deb-src-control(5) — Linux manual page


deb-src-control(5)             dpkg suite             deb-src-control(5)

NAME         top

       deb-src-control - Debian source packages' master control file

SYNOPSIS         top


DESCRIPTION         top

       Each Debian source package contains the master «control» file,
       which contains at least 2 paragraphs, separated by a blank line.
       The first paragraph lists all information about the source
       package in general, while each following paragraph describes
       exactly one binary package. Each paragraph consists of at least
       one field. A field starts with a fieldname, such as Package or
       Section (case insensitive), followed by a colon, the body of the
       field and a newline.  Multi-line fields are also allowed, but
       each supplementary line, without a fieldname, should start with
       at least one space. The content of the multi-line fields is
       generally joined to a single line by the tools (except in the
       case of the Description field, see below). To insert empty lines
       into a multi-line field, insert a dot after the space.  Lines
       starting with a ‘#’ are treated as comments.

SOURCE FIELDS         top

       Source: source-package-name (required)
              The value of this field is the name of the source package,
              and should match the name of the source package in the
              debian/changelog file. A package name must consist only of
              lowercase letters (a-z), digits (0-9), plus (+) and minus
              (-) signs, and periods (.). Package names must be at least
              two characters long and must start with a lowercase
              alphanumeric character (a-z0-9).

       Maintainer: fullname-email (recommended)
              Should be in the format «Joe Bloggs <>»,
              and references the person who currently maintains the
              package, as opposed to the author of the software or the
              original packager.

       Uploaders: fullname-email
              Lists all the names and email addresses of co-maintainers
              of the package, in the same format as the Maintainer
              field.  Multiple co-maintainers should be separated by a

       Standards-Version: version-string
              This documents the most recent version of the distribution
              policy standards this package complies with.

       Description short-description
              The format for the source package description is a short
              brief summary on the first line (after the Description
              field).  The following lines should be used as a longer,
              more detailed description.  Each line of the long
              description must be preceded by a space, and blank lines
              in the long description must contain a single ‘.’
              following the preceding space.

       Homepage: url
              The upstream project home page URL.

       Bugs: url
              The url of the bug tracking system for this package. The
              current used format is bts-type://bts-address, like
              debbugs:// This field is usually not

       Rules-Requires-Root: no|binary-targets|impl-keywords
              This field is used to indicate whether the debian/rules
              file requires (fake)root privileges to run some of its
              targets, and if so when.

              no     The binary targets will not require (fake)root at

                     The binary targets must always be run under
                     (fake)root.  This value is the default when the
                     field is omitted; adding the field with an explicit
                     binary-targets while not strictly needed, marks it
                     as having been analyzed for this requirement.

                     This is a space-separated list of keywords which
                     define when (fake)root is required.

                     Keywords consist of namespace/cases.  The namespace
                     part cannot contain "/" or whitespace.  The cases
                     part cannot contain whitespace.  Furthermore, both
                     parts must consist entirely of printable ASCII

                     Each tool/package will define a namespace named
                     after itself and provide a number of cases where
                     (fake)root is required.  (See "Implementation
                     provided keywords" in rootless-builds.txt).

                     When the field is set to one of the impl-keywords,
                     the builder will expose an interface that is used
                     to run a command under (fake)root.  (See "Gain Root
                     API" in rootless-builds.txt.)

       Testsuite: name-list
       Testsuite-Triggers: package-list
              These fields are described in the dsc(5) manual page, as
              they are generated from information inferred from
              debian/tests/control or copied literally to the source
              control file.

       Vcs-Arch: url
       Vcs-Bzr: url
       Vcs-Cvs: url
       Vcs-Darcs: url
       Vcs-Git: url
       Vcs-Hg: url
       Vcs-Mtn: url
       Vcs-Svn: url
              The url of the Version Control System repository used to
              maintain this package. Currently supported are Arch, Bzr
              (Bazaar), Cvs, Darcs, Git, Hg (Mercurial), Mtn (Monotone)
              and Svn (Subversion). Usually this field points to the
              latest version of the package, such as the main branch or
              the trunk.

       Vcs-Browser: url
              The url of a webinterface to browse the Version Control
              System repository.

       Origin: name
              The name of the distribution this package is originating
              from. This field is usually not needed.

       Section: section
              This is a general field that gives the package a category
              based on the software that it installs.  Some common
              sections are utils, net, mail, text, x11, etc.

       Priority: priority
              Sets the importance of this package in relation to the
              system as a whole.  Common priorities are required,
              standard, optional, extra, etc.

