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dpkg-source [option...] command
dpkg-source packs and unpacks Debian source archives.
None of these commands allow multiple options to be combined into one,
and they do not allow the value for an option to be specified in a sep-
-x filename.dsc [output-directory]
Extract a source package. One non-option argument must be sup-
plied, the name of the Debian source control file (.dsc). An
optional second non-option argument may be supplied to specify
the directory to extract the source package to, this must not
exist. If no output directory is specified, the source package
is extracted into a directory named source-version under the
current working directory.
dpkg-source will read the names of the other file(s) making up
the source package from the control file; they are assumed to be
in the same directory as the .dsc.
The files in the extracted package will have their permissions
and ownerships set to those which would have been expected if
the files and directories had simply been created - directories
and executable files will be 0777 and plain files will be 0666,
both modified by the extractors' umask; if the parent directory
is setgid then the extracted directories will be too, and all
the files and directories will inherit its group ownership.
If the source package uses a non-standard format (currently this
means all formats except "1.0"), its name will be stored in
debian/source/format so that the following builds of the source
package use the same format by default.
-b directory [format-specific-parameters]
Build a source package. The first non-option argument is taken
as the name of the directory containing the debianized source
tree (i.e. with a debian sub-directory and maybe changes to the
original files). Depending on the source package format used to
build the package, additional parameters might be accepted.
dpkg-source will build the source package with the first format
found in this ordered list: the format indicated with the --for-
mat command line option, the format indicated in
debian/source/format, "1.0". The fallback to "1.0" is deprecated
and will be removed at some point in the future, you should
always document the desired source format in debian/source/for-
mat. See section SOURCE PACKAGE FORMATS for an extensive
source formats implement something in this hook, and those that
do usually prepare the source tree for the build for example by
ensuring that the Debian patches are applied.
Run the corresponding hook of the source package format. This
hook is called after any build of the package (dpkg-buildpackage
calls it last). This command is idempotent and can be called
multiple times. Not all source formats implement something in
this hook, and those that do usually use it to undo what
--before-build has done.
--commit [directory] ...
Record changes in the source tree unpacked in directory. This
command can take supplementary parameters depending on the
source format. It will error out for formats where this opera-
tion doesn't mean anything.
Show the usage message and exit.
Show the version and exit.
GENERIC BUILD OPTIONS
Specifies the main source control file to read information from.
The default is debian/control. If given with relative pathname
this is interpreted starting at the source tree's top level
Specifies the change log file to read information from. The
default is debian/changelog. If given with relative pathname
this is interpreted starting at the source tree's top level
Specifies the format of the changelog. By default the format is
read from a special line near the bottom of the changelog or
failing that defaults to the debian standard format.
Use the given format for building the source package. It does
override any format given in debian/source/format.
Set an output substitution variable. See deb-substvars(5) for a
discussion of output substitution.
diffs). Note that this option will not cause existing tarballs
to be recompressed, it only affects new files. Supported values
are: gzip, bzip2, lzma and xz. gzip is the default. xz is only
supported since dpkg-dev 1.15.5.
Compression level to use. As with -Z it only affects newly cre-
ated files. Supported values are: 1 to 9, best, and fast. The
default is 9 for gzip and bzip2, 6 for xz and lzma.
You may specify a perl regular expression to match files you
want filtered out of the list of files for the diff. (This list
is generated by a find command.) (If the source package is being
built as a version 3 source package using a VCS, this can be
used to ignore uncommited changes on specific files. Using -i.*
will ignore all of them.) -i by itself enables the option, with
a default regexp that will filter out control files and directo-
ries of the most common revision control systems, backup and
swap files and Libtool build output directories. There can only
be one active regexp, of multiple -i options only the last one
will take effect.
This is very helpful in cutting out extraneous files that get
included in the diff, e.g. if you maintain your source in a
revision control system and want to use a checkout to build a
source package without including the additional files and direc-
tories that it will usually contain (e.g. CVS/, .cvsignore,
.svn/). The default regexp is already very exhaustive, but if
you need to replace it, please note that by default it can match
any part of a path, so if you want to match the begin of a file-
name or only full filenames, you will need to provide the neces-
sary anchors (e.g. '(^|/)', '($|/)') yourself.
