dpkg-buildpackage(1) dpkg utilities dpkg-buildpackage(1)
dpkg-buildpackage - build binary or source packages from sources
dpkg-buildpackage is a program that automates the process of building a
Debian package. It consists of the following steps:
1. It prepares the build environment by setting various environment
variables (see ENVIRONMENT), runs the init hook, and calls
dpkg-source --before-build (unless -T or --target has been used).
2. It checks that the build-dependencies and build-conflicts are satis-
fied (unless -d is specified).
3. If a specific target has been selected with the -T or --target
option, it calls that target and stops here. Otherwise it runs the
preclean hook and calls fakeroot debian/rules clean to clean the
build-tree (unless -nc is specified).
4. It runs the source hook and calls dpkg-source -b to generate the
source package (unless a binary-only build has been requested with
-b, -B or -A).
5. It runs the build hook and calls debian/rules build-target, then
runs the binary hook followed by fakeroot debian/rules binary-target
(unless a source-only build has been requested with -S). Note that
build-target and binary-target are either build and binary (default
case, or if -b is specified), or build-arch and binary-arch (if -B
or -G are specified), or build-indep and binary-indep (if -A or -g
6. It runs the changes hook and calls dpkg-genchanges to generate a
.changes file. Many dpkg-buildpackage options are forwarded to
7. It runs the postclean hook and if -tc is specified, it will call
fakeroot debian/rules clean again.
8. It calls dpkg-source --after-build.
9. It runs the check hook and calls a package checker for the .changes
file (if a command is specified in DEB_CHECK_COMMAND or with
It runs the sign hook and calls gpg2 or gpg to sign the .dsc file
(if any, unless -us is specified or on UNRELEASED builds), and the
.changes file (unless -uc is specified or on UNRELEASED builds).
It runs the done hook.
-g Specifies a build limited to source and architecture independent
packages (since dpkg 1.17.11). Passed to dpkg-genchanges.
-G Specifies a build limited to source and architecture specific
packages (since dpkg 1.17.11). Passed to dpkg-genchanges.
-b Specifies a binary-only build, no source files are to be built
and/or distributed. Passed to dpkg-genchanges.
-B Specifies a binary-only build, limited to architecture dependent
packages. Passed to dpkg-genchanges.
-A Specifies a binary-only build, limited to architecture indepen-
dent packages. Passed to dpkg-genchanges.
-S Specifies a source-only build, no binary packages need to be
made. Passed to dpkg-genchanges. Note: if what you want is
simply to (re-)build the source package, using dpkg-source is
always better as it does not require any build dependencies to
be installed to be able to call the clean target.
-F Specifies a normal full build, binary and source packages will
be built (since dpkg 1.15.8). This is the same as the default
case when no build option is specified.
Calls debian/rules target after having setup the build environ-
ment and stops the package build process here (since dpkg
1.15.0). If --as-root is also given, then the command is exe-
cuted as root (see -r). Note that official targets that are
required to be run as root by the Debian policy do not need this
Only meaningful together with --target (since dpkg 1.15.0).
Requires that the target be run with root rights.
Passed unchanged to dpkg-genchanges. See its manual page.
-a, --host-arch architecture
Specify the Debian architecture we build for (long option since
dpkg 1.17.17). The architecture of the machine we build on is
determined automatically, and is also the default for the host
-t, --host-type gnu-system-type
Specify the GNU system type we build for (long option since dpkg
1.17.17). It can be used in place of --host-arch or as a com-
plement to override the default GNU system type of the host
Specify the Debian architecture the binaries built will build
for (since dpkg 1.17.17). The default value is the host
Specify the GNU system type the binaries built will build for
(since dpkg 1.17.17). It can be used in place of --target-arch
or as a complement to override the default GNU system type of
the target Debian architecture.
Specify the profile(s) we build, as a comma-separated list
(since dpkg 1.17.2). The default behavior is to build for no
specific profile. Also sets them (as a space separated list) as
the DEB_BUILD_PROFILES environment variable which allows, for
example, debian/rules files to use this information for condi-
Number of jobs allowed to be run simultaneously, number of jobs
matching the number of online processors if auto is specified
(since dpkg 1.17.10), or unlimited number if jobs is not speci-
fied, equivalent to the make(1) option of the same name (since
dpkg 1.14.7). Will add itself to the MAKEFLAGS environment
variable, which should cause all subsequent make invocations to
inherit the option, thus forcing the parallel setting on the
packaging (and possibly the upstream build system if that uses
make) regardless of their support for parallel builds, which
might cause build failures. Also adds parallel=jobs or parallel
to the DEB_BUILD_OPTIONS environment variable which allows
debian/rules files to use this information for their own pur-
poses. The -j value will override the parallel=jobs or parallel
option in the DEB_BUILD_OPTIONS environment variable. Note that
the auto value will get replaced by the actual number of cur-
rently active processors, and as such will not get propagated to
any child process. If the number of online processors cannot be
inferred then the code will fallback to using an unlimited num-
This option (since dpkg 1.18.2) is equivalent to the -j option
except that it does not set the MAKEFLAGS environment variable,
and as such it is safer to use with any package including those
that are not parallel-build safe.
