debhelper(7)                       Debhelper                      debhelper(7)

       debhelper - the debhelper tool suite

       dh_* [-v] [-a] [-i] [--no-act] [-ppackage] [-Npackage] [-Ptmpdir]

       Debhelper is used to help you build a Debian package. The philosophy
       behind debhelper is to provide a collection of small, simple, and
       easily understood tools that are used in debian/rules to automate
       various common aspects of building a package. This means less work for
       you, the packager.  It also, to some degree means that these tools can
       be changed if Debian policy changes, and packages that use them will
       require only a rebuild to comply with the new policy.

       A typical debian/rules file that uses debhelper will call several
       debhelper commands in sequence, or use dh(1) to automate this process.
       Examples of rules files that use debhelper are in

       To create a new Debian package using debhelper, you can just copy one
       of the sample rules files and edit it by hand. Or you can try the dh-
       make package, which contains a dh_make command that partially automates
       the process. For a more gentle introduction, the maint-guide Debian
       package contains a tutorial about making your first package using

       Except where tool explicitly denotes otherwise, all of the debhelper
       tools assumes that they run from root directory of an unpacked source
       package.  This is so they can locate find debian/control and
       debian/compat when needed.

       Here is the list of debhelper commands you can use. See their man pages
       for additional documentation.

           automatically builds a package

           automatically cleans up after a build

           automatically configure a package prior to building

           automatically runs make install or similar

           automatically runs a package's test suites

           install bug reporting customization files into package build

           build Debian binary packages

           clean up package build directories

           compress files and fix symlinks in package build directories

           optimize DWARF debug information in ELF binaries via dwz

           fix permissions of files in package build directories

           install GConf defaults files and register schemas

           generate and install control file

           Update caches of Freedesktop icons

           install files into package build directories

           install and register SGML Catalogs

           install changelogs into package build directories

           install cron scripts into etc/cron.*

           install files into the DEBIAN directory

           install files used by debconf in package build directories

           create subdirectories in package build directories

           install documentation into package build directories

           register an Emacs add on package

           install example files into package build directories

           install GSettings overrides and set dependencies

           install if-up and if-down hooks

           install info files

           install service init files into package build directories

           install logcheck rulefiles into etc/logcheck/

           install logrotate config files

           install man pages into package build directories

           install Debian menu files into package build directories

           install mime files into package build directories

           register kernel modules

           install pam support files

           install ppp ip-up and ip-down files

           install systemd unit files

           install udev rules files

           register a window manager

           register X fonts

           create symlinks in package build directories

           install lintian override files into package build directories

           list binary packages debhelper will act on

           automatically create shlibs file and call dpkg-gensymbols

           generate DEBIAN/md5sums file

           check for missing files

           move files out of debian/tmp into subpackages

           calculates Perl dependencies and cleans up after MakeMaker

           perform cleanups in preparation for building a binary package

           calculate shared library dependencies

           strip executables, shared libraries, and some static libraries

           enable/disable systemd unit files

           start/stop/restart systemd unit files

           test directory before building Debian package

           ensure that a package is built with necessary level of root

           register configuration files with ucf

           Update autotools config files

           migrate usr/local directories to maintainer scripts

   Deprecated Commands
       A few debhelper commands are deprecated and should not be used.

           old-style man page installer (deprecated)

   Other Commands
       If a program's name starts with dh_, and the program is not on the
       above lists, then it is not part of the debhelper package, but it
       should still work like the other programs described on this page.

       Many debhelper commands make use of files in debian/ to control what
       they do. Besides the common debian/changelog and debian/control, which
       are in all packages, not just those using debhelper, some additional
       files can be used to configure the behavior of specific debhelper
       commands. These files are typically named debian/ (where
       package of course, is replaced with the package that is being acted

       For example, dh_installdocs uses files named debian/ to
       list the documentation files it will install. See the man pages of
       individual commands for details about the names and formats of the
       files they use.  Generally, these files will list files to act on, one
       file per line. Some programs in debhelper use pairs of files and
       destinations or slightly more complicated formats.

       Note for the first (or only) binary package listed in debian/control,
       debhelper will use debian/foo when there's no debian/ file.

