Debian source packages' master control file format
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: 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 lower case 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 an alphanumeric character.
Maintainer: fullname-email (required)
Should be in the format "Joe Bloggs <[email protected]>", and references the person who currently maintains the package, as opposed to the author of the software or the original packager.
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.
This documents the most recent version of the standards (which consists of the Debian Policy Manual and referenced texts from the debian-policy package) this package complies to.
The upstream project home page URL.
The url of the bug tracking system for this package. The current used format is bts-type://bts-address, like debbugs://bugs.debian.org. This field is usually not needed.
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.
The url of a webinterface to browse the Version Control System repository.
The name of the distribution this package is originating from. This field is usually not needed.
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.
Sets the importance of this package in relation to the system as a whole. Common priorities are "required", "standard", "optional", "extra", etc.
In Debian, the Section and Priority fields have a defined set of accepted values based on the Policy Manual. A list of these values can be obtained from the latest version of the debian-policy package.
A list of packages that need to be installed and configured to be able to build the source package. Including a dependency in this list has the same effect as including it in both Build-Depends-Arch and Build-Depends-Indep, with the additional effect of being used for source-only builds.
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.
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.
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. Commas are to be read as "AND", and pipes as "OR", with pipes binding more tightly. 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.
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". 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.
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 package.
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.
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).
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's assumed if the field is absent. More types might be added in the future.
Subarchitecture: value Kernel-Version: value Installer-Menu-Item: value
These fields are used by the debian-installer and are usually not needed. See /usr/share/doc/debian-installer/devel/modules.txt from the debian-installer package for more details about them.
Essential: yes|no Multi-Arch: same|foreign|allowed|no Tag: tag-list Description: short-description (required)
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 and in the debian-policy package.
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 a X, followed by one or more of the letters BCS and a hypen. If the letter B is used, the field will appear in the control file in the binary package, see deb-control(5), for the letter S in the source package control file as constructed by dpkg-source(1) and for the letter C in the upload control (.changes) file. Note that the X[BCS]- 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.
# Comment Source: dpkg Section: admin Priority: required Maintainer: Dpkg Developers <[email protected]> # this field is copied to the binary and source packages XBS-Upstream-Release-Status: stable Homepage: https://wiki.debian.org/Teams/Dpkg Vcs-Browser: https://anonscm.debian.org/cgit/dpkg/dpkg.git Vcs-Git: git://anonscm.debian.org/dpkg/dpkg.git 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 <[email protected]> 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.