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

       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 entry).

       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

       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 00-59.

       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

       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 2021-08-27.  (At
       that time, the date of the most recent commit that was found in
       the repository was 2021-06-17.)  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

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)