       In some rare cases, you may want to have different versions of these
       files for different architectures or OSes. If files named
       debian/ or debian/ exist, where ARCH and
       OS are the same as the output of "dpkg-architecture -qDEB_HOST_ARCH" /
       "dpkg-architecture -qDEB_HOST_ARCH_OS", then they will be used in
       preference to other, more general files.

       Mostly, these config files are used to specify lists of various types
       of files. Documentation or example files to install, files to move, and
       so on.  When appropriate, in cases like these, you can use standard
       shell wildcard characters (? and * and [..] character classes) in the
       files.  You can also put comments in these files; lines beginning with
       # are ignored.

       The syntax of these files is intentionally kept very simple to make
       them easy to read, understand, and modify. If you prefer power and
       complexity, you can make the file executable, and write a program that
       outputs whatever content is appropriate for a given situation. When you
       do so, the output is not further processed to expand wildcards or strip

       The following command line options are supported by all debhelper

       -v, --verbose
           Verbose mode: show all commands that modify the package build

           Do not really do anything. If used with -v, the result is that the
           command will output what it would have done.

       -a, --arch
           Act on architecture dependent packages that should be built for the
           DEB_HOST_ARCH architecture.

       -i, --indep
           Act on all architecture independent packages.

       -ppackage, --package=package
           Act on the package named package. This option may be specified
           multiple times to make debhelper operate on a given set of

       -s, --same-arch
           Deprecated alias of -a.

           This option is removed in compat 12.

       -Npackage, --no-package=package
           Do not act on the specified package even if an -a, -i, or -p option
           lists the package as one that should be acted on.

           Do not act on the packages which have already been acted on by this
           debhelper command earlier (i.e. if the command is present in the
           package debhelper log).  For example, if you need to call the
           command with special options only for a couple of binary packages,
           pass this option to the last call of the command to process the
           rest of packages with default settings.

           Ignore the specified file. This can be used if debian/ contains a
           debhelper config file that a debhelper command should not act on.
           Note that debian/compat, debian/control, and debian/changelog can't
           be ignored, but then, there should never be a reason to ignore
           those files.

           For example, if upstream ships a debian/init that you don't want
           dh_installinit to install, use --ignore=debian/init

       -Ptmpdir, --tmpdir=tmpdir
           Use tmpdir for package build directory. The default is

           This little-used option changes the package which debhelper
           considers the "main package", that is, the first one listed in
           debian/control, and the one for which debian/foo files can be used
           instead of the usual debian/ files.

           This is used by dh(1) when passing user-specified options to all
           the commands it runs. If the command supports the specified option
           or option bundle, it will take effect. If the command does not
           support the option (or any part of an option bundle), it will be

       The following command line options are supported by some debhelper
       programs.  See the man page of each program for a complete explanation
       of what each option does.

       -n  Do not modify postinst, postrm, etc. scripts.

       -Xitem, --exclude=item
           Exclude an item from processing. This option may be used multiple
           times, to exclude more than one thing. The \fIitem\fR is typically
           part of a filename, and any file containing the specified text will
           be excluded.

       -A, --all
           Makes files or other items that are specified on the command line
           take effect in ALL packages acted on, not just the first.

       The following command line options are supported by all of the
       dh_auto_* debhelper programs. These programs support a variety of build
       systems, and normally heuristically determine which to use, and how to
       use them.  You can use these command line options to override the
       default behavior.  Typically these are passed to dh(1), which then
       passes them to all the dh_auto_* programs.

       -Sbuildsystem, --buildsystem=buildsystem
           Force use of the specified buildsystem, instead of trying to auto-
           select one which might be applicable for the package.

       -Ddirectory, --sourcedirectory=directory
           Assume that the original package source tree is at the specified
           directory rather than the top level directory of the Debian source
           package tree.

       -B[directory], --builddirectory=[directory]
           Enable out of source building and use the specified directory as
           the build directory. If directory parameter is omitted, a default
           build directory will be chosen.

           If this option is not specified, building will be done in source by
           default unless the build system requires or prefers out of source
           tree building.  In such a case, the default build directory will be
           used even if --builddirectory is not specified.