The perl regular expression specified will extend the default
value of --diff-ignore and its current value (if set). It does
this by concatenating "|regexp" to the existing value. This
option is convenient to use in debian/source/options to exclude
some auto-generated files from the automatic patch generation.
If this option is specified, the pattern will be passed to
tar(1)'s --exclude option when it is called to generate a
.orig.tar or .tar file. For example, -ICVS will make tar skip
over CVS directories when generating a .tar.gz file. The option
may be repeated multiple times to list multiple patterns to
-I by itself adds default --exclude options that will filter out
control files and directories of the most common revision con-
trol systems, backup and swap files and Libtool build output
GENERIC EXTRACT OPTIONS
Do not copy original tarballs near the extracted source package.
Do not check signatures and checksums before unpacking.
Refuse to unpack the source package if it doesn't contain an
OpenPGP signature that can be verified either with the user's
trustedkeys.gpg keyring, one of the vendor-specific keyrings, or
one of the official Debian keyrings
SOURCE PACKAGE FORMATS
If you don't know what source format to use, you should probably pick
either "3.0 (quilt)" or "3.0 (native)". See
http://wiki.debian.org/Projects/DebSrc3.0 for information on the
deployment of those formats within Debian.
A source package in this format consists either of a .orig.tar.gz asso-
ciated to a .diff.gz or a single .tar.gz (in that case the package is
said to be native).
Extracting a native package is a simple extraction of the single tar-
ball in the target directory. Extracting a non-native package is done
by first unpacking the .orig.tar.gz and then applying the patch con-
tained in the .diff.gz file. The timestamp of all patched files is
reset to the extraction time of the source package (this avoids times-
tamp skews leading to problems when autogenerated files are patched).
The diff can create new files (the whole debian directory is created
that way) but can't remove files (empty files will be left over).
Building a native package is just creating a single tarball with the
source directory. Building a non-native package involves extracting the
original tarball in a separate ".orig" directory and regenerating the
.diff.gz by comparing the source package directory with the .orig
Build options (with -b):
If a second non-option argument is supplied it should be the name of
unpacked into directory.orig for the generation of the diff.
-sp Like -sk but will remove the directory again afterwards.
-su Specifies that the original source is expected as a directory,
by default package-upstream-version.orig and dpkg-source will
create a new original source archive from it.
-sr Like -su but will remove that directory after it has been used.
-ss Specifies that the original source is available both as a direc-
tory and as a tarfile. dpkg-source will use the directory to
create the diff, but the tarfile to create the .dsc. This
option must be used with care - if the directory and tarfile do
not match a bad source archive will be generated.
-sn Specifies to not look for any original source, and to not gener-
ate a diff. The second argument, if supplied, must be the empty
string. This is used for Debian-specific packages which do not
have a separate upstream source and therefore have no debianisa-
-sa or -sA
Specifies to look for the original source archive as a tarfile
or as a directory - the second argument, if any, may be either,
or the empty string (this is equivalent to using -sn). If a
tarfile is found it will unpack it to create the diff and remove
it afterwards (this is equivalent to -sp); if a directory is
found it will pack it to create the original source and remove
it afterwards (this is equivalent to -sr); if neither is found
it will assume that the package has no debianisation diffs, only
a straightforward source archive (this is equivalent to -sn).
If both are found then dpkg-source will ignore the directory,
overwriting it, if -sA was specified (this is equivalent to -sP)
or raise an error if -sa was specified. -sA is the default.
The process fails if the generated diff contains changes to
files outside of the debian sub-directory. This option is not
allowed in debian/source/options but can be used in
Extract options (with -x):
In all cases any existing original source tree will be removed.
-sp Used when extracting then the original source (if any) will be
left as a tarfile. If it is not already located in the current
directory or if an existing but different file is there it will
be copied there. (This is the default).
Also known as wig&pen. This format is not recommended for wide-spread
usage, the format "3.0 (quilt)" replaces it. Wig&pen was the first
specification of a new-generation source package format.
The behaviour of this format is the same as the "3.0 (quilt)" format
except that it doesn't use an explicit list of patches. All files in
debian/patches/ matching the perl regular expression [\w-]+ must be
valid patches: they are applied at extraction time.
When building a new source package, any change to the upstream source
is stored in a patch named zz_debian-diff-auto.
