q, --query variable-name
Print the value of a single variable.
Print an export command. This can be used to set the environment variables using eval.
Print a similar command to --print-unset but to unset all variables.
-c, --command command-string
Execute a command-string in an environment which has all variables set to the determined value.
Print a list of valid architecture names. Possibly restricted by one or more of the matching options --match-wildcard, --match-bits
or --match-endian (since dpkg 1.17.14).
Show the usage message and exit.
Show the version and exit.
-a, --host-arch architecture
Set the host Debian architecture.
-t, --host-type gnu-system-type
Set the host GNU system type.
-A, --target-arch architecture
Set the target Debian architecture (since dpkg 1.17.14).
-T, --target-type gnu-system-type
Set the target GNU system type (since dpkg 1.17.14).
-W, --match-wildcard architecture-wildcard
Restrict the architectures listed by --list-known to ones matching the specified architecture wildcard (since dpkg 1.17.14).
-B, --match-bits architecture-bits
Restrict the architectures listed by --list-known to ones with the specified CPU bits (since dpkg 1.17.14). Either 32 or 64.
-E, --match-endian architecture-endianness
Restrict the architectures listed by --list-known to ones with the specified endianness (since dpkg 1.17.14). Either little or big.
Values set by existing environment variables with the same name as used by the scripts are honored (i.e. used by dpkg-architecture),
except if this force flag is present. This allows the user to override a value even when the call to dpkg-architecture is buried in
some other script (for example dpkg-buildpackage(1)).
The machine the package is built on.
The machine the package is built for.
The machine the compiler is building for. This is only needed when building a cross-toolchain, one that will be built on the build
architecture, to be run on the host architecture, and to build code for the target architecture.
The Debian architecture string, which specifies the binary tree in the FTP archive. Examples: i386, sparc, hurd-i386.
Debian architecture tuple
A Debian architecture tuple is the fully qualified architecture with all its components spelled out. This differs with Debian
architectures in that at least the cpu component does not embed the abi. The current tuple has the form abi-libc-os-cpu. Examples:
Debian architecture wildcard
A Debian architecture wildcard is a special architecture string that will match any real architecture being part of it. The general
form is a Debian architecture tuple with four or less elements, and with at least one of them being any. Missing elements of the tuple
are prefixed implicitly as any, and thus the following pairs are equivalent:
any-any-any-any = any
any-any-os-any = os-any
any-libc-any-any = libc-any-any
Examples: linux-any, any-i386, hurd-any, eabi-any-any-arm, musl-any-any.
GNU system type
An architecture specification string consisting of two parts separated by a hyphen: cpu and system. Examples: i586-linux-gnu,
sparc-linux-gnu, i686-gnu, x86_64-netbsd.
The clarified GNU system type, used for filesystem paths. This triplet does not change even when the baseline ISA gets bumped, so that
the resulting paths are stable over time. The only current difference with the GNU system type is that the CPU part for i386 based
systems is always i386. Examples: i386-linux-gnu, x86_64-linux-gnu. Example paths: /lib/powerpc64le-linux-gnu/,
The following variables are set by dpkg-architecture:
The Debian architecture of the build machine.
The Debian abi name of the build machine (since dpkg 1.18.11).
The Debian libc name of the build machine (since dpkg 1.18.11).
The Debian system name of the build machine (since dpkg 1.13.2).
The Debian cpu name of the build machine (since dpkg 1.13.2).
The pointer size of the build machine (in bits; since dpkg 1.15.4).
The endianness of the build machine (little / big; since dpkg 1.15.4).
The CPU part of DEB_BUILD_GNU_TYPE.
The System part of DEB_BUILD_GNU_TYPE.
The GNU system type of the build machine.
The clarified GNU system type of the build machine, used for filesystem paths (since dpkg 1.16.0).
The Debian architecture of the host machine.
The Debian abi name of the host machine (since dpkg 1.18.11).
The Debian libc name of the host machine (since dpkg 1.18.11).
The Debian system name of the host machine (since dpkg 1.13.2).