           If the build system prefers out of source tree building but still
           allows in source building, the latter can be re-enabled by passing
           a build directory path that is the same as the source directory

       --parallel, --no-parallel
           Control whether parallel builds should be used if underlying build
           system supports them.  The number of parallel jobs is controlled by
           the DEB_BUILD_OPTIONS environment variable ("Debian Policy, section
           4.9.1") at build time. It might also be subject to a build system
           specific limit.

           If neither option is specified, debhelper currently defaults to
           --parallel in compat 10 (or later) and --no-parallel otherwise.

           As an optimization, dh will try to avoid passing these options to
           subprocesses, if they are unnecessary and the only options passed.
           Notably this happens when DEB_BUILD_OPTIONS does not have a
           parallel parameter (or its value is 1).

           This option implies --parallel and allows further limiting the
           number of jobs that can be used in a parallel build. If the package
           build is known to only work with certain levels of concurrency, you
           can set this to the maximum level that is known to work, or that
           you wish to support.

           Notably, setting the maximum to 1 is effectively the same as using

       --list, -l
           List all build systems supported by debhelper on this system. The
           list includes both default and third party build systems (marked as
           such). Also shows which build system would be automatically
           selected, or which one is manually specified with the --buildsystem

       From time to time, major non-backwards-compatible changes need to be
       made to debhelper, to keep it clean and well-designed as needs change
       and its author gains more experience. To prevent such major changes
       from breaking existing packages, the concept of debhelper compatibility
       levels was introduced. You must tell debhelper which compatibility
       level it should use, and it modifies its behavior in various ways.  The
       compatibility level is specified in the debian/compat file and the file
       must be present.

       Tell debhelper what compatibility level to use by writing a number to
       debian/compat. For example, to use v11 mode:

         % echo 11 > debian/compat

       Your package will also need a versioned build dependency on a version
       of debhelper equal to (or greater than) the compatibility level your
       package uses. So for compatibility level 11, ensure debian/control has:

         Build-Depends: debhelper (>= 11)

       Unless otherwise indicated, all debhelper documentation assumes that
       you are using the most recent compatibility level, and in most cases
       does not indicate if the behavior is different in an earlier
       compatibility level, so if you are not using the most recent
       compatibility level, you're advised to read below for notes about what
       is different in earlier compatibility levels.

   Supported compatibility levels
       These are the available compatibility levels:

       v5  This is the lowest supported compatibility level.

           If you are upgrading from an earlier compatibility level, please
           review debhelper-obsolete-compat(7).

           This mode is deprecated.

       v6  Changes from v5 are:

           -       Commands that generate maintainer script fragments will
                   order the fragments in reverse order for the prerm and
                   postrm scripts.

           -       dh_installwm will install a slave manpage link for
                   x-window-manager.1.gz, if it sees the man page in
                   usr/share/man/man1 in the package build directory.

           -       dh_builddeb did not previously delete everything matching
                   DH_ALWAYS_EXCLUDE, if it was set to a list of things to
                   exclude, such as CVS:.svn:.git. Now it does.

           -       dh_installman allows overwriting existing man pages in the
                   package build directory. In previous compatibility levels
                   it silently refuses to do this.

           This mode is deprecated.

       v7  Changes from v6 are:

           -       dh_install, will fall back to looking for files in
                   debian/tmp if it doesn't find them in the current directory
                   (or wherever you tell it look using --sourcedir). This
                   allows dh_install to interoperate with dh_auto_install,
                   which installs to debian/tmp, without needing any special

           -       dh_clean will read debian/clean and delete files listed

           -       dh_clean will delete toplevel *-stamp files.

           -       dh_installchangelogs will guess at what file is the
                   upstream changelog if none is specified.

           This mode is deprecated.

       v8  Changes from v7 are:

           -       Commands will fail rather than warning when they are passed
                   unknown options.

           -       dh_makeshlibs will run dpkg-gensymbols on all shared
                   libraries that it generates shlibs files for. So -X can be
                   used to exclude libraries.  Also, libraries in unusual
                   locations that dpkg-gensymbols would not have processed
                   before will be passed to it, a behavior change that can
                   cause some packages to fail to build.

