DH_INSTALL(1)                     Debhelper                    DH_INSTALL(1)

NAME         top

       dh_install - install files into package build directories

SYNOPSIS         top

       dh_install [-Xitem] [--autodest] [--sourcedir=dir]
       [debhelper options] [file|dir ... destdir]

DESCRIPTION         top

       dh_install is a debhelper program that handles installing files into
       package build directories. There are many dh_install* commands that
       handle installing specific types of files such as documentation,
       examples, man pages, and so on, and they should be used when possible
       as they often have extra intelligence for those particular tasks.
       dh_install, then, is useful for installing everything else, for which
       no particular intelligence is needed. It is a replacement for the old
       dh_movefiles command.

       This program may be used in one of two ways. If you just have a file
       or two that the upstream Makefile does not install for you, you can
       run dh_install on them to move them into place. On the other hand,
       maybe you have a large package that builds multiple binary packages.
       You can use the upstream Makefile to install it all into debian/tmp,
       and then use dh_install to copy directories and files from there into
       the proper package build directories.

       From debhelper compatibility level 7 on, dh_install will fall back to
       looking in debian/tmp for files, if it doesn't find them in the
       current directory (or wherever you've told it to look using

FILES         top

           List the files to install into each package and the directory
           they should be installed to. The format is a set of lines, where
           each line lists a file or files to install, and at the end of the
           line tells the directory it should be installed in. The name of
           the files (or directories) to install should be given relative to
           the current directory, while the installation directory is given
           relative to the package build directory. You may use wildcards in
           the names of the files to install.

           Note that if you list exactly one filename or wildcard-pattern on
           a line by itself, with no explicit destination, then dh_install
           will automatically guess the destination to use, the same as if
           the --autodest option were used.

           List the files that are deliberately not installed in any binary
           package.  Paths listed in this file are (only) ignored by the
           check done via --list-missing (or --fail-missing).  However, it
           is not a method to exclude files from being installed.  Please
           use --exclude for that.

           Please keep in mind that dh_install will not expand wildcards in
           this file.

OPTIONS         top

           Deprecated: Please use dh_missing --list-missing instead.

           This option makes dh_install keep track of the files it installs,
           and then at the end, compare that list with the files in the
           source directory. If any of the files (and symlinks) in the
           source directory were not installed to somewhere, it will warn on
           stderr about that.

           This may be useful if you have a large package and want to make
           sure that you don't miss installing newly added files in new
           upstream releases.

           Note that files that are excluded from being moved via the -X
           option are not warned about.

           Deprecated: Please use dh_missing --fail-missing instead.

           This option is like --list-missing, except if a file was missed,
           it will not only list the missing files, but also fail with a
           nonzero exit code.

       -Xitem, --exclude=item
           Exclude files that contain item anywhere in their filename from
           being installed.

           Look in the specified directory for files to be installed.

           Note that this is not the same as the --sourcedirectory option
           used by the dh_auto_* commands. You rarely need to use this
           option, since dh_install automatically looks for files in
           debian/tmp in debhelper compatibility level 7 and above.

           Guess as the destination directory to install things to. If this
           is specified, you should not list destination directories in
           debian/package.install files or on the command line. Instead,
           dh_install will guess as follows:

           Strip off debian/tmp (or the sourcedir if one is given) from the
           front of the filename, if it is present, and install into the
           dirname of the filename. So if the filename is
           debian/tmp/usr/bin, then that directory will be copied to
           debian/package/usr/. If the filename is debian/tmp/etc/passwd, it
           will be copied to debian/package/etc/.

       file|dir ... destdir
           Lists files (or directories) to install and where to install them
           to.  The files will be installed into the first package
           dh_install acts on.

LIMITATIONS         top

       dh_install cannot rename files or directories, it can only install
       them with the names they already have into wherever you want in the
       package build tree.

       However, renaming can be achieved by using dh-exec with compatibility
       level 9 or later.  An example debian/package.install file using dh-
       exec could look like:

        debian/default.conf => /etc/my-package/start.conf

       Please remember the following three things:

       ·   The package must be using compatibility level 9 or later (see

       ·   The package will need a build-dependency on dh-exec.

       ·   The install file must be marked as executable.

SEE ALSO         top


       This program is a part of debhelper.

AUTHOR         top

       Joey Hess <>

COLOPHON         top

       This page is part of the debhelper (helper programs for debian/rules)
       project.  Information about the project can be found at 
       ⟨⟩.  If you
       have a bug report for this manual page, send it to  This page was obtained from the project's
       upstream Git repository
       ⟨⟩ on
       2017-11-25.  (At that time, the date of the most recent commit that
       was found in the repository was 2017-11-19.)  If you discover any
       rendering problems in this HTML version of the page, or you believe
       there is a better or more up-to-date source for the page, or you have
       corrections or improvements to the information in this COLOPHON
       (which is not part of the original manual page), send a mail to

10.10.9                          2017-11-23                    DH_INSTALL(1)