dpkg-source Man page

Resume Wikipedia de Dpkg

dpkg est un logiciel à la base du système de gestion de paquets de Debian. Il a été créé par Ian Jackson en 1993. dpkg est similaire à Red hat Package Manager (ou RPM) le logiciel dans la mesure où il est utilisé pour installer, supprimer et fournir des informations à propos des paquets *.deb.
dpkg est un outil de bas niveau, à comparer avec l’Advanced Packaging Tool (APT) qui, couplé à des surcouches telles qu’Aptitude ou Synaptic (qui ajoute entre autres une interface graphique conviviale), est un outil de haut niveau utilisé pour rechercher les paquets à partir d’emplacements distants ou traiter des relations de dépendances complexes entre paquets. APT est de manière générale, plus utilisé que dpkg.

dpkg-source dpkg utilities dpkg-source


dpkg-source – Debian source package (.dsc) manipulation tool


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‐
arate argument.

-x, –extract filename.dsc [output-directory] Extract a source package (–extract since dpkg 1.17.14). One
non-option argument must be supplied, the name of the Debian
source control file (.dsc). An optional second non-option argu‐
ment 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, –build directory [format-specific-parameters] Build a source package (–build since dpkg 1.17.14). The first
non-option argument is taken as the name of the directory con‐
taining 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, addi‐
tional 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 depre‐
cated and will be removed at some point in the future, you
should always document the desired source format in
debian/source/format. See section SOURCE PACKAGE FORMATS for an
extensive description of the various source package formats.

–print-format directory
Print the source format that would be used to build the source
package if dpkg-source –build directory was called (in the same
conditions and with the same parameters; since dpkg 1.15.5).

–before-build directory
Run the corresponding hook of the source package format (since
dpkg 1.15.8). This hook is called before any build of the pack‐
age (dpkg-buildpackage calls it very early even before
debian/rules clean). This command is idempotent and can be
called multiple times. Not all source formats implement some‐
thing 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.

–after-build directory
Run the corresponding hook of the source package format (since
dpkg 1.15.8). This hook is called after any build of the pack‐
age (dpkg-buildpackage calls it last). This command is idempo‐
tent 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 (since
dpkg 1.16.1). This command can take supplementary parameters
depending on the source format. It will error out for formats
where this operation doesn’t mean anything.

-?, –help
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 changelog 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. See dpkg-par‐
sechangelog(1) for information about alternative formats.

Use the given format for building the source package (since dpkg
1.14.17). It does override any format given in

Set an output substitution variable. See deb-substvars(5) for a
discussion of output substitution.

Read substitution variables in substvars-file; the default is to
not read any file. This option can be used multiple times to
read substitution variables from multiple files (since dpkg

Override or add an output control file field.

Remove an output control file field.

-Zcompression, –compression=compression
Specify the compression to use for created tarballs and diff
files (–compression since dpkg 1.15.5). 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. The default is xz for formats 2.0 and newer, and gzip for
format 1.0. xz is only supported since dpkg 1.15.5.

-zlevel, –compression-level=level
Compression level to use (–compression-level since dpkg
1.15.5). As with -Z it only affects newly created files. Sup‐
ported values are: 1 to 9, best, and fast. The default is 9 for
gzip and bzip2, 6 for xz and lzma.

-i[regex], –diff-ignore[=regex] You may specify a perl regular expression to match files you
want filtered out of the list of files for the diff
(–diff-ignore since dpkg 1.15.6). (This list is generated by a
find command.) (If the source package is being built as a ver‐
sion 3 source package using a VCS, this can be used to ignore
uncommited changes on specific files. Using -i.* will ignore all
of them.)

The -i option by itself enables this setting with a default
regex (preserving any modification to the default regex done by
a previous use of –extend-diff-ignore) that will filter out
control files and directories of the most common revision con‐
trol systems, backup and swap files and Libtool build output
directories. There can only be one active regex, 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 regex 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 filename
or only full filenames, you will need to provide the necessary
anchors (e.g. ‘(^|/)’, ‘($|/)’) yourself.

The perl regular expression specified will extend the default
value used by –diff-ignore and its current value, if set (since
dpkg 1.15.6). It does this by concatenating “|regex” 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.

-I[file-pattern], –tar-ignore[=file-pattern] If this option is specified, the pattern will be passed to
tar‘s –exclude option when it is called to generate a
.orig.tar or .tar file (–tar-ignore since dpkg 1.15.6). For
example, -ICVS will make tar skip over CVS directories when gen‐
erating a .tar.gz file. The option may be repeated multiple
times to list multiple patterns to exclude.