           -       dh requires the sequence to run be specified as the first
                   parameter, and any switches come after it. Ie, use "dh $@
                   --foo", not "dh --foo $@".

           -       dh_auto_* prefer to use Perl's Module::Build in preference
                   to Makefile.PL.

           This mode is deprecated.

       v9  Changes from v8 are:

           -       Multiarch support. In particular, dh_auto_configure passes
                   multiarch directories to autoconf in --libdir and

           -       dh is aware of the usual dependencies between targets in
                   debian/rules.  So, "dh binary" will run any build, build-
                   arch, build-indep, install, etc targets that exist in the
                   rules file. There's no need to define an explicit binary
                   target with explicit dependencies on the other targets.

           -       dh_strip compresses debugging symbol files to reduce the
                   installed size of -dbg packages.

           -       dh_auto_configure does not include the source package name
                   in --libexecdir when using autoconf.

           -       dh does not default to enabling --with=python-support

                   (Obsolete: As the dh_pysupport tool was removed from Debian
                   stretch.  Since debhelper/10.3, dh no longer enables this
                   sequence add-on regardless of compat level)

           -       All of the dh_auto_* debhelper programs and dh set
                   environment variables listed by dpkg-buildflags, unless
                   they are already set.

           -       dh_auto_configure passes dpkg-buildflags CFLAGS, CPPFLAGS,
                   and LDFLAGS to perl Makefile.PL and Build.PL

           -       dh_strip puts separated debug symbols in a location based
                   on their build-id.

           -       Executable debhelper config files are run and their output
                   used as the configuration.

       v10 Changes from v9 are:

           -       dh_installinit will no longer install a file named
                   debian/package as an init script.

           -       dh_installdocs will error out if it detects links created
                   with --link-doc between packages of architecture "all" and
                   non-"all" as it breaks binNMUs.

           -       dh no longer creates the package build directory when
                   skipping running debhelper commands. This will not affect
                   packages that only build with debhelper commands, but it
                   may expose bugs in commands not included in debhelper.

           -       dh_installdeb no longer installs a maintainer-provided
                   debian/package.shlibs file.  This is now done by
                   dh_makeshlibs instead.

           -       dh_installwm refuses to create a broken package if no man
                   page can be found (required to register for the x-window-
                   manager alternative).

           -       Debhelper will default to --parallel for all buildsystems
                   that support parallel building.  This can be disabled by
                   using either --no-parallel or passing --max-parallel with a
                   value of 1.

           -       The dh command will not accept any of the deprecated
                   "manual sequence control" parameters (--before, --after,
                   etc.).  Please use override targets instead.

           -       The dh command will no longer use log files to track which
                   commands have been run.  The dh command still keeps track
                   of whether it already ran the "build" sequence and skip it
                   if it did.

                   The main effects of this are:

                   -   With this, it is now easier to debug the install or/and
                       binary sequences because they can now trivially be re-
                       run (without having to do a full "clean and rebuild"

                   -   The main caveat is that dh_* now only keeps track of
                       what happened in a single override target.  When all
                       the calls to a given dh_cmd command happens in the same
                       override target everything will work as before.

                       Example of where it can go wrong:

                           dh_foo -pmy-pkg

                           dh_foo --remaining

                       In this case, the call to dh_foo --remaining will also
                       include my-pkg, since dh_foo -pmy-pkg was run in a
                       separate override target.  This issue is not limited to
                       --remaining, but also includes -a, -i, etc.

           -       The dh_installdeb command now shell-escapes the lines in
                   the maintscript config file.  This was the original intent
                   but it did not work properly and packages have begun to
                   rely on the incomplete shell escaping (e.g. quoting file

           -       The dh_installinit command now defaults to
                   --restart-after-upgrade.  For packages needing the previous
                   behaviour, please use --no-restart-after-upgrade.

           -       The autoreconf sequence is now enabled by default.  Please
                   pass --without autoreconf to dh if this is not desirable
                   for a given package

           -       The systemd sequence is now enabled by default.  Please
                   pass --without systemd to dh if this is not desirable for a
                   given package.

       v11 This is the recommended mode of operation.