Format: 3.0 (native)
This format is an extension of the native package format as defined in
the 1.0 format. It supports all compression methods and will ignore by
default any VCS specific files and directories as well as many tempo-
rary files (see default value associated to -I option in the --help
Format: 3.0 (quilt)
A source package in this format contains at least an original tarball
(.orig.tar.ext where ext can be gz, bz2, lzma and xz) and a debian tar-
ball (.debian.tar.ext). It can also contain additional original tar-
balls (.orig-component.tar.ext). component can only contain alphanu-
meric characters and dashes ("-").
The main original tarball is extracted first, then all additional orig-
inal tarballs are extracted in subdirectories named after the component
part of their filename (any pre-existing directory is replaced). The
debian tarball is extracted on top of the source directory after prior
removal of any pre-existing debian directory. Note that the debian tar-
ball must contain a debian sub-directory but it can also contain binary
files outside of that directory (see --include-binaries option).
All patches listed in debian/patches/debian.series or
debian/patches/series are then applied. If the former file is used and
the latter one doesn't exist (or is a symlink), then the latter is
replaced with a symlink to the former. This is meant to simplify usage
of quilt to manage the set of patches. Note however that while
dpkg-source parses correctly series files with explicit options used
for patch application (stored on each line after the patch filename and
one or more spaces), it does ignore those options and always expect
patches that can be applied with the -p1 option of patch. It will thus
emit a warning when it encounters such options, and the build is likely
Similarly to quilt's default behaviour, the patches can remove files
The file .pc/applied-patches is created if some patches have been
Any change on a binary file is not representable in a diff and will
thus lead to a failure unless the maintainer deliberately decided to
include that modified binary file in the debian tarball (by listing it
in debian/source/include-binaries). The build will also fail if it
finds binary files in the debian sub-directory unless they have been
whitelisted through debian/source/include-binaries.
The updated debian directory and the list of modified binaries is then
used to generate the debian tarball.
The automatically generated diff doesn't include changes on VCS spe-
cific files as well as many temporary files (see default value associ-
ated to -i option in the --help output). In particular, the .pc direc-
tory used by quilt is ignored during generation of the automatic patch.
Note: dpkg-source --before-build (and -b) will ensure that all patches
listed in the series file are applied so that a package build always
has all patches applied. It does this by finding unapplied patches
(they are listed in the series file but not in .pc/applied-patches),
and if the first patch in that set can be applied without errors, it
will apply them all. The option --no-preparation can be used to disable
--commit [directory] [patch-name] [patch-file]
Generates a patch corresponding to the local changes that are
not managed by the quilt patch system and integrates it in the
patch system under the name patch-name. If the name is missing,
it will be asked interactively. If patch-file is given, it is
used as the patch corresponding to the local changes to inte-
grate. This is mainly useful after a build failure that pre-gen-
erated this file. Once integrated, an editor is launched so that
you can edit the meta-information in the patch header.
Allow dpkg-source to build the source package if the version of
the quilt metadata is the one specified, even if dpkg-source
doesn't know about it. Effectively this says that the given ver-
sion of the quilt metadata is compatible with the version 2 that
dpkg-source currently supports. The version of the quilt meta-
data is stored in .pc/.version.
Do not ignore removed files and include them in the automati-
cally generated patch.
debian/patches/debian-changes-version for the name of the auto-
matic patch generated during build. This option is particularly
useful when the package is maintained in a VCS and a patch set
can't reliably be generated. Instead the current diff with
upstream should be stored in a single patch. The option would be
put in debian/source/local-options and would be accompanied by a
debian/source/local-patch-header file explaining how the Debian
changes can be best reviewed, for example in the VCS that is
Automatically create the main original tarball as empty if it's
missing and if there are supplementary original tarballs. This
option is meant to be used when the source package is just a
bundle of multiple upstream software and where there's no "main"
Unapply the patches in the --after-build hook. You usually don't
need this option as dpkg-source will automatically unapply the
patches if it did apply them during --before-build. This option
is only allowed in debian/source/local-options so that all gen-
erated source packages have the same behavior by default.
The process fails if an automatic patch has been generated. This
option can be used to ensure that all changes were properly
recorded in separate quilt patches prior to the source package
build. This option is not allowed in debian/source/options but
can be used in debian/source/local-options.
The process doesn't fail if an automatic patch has been gener-
ated, instead it's immediately recorded in the quilt series.
Skips extraction of the debian tarball on top of the upstream
Do not apply patches at the end of the extraction.
