Changes in the packaged version of a project are explained in the
changelog file debian/changelog. This includes modifications made in
the source package compared to the upstream one as well as other
changes and updates to the package.
The format of the debian/changelog allows the package building tools
to discover which version of the package is being built and find out
other release-specific information.
That format is a series of entries like this:
package (version) distributions; metadata
[optional blank line(s), stripped]
[blank line(s), included in output of dpkg-parsechangelog(1)]
[optional blank line(s), stripped]
-- maintainer-name <email-address> datepackage and version are the source package name and version number.
distributions lists one or more space-separated distributions where
this version should be installed when it is uploaded; it is copied to
the Distribution field in the .changes file.
metadata is a comma-separated list of keyword=value items. The only
keywords currently supported by dpkg are urgency and binary-only.
urgency's value is used for the Urgency field in the .changes file
for the upload. binary-only with a yes value, is used to denote that
this changelog entry is for a binary-only non-maintainer upload (an
automatic binary rebuild with the only change being the changelog
The change details may in fact be any series of lines starting with
at least two spaces, but conventionally each change starts with an
asterisk and a separating space and continuation lines are indented
so as to bring them in line with the start of the text above. Blank
lines may be used here to separate groups of changes, if desired.
If this upload resolves bugs recorded in the distribution bug
tracking system, they may be automatically closed on the inclusion of
this package into the distribution archive by including the string:
in the change details (the exact Perl regular expression is
information is conveyed via the Closes field in the .changes file.
The maintainer name and email address used in the changelog should be
the details of the person who prepared this release of the package.
They are not necessarily those of the uploader or usual package
maintainer. The information here will be copied to the Changed-By
field in the .changes file, and then later might be used to send an
acknowledgement when the upload has been installed in the
The date has the following format (compatible and with the same
semantics of RFC2822 and RFC5322, or what «date -R» generates):
day-of-week, dd month yyyy hh:mm:ss+zzzz
Is one of: Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun.
dd Is a one- or two-digit day of the month (01-31).
month Is one of: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct,
yyyy Is the four-digit year (e.g. 2010).
hh Is the two-digit hour (00-23).
mm Is the two-digit minutes (00-59).
ss Is the two-digit seconds (00-60).
Is the time zone offset from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).
‘+’ indicates that the time is ahead of (i.e., east of) UTC
and ‘-’ indicates that the time is behind (i.e., west of) UTC.
The first two digits indicate the hour difference from UTC and
the last two digits indicate the number of additional minutes
difference from UTC. The last two digits must be in the range
The first “title” line with the package name must start at the left
hand margin. The “trailer” line with the maintainer and date details
must be preceded by exactly one space. The maintainer details and
the date must be separated by exactly two spaces.
The entire changelog must be encoded in UTF-8.
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 deb-changelog(5)