-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

Note: While they have similar purposes, -i and -I have very different
syntax and semantics. -i can only be specified once and takes a perl
compatible regular expression which is matched against the full rela‐
tive path of each file. -I can specified multiple times and takes a
filename pattern with shell wildcards. The pattern is applied to the
full relative path but also to each part of the path individually. The
exact semantic of tar’s –exclude option is somewhat complicated, see
https://www.gnu.org/software/tar/manual/tar.html#wildcards for a full

The default regex and patterns for both options can be seen in the out‐
put of the –help command.

Generic extract options
Do not copy original tarballs near the extracted source package
(since dpkg 1.14.17).

Do not check signatures and checksums before unpacking (since
dpkg 1.14.17).

Refuse to unpack the source package if it doesn’t contain an
OpenPGP signature that can be verified (since dpkg 1.15.0)
either with the user’s trustedkeys.gpg keyring, one of the ven‐
dor-specific keyrings, or one of the official Debian keyrings
(/usr/share/keyrings/debian-keyring.gpg and

Turns the bad source package version check into a non-fatal
warning (since dpkg 1.17.7). This option should only be neces‐
sary when extracting ancient source packages with broken ver‐
sions, just for backwards compatibility.

If you don’t know what source format to use, you should probably pick
either “3.0 (quilt)” or “3.0 (native)”. See
https://wiki.debian.org/Projects/DebSrc3.0 for information on the
deployment of those formats within Debian.

Format: 1.0
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 time‐
stamp 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 –build):

If a second non-option argument is supplied it should be the name of
the original source directory or tarfile or the empty string if the
package is a Debian-specific one and so has no Debianisation diffs. If
no second argument is supplied then dpkg-source will look for the orig‐
inal source tarfile package_upstream-version.orig.tar.gz or the origi‐
nal source directory directory.orig depending on the -sX arguments.

-sa, -sp, -sk, -su and -sr will not overwrite existing tarfiles or
directories. If this is desired then -sA, -sP, -sK, -sU and -sR should
be used instead.

-sk Specifies to expect the original source as a tarfile, by default
package_upstream-version.orig.tar.extension. It will leave this
original source in place as a tarfile, or copy it to the current
directory if it isn’t already there. The tarball will be
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‐
tion diffs.

-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 (since dpkg 1.15.8).
This option is not allowed in debian/source/options but can be
used in debian/source/local-options.

Extract options (with –extract):

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).

-su Unpacks the original source tree.

-sn Ensures that the original source is neither copied to the cur‐
rent directory nor unpacked. Any original source tree that was
in the current directory is still removed.

All the -sX options are mutually exclusive. If you specify more than
one only the last one will be used.

Skips application of the debian diff on top of the upstream
sources (since dpkg 1.15.1).

Format: 2.0
Extraction supported since dpkg 1.13.9, building supported since dpkg
1.14.8. 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)
Supported since dpkg 1.14.17. 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 temporary files (see default value
associated to -I option in the –help output).

Format: 3.0 (quilt)
Supported since dpkg 1.14.17. 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 tarball (.debian.tar.ext). It can also con‐
tain additional original tarballs (.orig-component.tar.ext). component
can only contain alphanumeric characters and hyphens (‘-’).


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
to fail.

The timestamp of all patched files is reset to the extraction time of
the source package (this avoids timestamp skews leading to problems
when autogenerated files are patched).

Contrary to quilt’s default behaviour, patches are expected to apply
without any fuzz. When that is not the case, you should refresh such
patches with quilt, or dpkg-source will error out while trying to apply

Similarly to quilt’s default behaviour, the patches can remove files

The file .pc/applied-patches is created if some patches have been
applied during the extraction.


All original tarballs found in the current directory are extracted in a
temporary directory by following the same logic as for the unpack, the
debian directory is copied over in the temporary directory, and all
patches except the automatic patch (debian-changes-version or
debian-changes, depending on –single-debian-patch) are applied. The
temporary directory is compared to the source package directory. When
the diff is non-empty, the build fails unless –single-debian-patch or
–auto-commit has been used, in which case the diff is stored in the
automatic patch. If the automatic patch is created/deleted, it’s
added/removed from the series file and from the quilt metadata.

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 –build) 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 this behavior.