Format: 3.0 (custom)
This format is special. It doesn't represent a real source package for-
mat but can be used to create source packages with arbitrary files.
All non-option arguments are taken as files to integrate in the gener-
The bundle is cloned as a git repository to the target directory. If
there is a gitshallow file, it is installed as '.git/shallow' inside
the cloned git repository.
Note that by default the new repository will have the same branch
checked out that was checked out in the original source. (Typically
"master", but it could be anything.) Any other branches will be avail-
able under 'remotes/origin/'.
Before going any further, some checks are done to ensure that we don't
have any non-ignored uncommitted changes.
git-bundle(1) is used to generate a bundle of the git repository. By
default, all branches and tags in the repository are included in the
Allows specifying a git ref to include in the git bundle. Use
disables the default behavior of including all branches and
tags. May be specified multiple times. The ref can be the name
of a branch or tag to include. It may also be any parameter that
can be passed to git-rev-list(1). For example, to include only
the master branch, use --git-ref=master. To include all tags and
branches, except for the private branch, use --git-ref=--all
Creates a shallow clone with a history truncated to the speci-
fied number of revisions.
Format: 3.0 (bzr)
This format is experimental. It generates a single tarball containing
the bzr repository.
The tarball is unpacked and then bzr is used to checkout the current
Before going any further, some checks are done to ensure that we don't
have any non-ignored uncommitted changes.
Then the VCS specific part of the source directory is copied over to a
you want to continue using the old format, you should be explicit about
it and put "1.0" in debian/source/format.
the diff modifies the following upstream files
When using source format "1.0" it is usually a bad idea to modify
upstream files directly as the changes end up hidden and mostly undocu-
mented in the .diff.gz file. Instead you should store your changes as
patches in the debian directory and apply them at build-time. To avoid
this complexity you can also use the format "3.0 (quilt)" that offers
cannot represent change to file
Changes to upstream sources are usually stored with patch files, but
not all changes can be represented with patches: they can only alter
the content of plain text files. If you try replacing a file with some-
thing of a different type (for example replacing a plain file with a
symlink or a directory), you will get this error message.
newly created empty file file will not be represented in diff
Empty files can't be created with patch files. Thus this change is not
recorded in the source package and you are warned about it.
executable mode perms of file will not be represented in diff
special mode perms of file will not be represented in diff
Patch files do not record permissions of files and thus modified per-
missions are not stored in the source package. This warning reminds you
of that fact.
This file contains on a single line the format that should be used to
build the source package (possible formats are described above). No
leading or trailing spaces are allowed.
This file contains a list of binary files (one per line) that should be
included in the debian tarball. Leading and trailing spaces are
stripped. Lines starting with "#" are comments and are skipped. Empty
lines are ignored.
This file contains a list of long options that should be automatically
prepended to the set of command line options of a dpkg-source -b or
dpkg-source --print-format call. Options like --compression and --com-
pression-level are well suited for this file.
Each option should be put on a separate line. Empty lines and lines
starting with "#" are ignored. The leading "--" should be stripped and
short options are not allowed. Optional spaces are allowed around the
"=" symbol and optional quotes are allowed around the value. Here's an
example of such a file:
tied to the maintainer or to the VCS repository where the source pack-
age is maintained.
Free form text that is put on top of the automatic patch generated in
formats "2.0" or "3.0 (quilt)". local-patch-header is not included in
the generated source package while patch-header is.
This file lists all patches that have to be applied (in the given
order) on top of the upstream source package. Leading and trailing
spaces are stripped. Lines starting with "#" are comments and are
skipped. Empty lines are ignored. Remaining lines start with a patch
filename (relative to the debian/patches/ directory) up to the first
space character or the end of line. Optional quilt options can follow
up to the end of line or the first "#" preceded by one or more spaces
(which marks the start of a comment up to the end of line).
The point at which field overriding occurs compared to certain standard
output field settings is rather confused.
dpkg-deb(1), dpkg(1), dselect(1).
Copyright (C) 1995-1996 Ian Jackson
Copyright (C) 2000 Wichert Akkerman
Copyright (C) 2008-2011 Raphael Hertzog
This is free software; see the GNU General Public Licence version 2 or
later for copying conditions. There is NO WARRANTY.
Debian Project 2011-08-14 dpkg-source(1)