deb-changelog(5) — Linux manual page


deb-changelog(5)                 dpkg suite                 deb-changelog(5)

NAME         top

       deb-changelog - dpkg source packages' changelog file format

SYNOPSIS         top


DESCRIPTION         top

       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]
         * change-details
                 [blank line(s), included in output of dpkg-parsechangelog(1)]
         * even-more-change-details
                 [optional blank line(s), stripped]
        -- maintainer-name <email-address>  date

       package 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:
         Closes: Bug#nnnnn
       in the change details (the exact Perl regular expression is
       /closes:\s*(?:bug)?\#?\s?\d+(?:,\s*(?:bug)?\#?\s?\d+)*/i).  This
       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
       distribution archive.

       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,
              Nov, Dec.

       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.

       Any line that consists entirely (i.e., no leading whitespace) of # or
       /* */ style comments or RCS keywords.

       Vim modelines or Emacs local variables, and ancient changelog entries
       with other formats at the end of the file should be accepted and
       preserved on output, but their contents might be otherwise ignored
       and parsing stopped at that point.

       The entire changelog must be encoded in UTF-8.

FILES         top


EXAMPLES         top

       dpkg (1.17.18) unstable; urgency=low

         [ Guillem Jover ]
         * Handle empty minimum versions when initializing dependency versions,
           as the code is mapping the minimum version 0 to '' to avoid outputting
           useless versions. Regression introduced in dpkg 1.17.17. Closes: #764929

         [ Updated programs translations ]
         * Catalan (Guillem Jover).

         [ Updated dselect translations ]
         * Catalan (Guillem Jover).
         * German (Sven Joachim).

        -- Guillem Jover <>  Sun, 12 Oct 2014 15:47:44 +0200

SEE ALSO         top

       deb-version(7), deb-changes(5), dpkg-parsechangelog(1).

COLOPHON         top

       This page is part of the dpkg (Debian Package Manager) project.
       Information about the project can be found at 
       ⟨⟩.  If you have a bug report for
       this manual page, see
       ⟨⟩.  This page
       was obtained from the project's upstream Git repository
       ⟨⟩ on 2020-11-01.  (At
       that time, the date of the most recent commit that was found in the
       repository was 2020-07-08.)  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 im‐
       provements to the information in this COLOPHON (which is not part of
       the original manual page), send a mail to

1.19.6-2-g6e42d5                 2019-03-25                 deb-changelog(5)

Pages that refer to this page: dpkg-genchanges(1)dpkg-gencontrol(1)dpkg-parsechangelog(1)dpkg-source(1)deb-buildinfo(5)deb-changes(5)