check-symbols <source-packagegt; [DEBDIR]


To verify the symbols exported by a new library version, run check-symbols with the name of the source package as argument. check-symbols will first determine the symbols exported by the existing and installed library version, then install the new library and compare the symbols exported by the new library version with the symbols exported by the old version. For each of the symbols found, check-symbols will list if the symbol is new, unchanged or has been removed in the new library version.

In case the source package contains multiple binary library packages, all library files in each of the binary packages will be verified.

check-symbols uses nm -D to determine the exported symbols of the libraries.

If no value is given for DEBDIR, the script will assume the new library deb files are stored in /var/cache/pbuilder/result.


check-symbols telepathy-glib .

This will:

• Use nm -D to determine the exported symbols of the old,

installed versions of the libraries provided by telepathy-glib.

• Install the binary libraries provided by the new version of


• Compare the output of nm -D of the new libraries with the

output of the old version.

• List the result in diff format.


Please report bugs on:

RELATED TO check-symbols…



check-symbols was written by Daniel Holbach <[email protected]> and this manpage by Albert Damen <[email protected]>. Both are licensed under the GNU General Public License, version 2.