-D Check build dependencies and conflicts; abort if unsatisfied.
This is the default behavior.
-d Do not check build dependencies and conflicts.
Do not check built-in build dependencies and conflicts (since
dpkg 1.18.2). These are the distribution specific implicit
build dependencies usually required in a build environment, the
so called Build-Essential package set.
-nc Do not clean the source tree. Implies -b if nothing else has
been selected among -F, -g, -G, -B, -A or -S. Implies -d with
-S (since dpkg 1.18.0).
-tc Clean the source tree (using gain-root-command debian/rules
clean) after the package has been built.
When dpkg-buildpackage needs to execute part of the build
process as root, it prefixes the command it executes with gain-
root-command if one has been specified. Otherwise, if none has
been specified, fakeroot will be used by default, if the command
is present. gain-root-command should start with the name of a
program on the PATH and will get as arguments the name of the
real command to run and the arguments it should take. gain-
root-command can include parameters (they must be space-sepa-
rated) but no shell metacharacters. gain-root-command might
typically be fakeroot, sudo, super or really. su is not suit-
able, since it can only invoke the user's shell with -c instead
of passing arguments individually to the command to be run.
Building a Debian package usually involves invoking debian/rules
as a command with several standard parameters (since dpkg
1.14.17). With this option it's possible to use another program
invocation to build the package (it can include space separated
parameters). Alternatively it can be used to execute the stan-
dard rules file with another make program (for example by using
/usr/local/bin/make -f debian/rules as rules-file).
Command used to check the .changes file itself and any artifact
built referenced in the file (since dpkg 1.17.6). The command
should take the .changes pathname as an argument. This command
will usually be lintian.
Pass option opt to the check-command specified with
DEB_CHECK_COMMAND or --check-command (since dpkg 1.17.6). Can
be used multiple times.
Set the specified shell code hook-command as the hook hook-name,
which will run at the times specified in the run steps (since
dpkg 1.17.6). The hooks will always be executed even if the
following action is not performed (except for the binary hook).
Note: Hooks can affect the build process, and cause build fail-
ures if their commands fail, so watch out for unintended conse-
The current hook-name supported are:
init preclean source build binary changes postclean check sign
The hook-command supports the following substitution format
string, which will get applied to it before execution:
%% A single % character.
%a A boolean value (0 or 1), representing whether the fol-
lowing action is being performed.
%p The source package name.
%v The source package version.
%s The source package version (without the epoch).
%u The upstream version.
When dpkg-buildpackage needs to execute GPG to sign a source
control (.dsc) file or a .changes file it will run sign-command
(searching the PATH if necessary) instead of gpg2 or gpg. sign-
command will get all the arguments that gpg2 or gpg would have
gotten. sign-command should not contain spaces or any other
Specify a key-ID to use when signing packages.
-us Do not sign the source package.
-uc Do not sign the .changes file.
Force the signing of the resulting files (since dpkg 1.17.0),
regardless of -us or -uc or other internal heuristics.
-z, -Z Passed unchanged to dpkg-source. See its manual page.
Pass option opt to dpkg-source (since dpkg 1.15.6). Can be used
Pass option opt to dpkg-genchanges (since dpkg 1.15.6). Can be
used multiple times.
Change the location of the dpkg database (since dpkg 1.14.0).
The default location is /var/lib/dpkg.
Show the usage message and exit.
Show the version and exit.
If set, it will be used as the command to check the .changes
file (since dpkg 1.17.6). Overridden by the --check-command
If set, it will be used to sign the .changes and .dsc files
(since dpkg 1.17.2). Overridden by the -k option.
If set, and containing nocheck the DEB_CHECK_COMMAND variable
will be ignored.
If set, it will be used as the active build profile(s) for the
package being built (since dpkg 1.17.2). It is a space sepa-
rated list of profile names. Overridden by the -P option.
Reliance on exported environment flags
Even if dpkg-buildpackage exports some variables, debian/rules should
not rely on their presence and should instead use the respective inter-
face to retrieve the needed values.
Variables set by dpkg-architecture
dpkg-architecture is called with the -a and -t parameters forwarded.
Any variable that is output by its -s option is integrated in the build
Compiler flags are no longer exported
Between dpkg 1.14.17 and 1.16.1, dpkg-buildpackage exported compiler
flags (CFLAGS, CXXFLAGS, FFLAGS, CPPFLAGS and LDFLAGS) with values as
returned by dpkg-buildflags. This is no longer the case.
Default build targets
dpkg-buildpackage is using the build-arch and build-indep targets since
dpkg 1.16.2. Those targets are thus mandatory. But to avoid breakages
of existing packages, and ease the transition, it will fallback to
using the build target if make -f debian/rules -qn build-target returns
2 as exit code.
It should be possible to specify spaces and shell metacharacters and
initial arguments for gain-root-command and sign-command.
dpkg-source(1), dpkg-architecture(1), dpkg-buildflags(1),
dpkg-genchanges(1), fakeroot(1), lintian(1), gpg2(1), gpg(1).
Debian Project 2015-07-05 dpkg-buildpackage(1)
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