           Changes from v10 are:

           -       dh_installinit no longer installs service or tmpfile files,
                   nor generates maintainer scripts for those files.  Please
                   use the new dh_installsystemd helper.

           -       The dh_systemd_enable and dh_systemd_start helpers have
                   been replaced by the new dh_installsystemd helper.  For the
                   same reason, the systemd sequence for dh has also been
                   removed.  If you need to disable the dh_installsystemd
                   helper tool, please use an empty override target.

                   Please note that the dh_installsystemd tool has a slightly
                   different behaviour in some cases (e.g. when using the
                   --name parameter).

           -       dh_installdirs no longer creates debian/package directories
                   unless explicitly requested (or it has to create a
                   subdirectory in it).

                   The vast majority of all packages will be unaffected by
                   this change.

           -       The makefile buildsystem now passes INSTALL=install
                   --strip-program=true to make(1).  Derivative buildsystems
                   (e.g. configure or cmake) are unaffected by this change.

           -       The autoconf buildsystem now passes --runstatedir=/run to

           -       The cmake buildsystem now passes
                   -DCMAKE_INSTALL_RUNSTATEDIR=/run to cmake(1).

           -       dh_installman will now prefer detecting the language from
                   the path name rather than the extension.

           -       dh_auto_install will now only create the destination
                   directory it needs.  Previously, it would create the
                   package build directory for all packages.  This will not
                   affect packages that only build with debhelper commands,
                   but it may expose bugs in commands not included in

           -       The helpers dh_installdocs, dh_installexamples,
                   dh_installinfo, and dh_installman now error out if their
                   config has a pattern that does not match anything or
                   reference a path that does not exist.

                   Known exceptions include building with the nodoc profile,
                   where the above tools will silently permit failed matches
                   where the patterns are used to specify documentation.

           -       The helpers dh_installdocs, dh_installexamples,
                   dh_installinfo, and dh_installman now accept the parameter
                   --sourcedir with same meaning as dh_install. Furthermore,
                   they now also fall back to debian/tmp like dh_install.

                   Migration note: A bug in debhelper 11 up to 11.1.5 made
                   dh_installinfo incorrectly ignore --sourcedir.

           -       The perl-makemaker and perl-build build systems no longer
                   pass -I. to perl.  Packages that still need this behaviour
                   can emulate it by using the PERL5LIB environment variable.
                   E.g. by adding export PERL5LIB=. in their debian/rules file
                   (or similar).

           -       The PERL_USE_UNSAFE_INC environment variable is no longer
                   set by dh or any of the dh_auto_* tools.  It was added as a
                   temporary work around to avoid a lot of packages failing to
                   build at the same time.

                   Note this item will eventually become obsolete as upstream
                   intends to drop support for the PERL_USE_UNSAFE_INC
                   environment variable.  When perl drops support for it, then
                   this variable will be removed retroactively from existing
                   compat levels as well.

           -       The dh_makeshlibs helper will now exit with an error if
                   objdump returns a non-zero exit from analysing a given

           -       The dh_installdocs and dh_installexamples tools will now
                   attempt to guess the "main package" for a given
                   documentation package (e.g. pkg-doc will have pkg as main
                   package if the latter exists).  If a main package is found,
                   most of the documentation will be installed into
                   /usr/share/doc/main-pkg by default as recommended by Debian
                   policy S12.3 since version 3.9.7.  Notable exceptions
                   include the copyright file and changelog files.

                   The --doc-main-package option can be used when the auto-
                   detection is insufficient.

           -       The dh_strip and dh_shlibdeps tools no longer uses filename
                   patterns to determine which files to process.  Instead,
                   they open the file and look for an ELF header to determine
                   if a given file is an shared object or an ELF executable.

                   This change may cause the tools to process more files than

       v12 This compatibility level is still open for development; use with

           Changes from v11 are:

           -       The -s (--same-arch) option is removed.  Please use -a
                   (--arch) instead.

           -       Invoking dh_clean -k now causes an error instead of a
                   deprecation warning.

