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 format

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

       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 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 needed.

       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.

                     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 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 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

       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

       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

       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 paragraph 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

       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

       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

       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

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 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-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)