The Debian cpu name of the host machine (since dpkg 1.13.2).
The pointer size of the host machine (in bits; since dpkg 1.15.4).
The endianness of the host machine (little / big; since dpkg 1.15.4).
The CPU part of DEB_HOST_GNU_TYPE.
The System part of DEB_HOST_GNU_TYPE.
The GNU system type of the host machine.
The clarified GNU system type of the host machine, used for filesystem paths (since dpkg 1.16.0).
The Debian architecture of the target machine (since dpkg 1.17.14).
The Debian abi name of the target machine (since dpkg 1.18.11).
The Debian libc name of the target machine (since dpkg 1.18.11).
The Debian system name of the target machine (since dpkg 1.17.14).
The Debian cpu name of the target machine (since dpkg 1.17.14).
The pointer size of the target machine (in bits; since dpkg 1.17.14).
The endianness of the target machine (little / big; since dpkg 1.17.14).
The CPU part of DEB_TARGET_GNU_TYPE (since dpkg 1.17.14).
The System part of DEB_TARGET_GNU_TYPE (since dpkg 1.17.14).
The GNU system type of the target machine (since dpkg 1.17.14).
The clarified GNU system type of the target machine, used for filesystem paths (since dpkg 1.17.14).
All these files have to be present for dpkg-architecture to work. Their location can be overridden at runtime with the environment variable
DPKG_DATADIR. These tables contain a format Version pseudo-field on their first line to mark their format, so that parsers can check if
they understand it, such as "# Version=1.0".
Table of known CPU names and mapping to their GNU name. Format version 1.0 (since dpkg 1.13.2).
Table of known operating system names and mapping to their GNU name. Format version 2.0 (since dpkg 1.18.11).
Mapping between Debian architecture tuples and Debian architecture names. Format version 1.0 (since dpkg 1.18.11).
Table of Debian architecture ABI attribute overrides. Format version 2.0 (since dpkg 1.18.11).
Makefile snippet that properly sets and exports all the variables that dpkg-architecture outputs (since dpkg 1.16.1).
dpkg-buildpackage accepts the -a option and passes it to dpkg-architecture. Other examples:
CC=i386-gnu-gcc dpkg-architecture -c debian/rules build
eval `dpkg-architecture -u`
Check if the current or specified host architecture is equal to an architecture:
dpkg-architecture -amips -elinux-mips
Check if the current or specified host architecture is a Linux system:
dpkg-architecture -ai386 -ilinux-any
Usage in debian/rules
The environment variables set by dpkg-architecture are passed to debian/rules as make variables (see make documentation). However, you
should not rely on them, as this breaks manual invocation of the script. Instead, you should always initialize them using dpkg-architecture
with the -q option. Here are some examples, which also show how you can improve the cross compilation support in your package:
Retrieving the GNU system type and forwarding it to ./configure:
DEB_BUILD_GNU_TYPE ?= $(shell dpkg-architecture -qDEB_BUILD_GNU_TYPE)
DEB_HOST_GNU_TYPE ?= $(shell dpkg-architecture -qDEB_HOST_GNU_TYPE)
ifeq ($(DEB_BUILD_GNU_TYPE), $(DEB_HOST_GNU_TYPE))
confflags += --build=$(DEB_HOST_GNU_TYPE)
confflags += --build=$(DEB_BUILD_GNU_TYPE)
Doing something only for a specific architecture:
DEB_HOST_ARCH ?= $(shell dpkg-architecture -qDEB_HOST_ARCH)
or if you only need to check the CPU or OS type, use the DEB_HOST_ARCH_CPU or DEB_HOST_ARCH_OS variables.
Note that you can also rely on an external Makefile snippet to properly set all the variables that dpkg-architecture can provide:
In any case, you should never use dpkg --print-architecture to get architecture information during a package build.
If set, it will be used as the dpkg data directory, where the architecture tables are located (since dpkg 1.14.17). Defaults to
All long command and option names available only since dpkg 1.17.17.
188.8.131.52 2018-04-16 dpkg-architecture(1)