Recording changes

–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. Once integrated, an editor is launched so that you can
edit the meta-information in the patch header.

Passing patch-file is mainly useful after a build failure that
pre-generated this file, and on this ground the given file is
removed after integration. Note also that the changes contained
in the patch file must already be applied on the tree and that
the files modified by the patch must not have supplementary
unrecorded changes.

If the patch generation detects modified binary files, they will
be automatically added to debian/source/include-binaries so that
they end up in the debian tarball (exactly like dpkg-source
–include-binaries –build would do).

Build options

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 (since dpkg Effectively this
says that the given version of the quilt metadata is compatible
with the version 2 that dpkg-source currently supports. The ver‐
sion of the quilt metadata is stored in .pc/.version.

Do not ignore removed files and include them in the automati‐
cally generated patch.

Include timestamp in the automatically generated patch.

Add all modified binaries in the debian tarball. Also add them
to debian/source/include-binaries: they will be added by default
in subsequent builds and this option is thus no more needed.

Do not try to prepare the build tree by applying patches which
are apparently unapplied (since dpkg 1.14.18).

Use debian/patches/debian-changes instead of
debian/patches/debian-changes-version for the name of the auto‐
matic patch generated during build (since dpkg 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 used.

Automatically create the main original tarball as empty if it’s
missing and if there are supplementary original tarballs (since
dpkg 1.15.6). 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” software.

–no-unapply-patches, –unapply-patches
By default, dpkg-source will automatically unapply the patches
in the –after-build hook if it did apply them during
–before-build (–unapply-patches since dpkg 1.15.8, –no-unap‐
ply-patches since dpkg 1.16.5). Those options allow you to
forcefully disable or enable the patch unapplication process.
Those options are only allowed in debian/source/local-options so
that all generated source packages have the same behavior by

The process fails if an automatic patch has been generated
(since dpkg 1.15.8). 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

The process doesn’t fail if an automatic patch has been gener‐
ated, instead it’s immediately recorded in the quilt series.

Extract options

Skips extraction of the debian tarball on top of the upstream
sources (since dpkg 1.15.1).

Do not apply patches at the end of the extraction (since dpkg

Format: 3.0 (custom)
Supported since dpkg 1.14.17. This format is special. It doesn’t rep‐
resent a real source package format but can be used to create source
packages with arbitrary files.

Build options

All non-option arguments are taken as files to integrate in the gener‐
ated source package. They must exist and are preferably in the current
directory. At least one file must be given.

Required. Defines the real format of the generated source pack‐
age. The generated .dsc file will contain this value in its
Format field and not “3.0 (custom)”.

Format: 3.0 (git)
Supported since dpkg 1.14.17. This format is experimental.

A source package in this format consists of a single bundle of a git
repository .git to hold the source of a package. There may also be a
.gitshallow file listing revisions for a shallow git clone.


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

Build options

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)
Supported since dpkg 1.14.17. This format is experimental. It gener‐
ates 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
temporary directory. Before this temporary directory is packed in a
tarball, various cleanup are done to save space.

no source format specified in debian/source/format
The file debian/source/format should always exist and indicate the
desired source format. For backwards compatibility, format “1.0” is
assumed when the file doesn’t exist but you should not rely on this: at
some point in the future dpkg-source will be modified to fail when that
file doesn’t exist.

The rationale is that format “1.0” is no longer the recommended format,
you should usually pick one of the newer formats (“3.0 (quilt)”, “3.0
(native)”) but dpkg-source will not do this automatically for you. If
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
this natively.

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
Patch files do not record permissions of files and thus executable per‐
missions are not stored in the source package. This warning reminds you
of that fact.

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 –build
or dpkg-source –print-format call. Options like –compression and
–compression-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:

# let dpkg-source create a debian.tar.bz2 with maximal compression
compression = “bzip2”
compression-level = 9
# use debian/patches/debian-changes as automatic patch
# ignore changes on config.{sub,guess}
extend-diff-ignore = “(^|/)(config.sub|config.guess)$”

Note: format options are not accepted in this file, you should use
debian/source/format instead.

Exactly like debian/source/options except that the file is not included
in the generated source package. It can be useful to store a preference
tied to the maintainer or to the VCS repository where the source pack‐
age is maintained.

debian/source/local-patch-header and debian/source/patch-header
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 spa‐
ces 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, dpkg, dselect(1).

Debian Project 2013-12-05 dpkg-source