DH_INSTALL(1) Debhelper DH_INSTALL(1)
dh_install - install files into package build directories
dh_install [-Xitem] [--autodest] [--sourcedir=dir] [debhelperoptions]
dh_install is a debhelper program that handles installing files into
package build directories. There are many dh_install* commands that
handle installing specific types of files such as documentation,
examples, man pages, and so on, and they should be used when possible
as they often have extra intelligence for those particular tasks.
dh_install, then, is useful for installing everything else, for which
no particular intelligence is needed. It is a replacement for the old
This program may be used in one of two ways. If you just have a file or
two that the upstream Makefile does not install for you, you can run
dh_install on them to move them into place. On the other hand, maybe
you have a large package that builds multiple binary packages. You can
use the upstream Makefile to install it all into debian/tmp, and then
use dh_install to copy directories and files from there into the proper
package build directories.
From debhelper compatibility level 7 on, dh_install will fall back to
looking in debian/tmp for files, if it doesn't find them in the current
directory (or wherever you've told it to look using --sourcedir).
List the files to install into each package and the directory they
should be installed to. The format is a set of lines, where each
line lists a file or files to install, and at the end of the line
tells the directory it should be installed in. The name of the
files (or directories) to install should be given relative to the
current directory, while the installation directory is given
relative to the package build directory. You may use wildcards in
the names of the files to install (in v3 mode and above).
Note that if you list exactly one filename or wildcard-pattern on a
line by itself, with no explicit destination, then dh_install will
automatically guess the destination to use, the same as if the
--autodest option were used.
List the files that are deliberately not installed in any package.
This is used with --list-missing (or --fail-missing) as an exclude
Please keep in mind that dh_install will not expand wildcards in
This option makes dh_install keep track of the files it installs,
and then at the end, compare that list with the files in the source
directory. If any of the files (and symlinks) in the source
directory were not installed to somewhere, it will warn on stderr
This may be useful if you have a large package and want to make
sure that you don't miss installing newly added files in new
Note that files that are excluded from being moved via the -X
option are not warned about.
This option is like --list-missing, except if a file was missed, it
will not only list the missing files, but also fail with a nonzero
Exclude files that contain item anywhere in their filename from
Look in the specified directory for files to be installed.
Note that this is not the same as the --sourcedirectory option used
by the dh_auto_* commands. You rarely need to use this option,
since dh_install automatically looks for files in debian/tmp in
debhelper compatibility level 7 and above.
Guess as the destination directory to install things to. If this is
specified, you should not list destination directories in
debian/package.install files or on the command line. Instead,
dh_install will guess as follows:
Strip off debian/tmp (or the sourcedir if one is given) from the
front of the filename, if it is present, and install into the
dirname of the filename. So if the filename is debian/tmp/usr/bin,
then that directory will be copied to debian/package/usr/. If the
filename is debian/tmp/etc/passwd, it will be copied to
file|dir ... destdir
Lists files (or directories) to install and where to install them
to. The files will be installed into the first package dh_install
dh_install cannot rename files or directories, it can only install them
with the names they already have into wherever you want in the package
However, renaming can be achieved by using dh-exec with compatibility
level 9 or later. An example debian/package.install file using dh-exec
could look like:
debian/default.conf => /etc/my-package/start.conf
Please remember the following three things:
o The package must be using compatibility level 9 or later (see
o The package will need a build-dependency on dh-exec.
o The install file must be marked as executable.
This program is a part of debhelper.
Joey Hess <firstname.lastname@example.org>
9.20160115ubuntu3 2016-03-31 DH_INSTALL(1)
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