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
satisfied (unless -d or --no-check-builddeps 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 or --no-pre-clean is specified).
4. It runs the source hook and calls dpkg-source -b to generate the
source package (if a source build has been requested with --build
or equivalent options).
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
--build=source or equivalent options). Note that build-target and
binary-target are either build and binary (default case, or if an
any and all build has been requested with --build or equivalent
options), or build-arch and binary-arch (if an any and not all
build has been requested with --build or equivalent options), or
build-indep and binary-indep (if an all and not any build has been
requested with --build or equivalent options).
6. Unless a source-only build has been requested, it runs the
buildinfo hook and calls dpkg-genbuildinfo to generate a
.buildinfo file. Several dpkg-buildpackage options are forwarded
7. It runs the changes hook and calls dpkg-genchanges to generate a
.changes file. The name of the .changes file will depend on the
type of build and will be as specific as necessary but not more;
for a build that includes any the name will be source-name_source-version_arch.changes, or otherwise for a build that includes all
the name will be source-name_source-version_all.changes, or
otherwise for a build that includes source the name will be
source-name_source-version_source.changes. Many dpkg-buildpackage
options are forwarded to dpkg-genchanges.
8. It runs the postclean hook and if -tc or --post-clean is
specified, it will call fakeroot debian/rules clean again.
9. It calls dpkg-source --after-build.
It runs the check hook and calls a package checker for the
.changes file (if a command is specified in DEB_CHECK_COMMAND or
It runs the sign hook and calls gpg2 or gpg to sign the .dsc file
(if any, unless -us or --unsigned-source is specified or on
UNRELEASED builds), and the .changes file (unless -uc or
--unsigned-changes is specified or on UNRELEASED builds).
It runs the done hook.
All long options can be specified both on the command line and in the
dpkg-buildpackage system and user configuration files. Each line in
the configuration file is either an option (exactly the same as the
command line option but without leading hyphens) or a comment (if it
starts with a ‘#’).
Specifies the build type from a comma-separated list of
components (since dpkg 1.18.5). Passed to dpkg-genchanges.
The allowed values are:
source Builds the source package. Note: when using this value
standalone and 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.
any Builds the architecture specific binary packages.
all Builds the architecture independent binary packages.
binary Builds the architecture specific and independent binary
packages. This is an alias for any,all.
full Builds everything. This is an alias for
source,any,all, and the same as the default case when
no build option is specified.
-g Equivalent to --build=source,all (since dpkg 1.17.11).
-G Equivalent to --build=source,any (since dpkg 1.17.11).
-b Equivalent to --build=binary or --build=any,all.
-B Equivalent to --build=any.
-A Equivalent to --build=all.
-S Equivalent to --build=source.
-F Equivalent to --build=full, --build=source,binary or
--build=source,any,all (since dpkg 1.15.8).
--target=target--target target-T, --rules-target=target
Calls debian/rules target after having setup the build
environment and stops the package build process here (since
dpkg 1.15.0, long option since dpkg 1.18.8). If --as-root is
also given, then the command is executed as root (see
--root-command). Note that known targets that are required to
be run as root do not need this option (i.e. the clean,
binary, binary-arch and binary-indep targets).
Only meaningful together with --target (since dpkg 1.15.0).
Requires that the target be run with root rights.
-si-sa-sd-vversion-Cchanges-description-m, --release-by=maintainer-address-e, --build-by=maintainer-address
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 machine.
-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
complement 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, long option since dpkg 1.18.8). 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
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 specified, equivalent to the make(1) option of the same
name (since dpkg 1.14.7, long option since dpkg 1.18.8). 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
purposes. 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 currently 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 serial execution (since dpkg 1.18.15), although this
should only happen on exotic and unsupported systems.
This option (since dpkg 1.18.2, long option since dpkg 1.18.8)
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
auto is the default behavior (since dpkg 1.18.11). Setting the
number of jobs to 1 will restore a serial behavior.
Check build dependencies and conflicts; abort if unsatisfied
(long option since dpkg 1.18.8). This is the default
Do not check build dependencies and conflicts (long option
since dpkg 1.18.8).
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.
Do not clean the source tree (long option since dpkg 1.18.8).
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).
Clean the source tree before building (since dpkg 1.18.8).
Clean the source tree (using gain-root-commanddebian/rulesclean) after the package has been built (long option since
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 (long option since
dpkg 1.18.8). 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
(since dpkg 1.14.17, long option since dpkg 1.18.8). 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).
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
Note: Hooks can affect the build process, and cause build
failures if their commands fail, so watch out for unintended
The current hook-name supported are:
init preclean source build binary changes postclean check signdone
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
following 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.
Pass option opt to dpkg-genbuildinfo (since dpkg 1.18.11).
Can be used multiple times.
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 (long option since dpkg 1.18.8). sign-command will get
all the arguments that gpg2 or gpg would have gotten. sign-command should not contain spaces or any other shell
Specify a key-ID to use when signing packages (long option
since dpkg 1.18.8).
Do not sign the source package (long option since dpkg
Do not sign the .changes file (long option since dpkg 1.18.8).
Force the signing of the resulting files (since dpkg 1.17.0),
regardless of -us, --unsigned-source, -uc, --unsigned-changes
or other internal heuristics.
-z, --compression-level=level-Z, --compression=compressor
Passed unchanged to dpkg-source. See its manual page.
Pass option opt to dpkg-source (since dpkg 1.15.6). Can be
used multiple times.
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 /usr/local/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 --sign-key option.
If set, it will contain a space-separated list of options that
might affect the build process in debian/rules, and the
behavior of some dpkg commands.
With nocheck the DEB_CHECK_COMMAND variable will be ignored.
With parallel=N the parallel jobs will be set to N, overridden
by the --jobs-try option.
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
separated list of profile names. Overridden by the -P option.
Sets the color mode (since dpkg 1.18.5). The currently
accepted values are: auto (default), always and never.
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, because that file is the
main entry point to build packages and running it standalone should
DEB_BUILD_*DEB_HOST_*DEB_TARGET_*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.
This variable is set to the Unix timestamp since the epoch of
the latest entry in debian/changelog, if it is not already
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 targetsdpkg-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, if the
source package does not build both architecture independent and
dependent binary packages (since dpkg 1.18.8) it will fallback to use
the build target if make -f debian/rules -qn build-target returns 2
as exit code.
This page is part of the dpkg (Debian Package Manager) project.
Information about the project can be found at
⟨https://wiki.debian.org/Teams/Dpkg/⟩. If you have a bug report for
this manual page, see
⟨http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/pkgreport.cgi?src=dpkg⟩. This page
was obtained from the project's upstream Git repository
⟨git://git.debian.org/git/dpkg/dpkg.git⟩ on 2017-03-13. If you dis‐
cover 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
1.18.15-3-ga2ef 1970-01-01 dpkg-buildpackage(1)