debsign [options] [changes-file|dsc-file|commands-file ...]
debsign mimics the signing aspects (and bugs) of dpkg-buildpackage(1).
It takes either an unsigned .dsc file or an unsigned .changes file
(along with the associated unsigned .dsc file found by replacing the
architecture name and .changes by .dsc if it appears in the .changes
file), and signs them using the GNU Privacy Guard. It is careful to
calculate the size and checksums of the newly signed .dsc file and
replace the original values in the .changes file.
If a .changes, .dsc or .commands file is specified, it is signed, oth-
erwise, debian/changelog is parsed to determine the name of the
.changes file to look for in the parent directory.
If a .commands file is specified it is first validated (see the details
at ftp://ftp.upload.debian.org/pub/UploadQueue/README), and the name
specified in the Uploader field is used for signing.
This utility is useful if a developer must build a package on one
machine where it is unsafe to sign it; they need then only transfer the
small .dsc and .changes files to a safe machine and then use the deb-
sign program to sign them before transferring them back. This process
can be automated in two ways. If the files to be signed live on the
remote machine, the -r option may be used to copy them to the local
machine and back again after signing. If the files live on the local
machine, then they may be transferred to the remote machine for signing
This program can take default settings from the devscripts configura-
tion files, as described below.
The .changes and .dsc files live on the specified remote host.
In this case, a .changes file must be explicitly named, with an
absolute directory or one relative to the remote home directory.
scp will be used for the copying. The [username@]remote-
host:changes syntax is permitted as an alternative. Wildcards
(* etc.) are allowed.
When debsign needs to execute GPG to sign it will run progname
(searching the PATH if necessary), instead of gpg.
Specify the maintainer name to be used for signing. (See dpkg-
buildpackage(1) for more information about the differences
between -m, -e and -k when building packages; debsign makes no
use of these distinctions except with respect to the precedence
of the various options. These multiple options are provided so
that the program will behave as expected when called by
They affect the search for the .changes file. They are provided
to mimic the behaviour of dpkg-buildpackage when determining the
name of the .changes file.
Multiarch .changes mode: This signifies that debsign should use
the most recent file with the name pattern package_ver-
sion_*+*.changes as the .changes file, allowing for the .changes
files produced by dpkg-cross.
Recreate signature, respectively use the existing signature, if
the file has been signed already. If neither option is given
and an already signed file is found the user is asked if he or
she likes to use the current signature.
Look for the .changes and .dsc files in directory DIR instead of
the parent of the source directory. This should either be an
absolute path or relative to the top of the source directory.
Do not read any configuration files. This can only be used as
the first option given on the command-line.
Display a help message and exit successfully.
Display version and copyright information and exit successfully.
The two configuration files /etc/devscripts.conf and ~/.devscripts are
sourced in that order to set configuration variables. Command line
options can be used to override configuration file settings. Environ-
ment variable settings are ignored for this purpose. The currently
recognised variables are:
Setting this is equivalent to giving a -p option.
This is the -m option.
And this is the -k option.
Always re-sign files even if they are already signed, without
This specifies the directory in which to look for the .changes
and .dsc files, and is either an absolute path or relative to
This program was written by Julian Gilbey <firstname.lastname@example.org> and is copy-
right under the GPL, version 2 or later.
DEBIAN Debian Utilities DEBSIGN(1)
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