dh_make [-nlsmiadhry] [-c license] [-e address] [-f file] [-t direc-
tory] [-o directory] [-p name] [--copyright license] [--email address]
[--native] [--file file] [--library] [--single] [--indep] [--multi]
[--kmod] [--kpatch] [--addmissing] [--yes] [--templates directory]
[--defaultless] [--overlay directory] [--packagename name] [--rulesfor-
mat format] [--help] [--version]
dh_make is a tool to convert a regular source code package into one
formatted according to the requirements of the Debian Policy. dh_make
must be invoked within a directory containing the source code, which
must be named <packagename>-<version>. The <packagename> must be all
lowercase, digits and dashes. If the directory name does not conform to
this scheme, you must rename it before using dh_make. Alternatively,
you may be able to use the --packagename option to force the package
Classes can be set with the single direct options (such as --s for sin-
gle) or with the -C,--packageclass option (-C=s for single).
Single binary (s)
The package will generate a single binary .deb package. It is
the standard case, so if you don't know what to do, choose this.
The package will generate a single package that is arch-indepen-
Multiple binary (m)
The package will generate multiple binary .deb packages from one
source package. Choose this for larger packages that need to be
The package will generate at least two binaries. One library
package containing just the lib in /usr/lib and another
*-dev_*.deb package containing documentation and C headers.
Kernel module (k)
The package will generate a binary-all kernel module -source
package for use with the make-kpkg(1) command. It also generates
a binary package for additional utilities, daemons, etc. that
may come with the source.
The package will generate a package that can be used for kernel
Unless --native was given, dh_make makes sure a original source archive
(<packagename>_<version>.orig.tar.gz) exists. The archive can either
the directory name.
dh_make makes several attempts to obtain the username. It first checks
for the environment variables $DEBFULLNAME, $LOGNAME is used to find a
name in the /etc/passwd file, and through NIS, YP and LDAP.
The e-mail address can either be specified with the -fB--email option
or dh_make will attempt to find it. It will first check the environment
variables $DEBEMAIL and then $EMAIL. If they are not set then dh_make
will search an available LDAP directory using ldapsearch(1) using $LOG-
NAME as the uid to search under. Finally it will use $LOGNAME and
/etc/mailname to generate an email address.
dh_make will also generate example files that are also customized for
the package generated. You can remove all files with *.ex if you wish.
You can also delete the README.Debian file if you don't have anything
to put in it. Renaming the example files to their name without the .ex
at the end (and editing them if necessary) will activate that feature
If the --templates or -o (--overlay) option is used dh_make will apply
a customizing template to the "debian" directory. See the templates
described in the FILES section of this manpage for samples.
-c, --copyright license
Use license type in copyright file. license can be gpl, gpl2,
gpl3, lgpl, lgpl2 lgpl3, artistic, apache, bsd or mit. If this
field is not specified the copyright file has a space to fill in
which sort of license is used. The field is case-insensitive so
-c GPL works as well as -c gpl. gpl and lgpl will give you ver-
sion 3 of the corresponding license, apache implies Apache v2.0.
If you need a different version, change the license file after-
wards or use the gpl2 and lgpl2 options.
-e, --email address
Use address as the e-mail address in the Maintainer: field of
Create a native Debian packages, i.e. do not generate a .orig
archive, since it will be generated when building with dpkg-
buildpackage. The version number will not have a Debian revi-
sion number (e.g. -1) appended to it.
-f, --file file
Use file as the original source archive, and skip the copying of
the current program tree to program.orig.
Automatically set the package class to Library, skipping the
Automatically set the package class to Kernel module, skipping
Automatically set package class to kpatch, skipping the ques-
Adds missing example and control files on an existing debian
-t, --templates directory
Applies the customizing templates in directory to the debian
-o, --overlay directory
Applies a customization template to an existing debian direc-
-p, --packagename name
Force the package name to be name, good for packages with
hyphens in their name or other strangeness. You can also make
the parameter name_version which will set both the package name
and version and bypass and directory checking.
Skips applying the default templates to the target debian direc-
Display the name, version, available options and authors, and
-r, --rulesformat format
Set the format for the debian/rules file to format. The options
are the default Debhelper v7 minimal rules (dh7), the old rules
format (old) or CDBS format (cdbs).
Show the program name and version, and exit successfully.
Automatic yes to prompts and run non-interactively. The package
class needs to be set for dh_make to run fully automatically.
The following environment settings are used by dh_make:
Email address to use in control and changelog entries.
You full name, eg "John Doe" which will appear in the control
and changelog entries.
with files for all package classes,
with files specific to the Single binary class,
with files specific to the Multiple binary class,
with files specific to the Library class, and finally,
with files specific to the native Debian packages.
template files for the more common licenses used in Debian pack-
To get dh_make to use the defaults and ask you various questions about
Create your single class package using the with the GPL license:
dh_make -s -c gpl
A more involved example where you set your name in the environment,
contact email and license in the options and specify the upstream file:
dh_make --email firstname.lastname@example.org --copyright=bsd \
dh_make may not detect your username and email address correctly when
You may also want to read the Debian Policy (in
/usr/share/doc/debian-policy ) and the New Maintainers' Guide (in
Debian Project 2012-06-24 DH_MAKE(8)
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