           -       The --no-restart-on-upgrade option in dh_installinit has
                   been removed.  Please use the new name --no-stop-on-upgrade

           -       There was a bug in the doit (and similar) functions from
                   Debian::Debhelper::Dh_Lib that made them spawn a shell in
                   one particular circumstance.  This bug is now removed and
                   will cause helpers that rely on the bug to fail with a
                   "command not found"-error.

           -       The --list-missing and --fail-missing in dh_install has
                   been removed.  Please use dh_missing and its corresponding
                   options, which can also see the files installed by other

           -       The dh_installinit helper no longer installs configuration
                   for the upstart init system.  Instead, it will abort the
                   build if it finds an old upstart configuration file.  The
                   error is there to remind the package maintainer to ensure
                   the proper removal of the conffiles shipped in previous
                   versions of the package (if any).

           -       The dh_installdeb tool will do basic validation of some
                   dpkg-maintscript-helper(1) commands and will error out if
                   the commands appear to be invalid.

           -       The dh_missing tool will now default to --list-missing.

           -       The dh_makeshlibs tool will now only pass libraries to
                   dpkg-gensymbols(1) if the ELF binary has a SONAME
                   (containing ".so").

           -       The dh_compress tool no longer compresses examples (i.e.
                   anything installed in </usr/share/doc/package/examples>.)

   Multiple binary package support
       If your source package generates more than one binary package,
       debhelper programs will default to acting on all binary packages when
       run. If your source package happens to generate one architecture
       dependent package, and another architecture independent package, this
       is not the correct behavior, because you need to generate the
       architecture dependent packages in the binary-arch debian/rules target,
       and the architecture independent packages in the binary-indep
       debian/rules target.

       To facilitate this, as well as give you more control over which
       packages are acted on by debhelper programs, all debhelper programs
       accept the -a, -i, -p, and -s parameters. These parameters are
       cumulative.  If none are given, debhelper programs default to acting on
       all packages listed in the control file, with the exceptions below.

       First, any package whose Architecture field in debian/control does not
       match the DEB_HOST_ARCH architecture will be excluded ("Debian Policy,
       section 5.6.8").

       Also, some additional packages may be excluded based on the contents of
       the DEB_BUILD_PROFILES environment variable and Build-Profiles fields
       in binary package stanzas in debian/control, according to the draft
       policy at <>.

       Interaction between package selections and Build-Profiles

       Build-Profiles affect which packages are included in the package
       selections mechanisms in debhelper.  Generally, the package selections
       are described from the assumption that all packages are enabled.  This
       section describes how the selections react when a package is disabled
       due to the active Build-Profiles (or lack of active Build-Profiles).

       -a/--arch, -i/--indep OR no selection options (a raw "dh_X" call)
           The package disabled by Build-Profiles is silently excluded from
           the selection.

           Note you will receive a warning if all packages related to these
           selections are disabled.  In that case, it generally does not make
           sense to do the build in the first place.

       -N package / --no-package package
           The option is accepted and effectively does nothing.

       -p package / --package package
           The option is accepted, but debhelper will not act on the package.

       Note that it does not matter whether a package is enabled or disabled
       by default.

   Automatic generation of Debian install scripts
       Some debhelper commands will automatically generate parts of Debian
       maintainer scripts. If you want these automatically generated things
       included in your existing Debian maintainer scripts, then you need to
       add #DEBHELPER# to your scripts, in the place the code should be added.
       #DEBHELPER# will be replaced by any auto-generated code when you run

       If a script does not exist at all and debhelper needs to add something
       to it, then debhelper will create the complete script.

       All debhelper commands that automatically generate code in this way let
       it be disabled by the -n parameter (see above).

