dpkg-source(1) dpkg utilities dpkg-source(1)
dpkg-source - Debian source package (.dsc) manipulation tool
dpkg-source [options] 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
that works from this ordered list: the format indicated in the
Format field of debian/control, the format(s) indicated with the
--format command-line option(s), the format indicated in
debian/source/format, "1.0", "3.0 (native)". See below for an
extensive description of various source package formats.
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.
Try first the given format for building the source package. If
used multiple times, they are tried in order. It doesn't over-
ride any explicit Format field in debian/control but it does
override any format given in debian/source/format.
Deprecated. Set an output substitution variable. See deb-subst-
vars(5) for a discussion of output substitution.
Deprecated. Read substitution variables in substvarsfile; the
default is to not read any file.
Override or add an output control file field.
Remove an output control file field.
Specify the compression to use for created files (tarballs and
diffs). Note that this option will not cause existing tarballs
to be recompressed, it only affects new files. Supported values
are: gzip, bzip2, and lzma. gzip is the default.
Compression level to use. As with -Z it only affects newly cre-
ated files. Supported values are: 1 to 9, best, and fast. 9 is
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 is instead
used to ignore uncommitted files.) -i by itself enables the
option, with a default that will filter out control files and
directories 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.
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
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
http://www.gnu.org/software/tar/manual/tar.html#wildcards for a full
The default regexp and patterns for both options can be seen in the
output of the --help command.
GENERIC EXTRACT OPTIONS
Do not copy original tarballs near the extracted source package.
Do not check signatures and checksums before unpacking.
SOURCE PACKAGE FORMATS
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 -b):
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-
-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.
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).
-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.
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 and lzma) and a debian tarball
(.debian.tar.ext). It can also contain additional original tarballs
(.orig-component.tar.ext). component can only contain alphanumeric
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
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 debian-changes-version are applied. The temporary
directory is compared to the source package directory and the diff (if
non-empty) is stored in debian/patches/debian-changes-version. 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 regenerate 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 expects the source tree to have all patches applied
when you generate the source package. This is not the case when the
source tree has been obtained by unpacking a source package using the
Format: 1.0 for instance. To mitigate the problem, dpkg-source will
apply the patches by itself if it believes that they have not yet been
applied. To detect this situation, it uses the following heuristic: it
finds the list of supposedly 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 behaviour.
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.
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.
Do not apply patches at the end of the extraction.
Format: 3.0 (custom)
This format is particular. It doesn't represent a real source package
format but can be used to create source packages with arbitrary files.
All non-option arguments are taken as files to integrate in the gener-
ated source package. They must exist and are preferrably 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) and 3.0 (bzr)
Those formats are experimental. They generate a single tarball contain-
ing the corresponding VCS repository.
The tarball is unpacked and then the VCS is used to checkout the cur-
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.
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 Raphal Hertzog
This is free software; see the GNU General Public Licence version 2 or
later for copying conditions. There is NO WARRANTY.
Debian Project 2008-03-16 dpkg-source(1)