debcheckout - checkout the development repository of a Debian package
debcheckout [OPTIONS] PACKAGE [DESTDIR]
debcheckout [OPTIONS] REPOSITORY_URL [DESTDIR]
debcheckout retrieves the information about the Version Control System
used to maintain a given Debian package (the PACKAGE argument), and
then checks out the latest (potentially unreleased) version of the
package from its repository. By default the repository is checked out
to the PACKAGE directory; this can be overridden by providing the
The information about where the repository is available is expected to
be found in Vcs-* fields available in the source package record. For
example, the vim package exposes such information with a field like
Vcs-Hg:http://hg.debian.org/hg/pkg-vim/vim, you can see it by grepping
through apt-cache showsrc vim.
If more than one source package record containing Vcs-* fields is
available, debcheckout will select the record with the highest version
number. Alternatively, a particular version may be selected from those
available by specifying the package name as PACKAGE=VERSION.
If you already know the URL of a given repository you can invoke
debcheckout directly on it, but you will probably need to pass the
appropriate -t flag. That is, some heuristics are in use to guess the
repository type from the URL; if they fail, you might want to override
the guessed type using -t.
The currently supported version control systems are: Arch (arch),
Bazaar (bzr), CVS (cvs), Darcs (darcs), Git (git), Mercurial (hg) and
Work in authenticated mode; this means that for known repositories
(mainly those hosted on https://salsa.debian.org) URL rewriting is
attempted before checking out, to ensure that the repository can be
committed to. For example, for Git repositories hosted on Salsa
this means that email@example.com:...git will be used instead of
There are built-in rules for salsa.debian.org, alioth.debian.org
and github.com. Other hosts can be configured using
Only print a list of detailed information about the package
repository, without checking it out; the output format is a list of
fields, each field being a pair of TAB-separated field name and
field value. The actual fields depend on the repository type. This
action might require a network connection to the remote repository.
Also see -p. This option and -p are mutually exclusive.
Print a detailed help message and exit.
Only print a summary about package repository information, without
checking it out; the output format is TAB-separated with two
fields: repository type, repository URL. This action works offline,
it only uses "static" information as known by APT's cache.
Also see -d. This option and -d are mutually exclusive.
-P package, --package package
When checking out a repository URL, instead of trying to guess the
package name from the URL, use this package name.
-t TYPE, --type TYPE
Override the repository type (which defaults to some heuristics
based on the URL or, in case of heuristic failure, the fallback
"git"); should be one of the currently supported repository types.
-u USERNAME, --user USERNAME
Specify the login name to be used in authenticated mode (see -a).
This option implies -a: you don't need to specify both.
-f FILE, --file FILE
Specify that the named file should be extracted from the repository
and placed in the destination directory. May be used more than once
to extract multiple files.
Some packages only place the debian directory in version control.
debcheckout can retrieve the remaining parts of the source using
apt-get source and move the files into the checkout.
Only use the repository.
If the repository only contains the debian directory, retrieve
the source package, unpack it, and also place the .orig.tar.gz
file into the current directory. Else, do nothing.
Always retrieve the .orig.tar.gz file, but do not unpack it.
Always retrieve the .orig.tar.gz file, and if the repository
only contains the debian directory, unpack it.
Specify a list of remote branches which will be set up for tracking
(as in gitbranch--track, see git-branch(1)) after the remote Git
repository has been cloned. The list should be given as a space-
separated list of branch names.
As a shorthand, the string "*" can be given to require tracking of
all remote branches.
The two configuration files /etc/devscripts.conf and ~/.devscripts are
sourced by a shell in that order to set configuration variables.
Command line options can be used to override configuration file
settings. Environment variable settings are ignored for this purpose.
The currently recognised variables are:
This variable should be a space separated list of Perl regular
expressions and replacement texts, which must come in pairs: REGEXP
TEXT REGEXP TEXT ... and so on. Each pair denotes a substitution
which is applied to repository URLs if other built-in means of
building URLs for authenticated mode (see -a) have failed.
References to matching substrings in the replacement texts are
allowed as usual in Perl by the means of $1, $2, ... and so on.
This setting is used to configure the "authenticated mode" location
for repositories. The Debian repositories on salsa.debian.org are
implicitly defined, as is github.com.
Here is a sample snippet suitable for the configuration files:
Note that whitespace is not allowed in either regexps or
replacement texts. Also, given that configuration files are sourced
by a shell, you probably want to use single quotes around the value
of this variable.
This variable determines under what scenarios the associated
orig.tar.gz for a package will be downloaded. See the --source
option for a description of the values.
This variable sets the username for authenticated mode. It can be
overridden with the --user option. Setting this variable does not
imply the use of authenticated mode, it still has to be activated
apt-cache(8), Section 6.2.5 of the Debian Developer's Reference (for
more information about Vcs-* fields):
debcheckout and this manpage have been written by Stefano Zacchiroli
Debian Utilities 2018-07-05 DEBCHECKOUT(1)
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