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


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

NAME         top

       deb-src-control - Debian source package template control file

SYNOPSIS         top


DESCRIPTION         top

       Each Debian source package contains the «debian/control» template
       source control file, and its deb822(5) format is a superset of
       the control file shipped in Debian binary packages, see

       This file contains at least 2 stanzas, separated by a blank line.
       The first stanza is called the source package stanza and lists
       all information about the source package in general, while each
       following stanzas are called the binary package stanzas and
       describe exactly one binary package per stanza.  Each stanza
       consists of at least one field.  A field starts with a field
       name, such as Package or Section (case insensitive), followed by
       a colon, the body of the field (case sensitive unless stated
       otherwise) and a newline.  Multi-line fields are also allowed,
       but each supplementary line, without a field name, 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

       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 comma.

       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

       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 needed.

       Build-Driver: driver-name
           This experimental field specifies the name of the build
           driver to use to build this package.  When omitted the
           driver-name defaults to debian-rules.

           This field is supported since dpkg 1.22.7.

       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 all.
               This is the default in dpkg-build-api level >= 1.

               The binary targets must always be run under (fake)root.
               This value is the default in dpkg-build-api level 0, 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 characters.

               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

               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

       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 web interface 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 policy.

       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 stanza to override the global value from the source

       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 (including the angle brackets).

           If a binary package stanza 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 stanza 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.

       Protected: yes|no
       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
       Static-Built-Using: package-list
           These fields declare relationships between packages.  They
           are discussed in the deb-control(5) manual page.  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.  For more details about them, see


       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

       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: pkgconf, 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

       /usr/local/share/doc/dpkg/spec/rootless-builds.txt, deb822(5),
       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 ⟨git
       clone⟩ on 2024-06-14.  (At
       that time, the date of the most recent commit that was found in
       the repository was 2024-05-21.)  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

1.22.6-77-g86fe7               2024-03-10             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)dpkg-build-api(7)