              The Section and Priority fields usually have a defined set
              of accepted values based on the specific distribution

       Build-Depends: package-list
              A list of packages that need to be installed and
              configured to be able to build from source package.  These
              dependencies need to be satisfied when building binary
              architecture dependent or independent packages and source
              packages.  Including a dependency in this field does not
              have the exact same effect as including it in both
              Build-Depends-Arch and Build-Depends-Indep, because the
              dependency also needs to be satisfied when building the
              source package.

       Build-Depends-Arch: package-list
              Same as Build-Depends, but they are only needed when
              building the architecture dependent packages. The
              Build-Depends are also installed in this case. This field
              is supported since dpkg 1.16.4; in order to build with
              older dpkg versions, Build-Depends should be used instead.

       Build-Depends-Indep: package-list
              Same as Build-Depends, but they are only needed when
              building the architecture independent packages. The
              Build-Depends are also installed in this case.

       Build-Conflicts: package-list
              A list of packages that should not be installed when the
              package is built, for example because they interfere with
              the build system used.  Including a dependency in this
              list has the same effect as including it in both
              Build-Conflicts-Arch and Build-Conflicts-Indep, with the
              additional effect of being used for source-only builds.

       Build-Conflicts-Arch: package-list
              Same as Build-Conflicts, but only when building the
              architecture dependent packages. This field is supported
              since dpkg 1.16.4; in order to build with older dpkg
              versions, Build-Conflicts should be used instead.

       Build-Conflicts-Indep: package-list
              Same as Build-Conflicts, but only when building the
              architecture independent packages.

       The syntax of the Build-Depends, Build-Depends-Arch and
       Build-Depends-Indep fields is a list of groups of alternative
       packages.  Each group is a list of packages separated by vertical
       bar (or “pipe”) symbols, ‘|’.  The groups are separated by commas
       ‘,’, and can end with a trailing comma that will be eliminated
       when generating the fields for deb-control(5) (since dpkg
       1.10.14).  Commas are to be read as “AND”, and pipes as “OR”,
       with pipes binding more tightly.  Each package name is optionally
       followed by an architecture qualifier appended after a colon ‘:’,
       optionally followed by a version number specification in
       parentheses ‘(’ and ‘)’, an architecture specification in square
       brackets ‘[’ and ‘]’, and a restriction formula consisting of one
       or more lists of profile names in angle brackets ‘<’ and ‘>’.

       The syntax of the Build-Conflicts, Build-Conflicts-Arch and
       Build-Conflicts-Indep fields is a list of comma-separated package
       names, where the comma is read as an “AND”, and where the list
       can end with a trailing comma that will be eliminated when
       generating the fields for deb-control(5) (since dpkg 1.10.14).
       Specifying alternative packages using a “pipe” is not supported.
       Each package name is optionally followed by a version number
       specification in parentheses, an architecture specification in
       square brackets, and a restriction formula consisting of one or
       more lists of profile names in angle brackets.

       An architecture qualifier name can be a real Debian architecture
       name (since dpkg 1.16.5), any (since dpkg 1.16.2) or native
       (since dpkg 1.16.5).  If omitted, the default for Build-Depends
       fields is the current host architecture, the default for
       Build-Conflicts fields is any.  A real Debian architecture name
       will match exactly that architecture for that package name, any
       will match any architecture for that package name if the package
       is marked with Multi-Arch: allowed, and native will match the
       current build architecture if the package is not marked with
       Multi-Arch: foreign.

       A version number may start with a ‘>>’, in which case any later
       version will match, and may specify or omit the Debian packaging
       revision (separated by a hyphen).  Accepted version relationships
       are ‘>>’ for greater than, ‘<<’ for less than, ‘>=’ for greater
       than or equal to, ‘<=’ for less than or equal to, and ‘=’ for
       equal to.

       An architecture specification consists of one or more
       architecture names, separated by whitespace. Exclamation marks
       may be prepended to each of the names, meaning “NOT”.

       A restriction formula consists of one or more restriction lists,
       separated by whitespace. Each restriction list is enclosed in
       angle brackets. Items in the restriction list are build profile
       names, separated by whitespace and can be prefixed with an
       exclamation mark, meaning “NOT”.  A restriction formula
       represents a disjunctive normal form expression.

       Note that dependencies on packages in the build-essential set can
       be omitted and that declaring build conflicts against them is
       impossible. A list of these packages is in the build-essential

BINARY FIELDS         top

       Note that the Priority, Section and Homepage fields can also be
       in a binary paragraph to override the global value from the
       source package.

       Package: binary-package-name (required)
              This field is used to name the binary package name. The
              same restrictions as to a source package name apply.

