dpkg-architecture [option...] [command]
dpkg-architecture does provide a facility to determine and set the
build and host architecture for package building.
The build architecture is always determined by an external call to
dpkg(1), and can not be set at the command line.
You can specify the host architecture by providing one or both of the
options -a and -t. The default is determined by an external call to
gcc(1), or the same as the build architecture if CC or gcc are both not
available. One out of -a and -t is sufficient, the value of the other
will be set to a usable default. Indeed, it is often better to only
specify one, because dpkg-architecture will warn you if your choice
does not match the default.
-l Print the environment variables, one each line, in the format
VARIABLE=value. This is the default action.
Check for equality of architecture (since dpkg 1.13.13). By
default debian-architecture is compared against the current
Debian architecture, being the host. This action will not expand
the architecture wildcards. Command finishes with an exit sta-
tus of 0 if matched, 1 if not matched.
Check for identity of architecture by expanding architecture-
wildcard as an architecture wildcard and comparing against the
current Debian architecture (since dpkg 1.13.13). Command fin-
ishes with an exit status of 0 if matched, 1 if not matched.
Print the value of a single variable.
-s Print an export command. This can be used to set the environment
variables using eval.
-u Print a similar command to -s but to unset all variables.
Execute a command in an environment which has all variables set
to the determined value.
-L Print a list of valid architecture names.
Show the usage message and exit.
as used by the scripts are honored (i.e. used by dpkg-architec-
ture), except if this force flag is present. This allows the
user to override a value even when the call to dpkg-architecture
is buried in some other script (for example dpkg-buildpack-
The machine the package is built on.
The machine the package is built for.
The Debian architecture string, which specifies the binary tree in
the FTP archive. Examples: i386, sparc, hurd-i386.
An architecture wildcard is a special architecture string that will
match any real architecture being part of it. The general form is
<kernel>-<cpu>. Examples: linux-any, any-i386, hurd-any.
GNU system type
An architecture specification string consisting of two parts sepa-
rated by a hyphen: cpu and system. Examples: i386-linux-gnu,
sparc-linux-gnu, i386-gnu, x86_64-netbsd.
The following variables are set by dpkg-architecture:
The Debian architecture of the build machine.
The Debian system name of the build machine (since dpkg 1.13.2).
The Debian cpu name of the build machine (since dpkg 1.13.2).
The pointer size of the build machine (in bits; since dpkg 1.15.4).
The endianness of the build machine (little / big; since dpkg
The CPU part of DEB_BUILD_GNU_TYPE.
The System part of DEB_BUILD_GNU_TYPE.
The GNU system type of the build machine.
The Debian cpu name of the host machine (since dpkg 1.13.2).
The pointer size of the host machine (in bits; since dpkg 1.15.4).
The endianness of the host machine (little / big; since dpkg
The CPU part of DEB_HOST_GNU_TYPE.
The System part of DEB_HOST_GNU_TYPE.
The GNU system type of the host machine.
The clarified GNU system type of the host machine, used for
filesystem paths (since dpkg 1.16.0).
All these files have to be present for dpkg-architecture to work. Their
location can be overridden at runtime with the environment variable
Table of known CPU names and mapping to their GNU name.
Table of known operating system names and mapping to their GNU
Mapping between Debian architecture triplets and Debian archi-
Makefile snippet that properly sets and exports all the vari-
ables that dpkg-architecture outputs (since dpkg 1.16.1).
dpkg-buildpackage accepts the -a option and passes it to dpkg-architec-
ture. Other examples:
CC=i386-gnu-gcc dpkg-architecture -c debian/rules build
eval `dpkg-architecture -u`
Check if an architecture is equal to the current architecture or a
Usage in debian/rules
The environment variables set by dpkg-architecture are passed to
debian/rules as make variables (see make documentation). However, you
should not rely on them, as this breaks manual invocation of the
script. Instead, you should always initialize them using dpkg-architec-
ture with the -q option. Here are some examples, which also show how
you can improve the cross compilation support in your package:
Retrieving the GNU system type and forwarding it to ./configure:
DEB_BUILD_GNU_TYPE ?= $(shell dpkg-architecture -qDEB_BUILD_GNU_TYPE)
DEB_HOST_GNU_TYPE ?= $(shell dpkg-architecture -qDEB_HOST_GNU_TYPE)
ifeq ($(DEB_BUILD_GNU_TYPE), $(DEB_HOST_GNU_TYPE))
confflags += --build=$(DEB_HOST_GNU_TYPE)
confflags += --build=$(DEB_BUILD_GNU_TYPE) \
Doing something only for a specific architecture:
DEB_HOST_ARCH ?= $(shell dpkg-architecture -qDEB_HOST_ARCH)
or if you only need to check the CPU or OS type, use the
DEB_HOST_ARCH_CPU or DEB_HOST_ARCH_OS variables.
Note that you can also rely on an external Makefile snippet to properly
set all the variables that dpkg-architecture can provide:
In any case, you should never use dpkg --print-architecture to get
architecture information during a package build.
Debian Project 2013-03-28 dpkg-architecture(1)
Man Pages Copyright Respective Owners. Site Copyright (C) 1994 - 2019
All Rights Reserved.