Linux Commands Examples

A great documentation place for Linux commands


build binary or source packages from sources

see also : dpkg-source - dpkg-architecture - dpkg-buildflags - dpkg-genchanges - fakeroot - gpg


dpkg-buildpackage [option...]

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dpkg-buildpackage -rfakeroot -b
dpkg-buildpackage -rfakeroot
fakeroot dpkg-buildpackage -tc
lintian ../*.deb


dpkg-buildpackage is a program that automates the process of building a Debian package. It consists of the following steps:


It prepares the build environment by setting various environment variables (see ENVIRONMENT) and calls dpkg-source --before-build (unless -T or --target has been used).


It checks that the build-dependencies and build-conflicts are satisfied (unless -d is specified).


If a specific target has been selected with the -T or --target option, it calls that target and stops here. Otherwise it calls fakeroot debian/rules clean to clean the build-tree (unless -nc is specified).


It calls dpkg-source -b to generate the source package (unless a binary-only build has been requested with -b, -B or -A).


It calls debian/rules build-target 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 is specified), or build-indep and binary-indep (if -A is specified).


It calls gpg to sign the .dsc file (if any, unless -us is specified).


It calls dpkg-genchanges to generate a .changes file. Many dpkg-buildpackage options are forwarded to dpkg-genchanges.


It calls gpg to sign the .changes file (unless -uc is specified).


If -tc is specified, it will call fakeroot debian/rules clean again. Finally it calls dpkg-source --after-build.



Specifies a binary-only build, no source files are to be built and/or distributed. Passed to dpkg-genchanges.


Specifies a binary-only build, limited to architecture dependent packages. Passed to dpkg-genchanges.


Specifies a binary-only build, limited to architecture independent packages. Passed to dpkg-genchanges.


Specifies a source-only build, no binary packages need to be made. Passed to dpkg-genchanges.


Specifies a normal full build, binary and source packages will be built. This is the same as the default case when no build option is specified.


Calls debian/rules target after having setup the build environment and stops the package build process here. If --as-root is also given, then the command is executed as root (see -r). Note that official targets that are required to be run as root by the Debian policy do not need this option.


Only meaningful together with --target. Requires that the target be run with root rights.


Passed unchanged to dpkg-genchanges. See its manual page.


Specify the Debian architecture we build for. The architecture of the machine we build on is determined automatically, and is also the default for the host machine.


Specify the GNU system type we build for. It can be used in place of -a or as a complement to override the default GNU system type of the target Debian architecture.


Number of jobs allowed to be run simultaneously, equivalent to the make(1) option of the same name. Will add itself to the MAKEFLAGS environment variable, which should cause all subsequent make invocations to inherit the option. Also adds parallel=jobs to the DEB_BUILD_OPTIONS environment variable which allows debian/rules files to use this information for their own purposes. The parallel=jobs in DEB_BUILD_OPTIONS environment variable will override the -j value if this option is given.


Check build dependencies and conflicts; abort if unsatisfied. This is the default behavior.


Do not check build dependencies and conflicts.


Do not clean the source tree (implies -b if nothing else has been selected among -B, -A or -S).


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-separated) but no shell metacharacters. gain-root-command might typically be fakeroot, sudo, super or really. su is not suitable, 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. 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 standard rules file with another make program (for example by using /usr/local/bin/make -f debian/rules as rules-file).


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 gpg. sign-command will get all the arguments that gpg would have gotten. sign-command should not contain spaces or any other shell metacharacters.


Specify a key-ID to use when signing packages.


Do not sign the source package.


Do not sign the .changes file.

, -Z

Passed unchanged to dpkg-source. See its manual page.


Pass option opt to dpkg-source.


Pass option opt to dpkg-genchanges.


Change the location of the dpkg database. The default location is /var/lib/dpkg.

-?, --help

Show the usage message and exit.


Show the version and exit.

backward compatibility

dpkg-buildpackage is using the build-arch and build-indep targets since version 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.


Even if dpkg-buildpackage exports some variables, debian/rules should not rely on their presence and should instead use the respective interface to retrieve the needed values.

Variables set by 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 environment.

Compiler flags are no longer exported
Between versions 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.


It should be possible to specify spaces and shell metacharacters in and initial arguments for gain-root-command and sign-command.

see also

dpkg-source , dpkg-architecture , dpkg-buildflags , dpkg-genchanges , fakeroot , gpg .

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