       Package-Type: deb|udeb|type
              This field defines the type of the package.  udeb is for
              size-constrained packages used by the debian installer.
              deb is the default value, it is assumed if the field is
              absent.  More types might be added in the future.

       Architecture: arch|all|any (required)
              The architecture specifies on which type of hardware this
              package runs. For packages that run on all architectures,
              use the any value. For packages that are architecture
              independent, such as shell and Perl scripts or
              documentation, use the all value. To restrict the packages
              to a certain set of architectures, specify the
              architecture names, separated by a space. It's also
              possible to put architecture wildcards in that list (see
              dpkg-architecture(1) for more information about them).

       Build-Profiles: restriction-formula
              This field specifies the conditions for which this binary
              package does or does not build.  To express that
              condition, the same restriction formula syntax from the
              Build-Depends field is used.

              If a binary package paragraph does not contain this field,
              then it implicitly means that it builds with all build
              profiles (including none at all).

              In other words, if a binary package paragraph is annotated
              with a non-empty Build-Profiles field, then this binary
              package is generated if and only if the condition
              expressed by the conjunctive normal form expression
              evaluates to true.

       Essential: yes|no
       Build-Essential: yes|no
       Multi-Arch: same|foreign|allowed|no
       Tag: tag-list
       Description: short-description (recommended)
              These fields are described in the deb-control(5) manual
              page, as they are copied literally to the control file of
              the binary package.

       Depends: package-list
       Pre-Depends: package-list
       Recommends: package-list
       Suggests: package-list
       Breaks: package-list
       Enhances: package-list
       Replaces: package-list
       Conflicts: package-list
       Provides: package-list
       Built-Using: package-list
              These fields declare relationships between packages. They
              are discussed in the deb-control(5) manpage.  When these
              fields are found in debian/control they can also end with
              a trailing comma (since dpkg 1.10.14), have architecture
              specifications and restriction formulas which will all get
              reduced when generating the fields for deb-control(5).

       Subarchitecture: value
       Kernel-Version: value
       Installer-Menu-Item: value
              These fields are used by the debian-installer in udebs and
              are usually not needed.  See
              /usr/share/doc/debian-installer/devel/modules.txt from the
              debian-installer package for more details about them.


       It is allowed to add additional user-defined fields to the
       control file. The tools will ignore these fields. If you want the
       fields to be copied over to the output files, such as the binary
       packages, you need to use a custom naming scheme: the fields
       should start with an X, followed by zero or more of the letters
       SBC and a hyphen.

       S      The field will appear in the source package control file,
              see dsc(5).

       B      The field will appear in the control file in the binary
              package, see deb-control(5).

       C      The field will appear in the upload control (.changes)
              file, see deb-changes(5).

       Note that the X[SBC]- prefixes are stripped when the fields are
       copied over to the output files. A field XC-Approved-By will
       appear as Approved-By in the changes file and will not appear in
       the binary or source package control files.

       Take into account that these user-defined fields will be using
       the global namespace, which might at some point in the future
       collide with officially recognized fields. To avoid such
       potential situation you can prefix those fields with Private-,
       such as XB-Private-New-Field.

EXAMPLE         top

       # Comment
       Source: dpkg
       Section: admin
       Priority: required
       Maintainer: Dpkg Developers <>
       # this field is copied to the binary and source packages
       XBS-Upstream-Release-Status: stable
       Standards-Version: 3.7.3
       Build-Depends: pkg-config, debhelper (>= 4.1.81),
        libselinux1-dev (>= 1.28-4) [!linux-any]

       Package: dpkg-dev
       Section: utils
       Priority: optional
       Architecture: all
       # this is a custom field in the binary package
       XB-Mentoring-Contact: Raphael Hertzog <>
       Depends: dpkg (>= 1.14.6), perl5, perl-modules, cpio (>= 2.4.2-2),
        bzip2, lzma, patch (>= 2.2-1), make, binutils, libtimedate-perl
       Recommends: gcc | c-compiler, build-essential
       Suggests: gnupg, debian-keyring
       Conflicts: dpkg-cross (<< 2.0.0), devscripts (<< 2.10.26)
       Replaces: manpages-pl (<= 20051117-1)
       Description: Debian package development tools
        This package provides the development tools (including dpkg-source)
        required to unpack, build and upload Debian source packages.
        Most Debian source packages will require additional tools to build;
        for example, most packages need make and the C compiler gcc.

SEE ALSO         top

       deb-control(5), deb-version(7), dpkg-source(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-src-control(5)

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