       Note that the inserted code will be shell code, so you cannot directly
       use it in a Perl script. If you would like to embed it into a Perl
       script, here is one way to do that (note that I made sure that $1, $2,
       etc are set with the set command):

         my $temp="set -e\nset -- @ARGV\n" . << 'EOF';
         if (system($temp)) {
            my $exit_code = ($? >> 8) & 0xff;
            my $signal = $? & 0x7f;
            if ($exit_code) {
                die("The debhelper script failed with error code: ${exit_code}");
            } else {
                die("The debhelper script was killed by signal: ${signal}");


   Automatic generation of miscellaneous dependencies.
       Some debhelper commands may make the generated package need to depend
       on some other packages. For example, if you use dh_installdebconf(1),
       your package will generally need to depend on debconf. Or if you use
       dh_installxfonts(1), your package will generally need to depend on a
       particular version of xutils. Keeping track of these miscellaneous
       dependencies can be annoying since they are dependent on how debhelper
       does things, so debhelper offers a way to automate it.

       All commands of this type, besides documenting what dependencies may be
       needed on their man pages, will automatically generate a substvar
       called ${misc:Depends}. If you put that token into your debian/control
       file, it will be expanded to the dependencies debhelper figures you

       This is entirely independent of the standard ${shlibs:Depends}
       generated by dh_makeshlibs(1), and the ${perl:Depends} generated by
       dh_perl(1).  You can choose not to use any of these, if debhelper's
       guesses don't match reality.

   Package build directories
       By default, all debhelper programs assume that the temporary directory
       used for assembling the tree of files in a package is debian/package.

       Sometimes, you might want to use some other temporary directory. This
       is supported by the -P flag. For example, "dh_installdocs
       -Pdebian/tmp", will use debian/tmp as the temporary directory. Note
       that if you use -P, the debhelper programs can only be acting on a
       single package at a time. So if you have a package that builds many
       binary packages, you will need to also use the -p flag to specify which
       binary package the debhelper program will act on.

       Debhelper includes support for udebs. To create a udeb with debhelper,
       add "Package-Type: udeb" to the package's stanza in debian/control.
       Debhelper will try to create udebs that comply with debian-installer
       policy, by making the generated package files end in .udeb, not
       installing any documentation into a udeb, skipping over preinst,
       postrm, prerm, and config scripts, etc.

       The following environment variables can influence the behavior of
       debhelper.  It is important to note that these must be actual
       environment variables in order to function properly (not simply
       Makefile variables). To specify them properly in debian/rules, be sure
       to "export" them. For example, "export DH_VERBOSE".

           Set to 1 to enable verbose mode. Debhelper will output every
           command it runs. Also enables verbose build logs for some build
           systems like autoconf.

           Set to 1 to enable quiet mode. Debhelper will not output commands
           calling the upstream build system nor will dh print which
           subcommands are called and depending on the upstream build system
           might make that more quiet, too.  This makes it easier to spot
           important messages but makes the output quite useless as buildd
           log.  Ignored if DH_VERBOSE is also set.

           Temporarily specifies what compatibility level debhelper should run
           at, overriding any value in debian/compat.

           Set to 1 to enable no-act mode.

           Anything in this variable will be prepended to the command line
           arguments of all debhelper commands.

           When using dh(1), it can be passed options that will be passed on
           to each debhelper command, which is generally better than using

           If set, this adds the value the variable is set to to the -X
           options of all commands that support the -X option. Moreover,
           dh_builddeb will rm -rf anything that matches the value in your
           package build tree.

           This can be useful if you are doing a build from a CVS source tree,
           in which case setting DH_ALWAYS_EXCLUDE=CVS will prevent any CVS
           directories from sneaking into the package you build. Or, if a
           package has a source tarball that (unwisely) includes CVS
           directories, you might want to export DH_ALWAYS_EXCLUDE=CVS in
           debian/rules, to make it take effect wherever your package is

           Multiple things to exclude can be separated with colons, as in

           If set, this adds the specified dh addons to be run in the
           appropriate places in the sequence of commands. This is equivalent
           to specifying the addon to run with the --with flag in the
           debian/rules file. Any --without calls specifying an addon in this
           environment variable will not be run.

           This is intended to be used by downstreams or specific local
           configurations that require a debhelper addon to be run during
           multiple builds without having to patch a large number of rules
           file. If at all possible, this should be avoided in favor of a
           --with flag in the rules file.

           A set of example debian/rules files that use debhelper.

           Debhelper web site.

       Joey Hess <>

11.1.6ubuntu2                     2018-05-10                      debhelper(7)
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