Provided by: debhelper_9.20120115ubuntu3_all
dh - debhelper command sequencer
dh sequence [--with addon[,addon ...]] [--list] [debhelperoptions]
dh runs a sequence of debhelper commands. The supported sequences
correspond to the targets of a debian/rules file: build-arch, build-
indep, build, clean, install-indep, install-arch, install, binary-arch,
binary-indep, and binary.
A debian/rules file using dh can override the command that is run at
any step in a sequence, by defining an override target.
To override dh_command, add a target named override_dh_command to the
rules file. When it would normally run dh_command, dh will instead call
that target. The override target can then run the command with
additional options, or run entirely different commands instead. See
examples below. (Note that to use this feature, you should Build-
Depend on debhelper 7.0.50 or above.)
Override targets can also be defined to run only when building
architecture dependent or architecture independent packages. Use
targets with names like override_dh_command-arch and
override_dh_command-indep. (Note that to use this feature, you should
Build-Depend on debhelper 8.9.7 or above.)
--with addon[,addon ...]
Add the debhelper commands specified by the given addon to
appropriate places in the sequence of commands that is run. This
option can be repeated more than once, or multiple addons can be
listed, separated by commas. This is used when there is a third-
party package that provides debhelper commands. See the PROGRAMMING
file for documentation about the sequence addon interface.
The inverse of --with, disables using the given addon. This option
can be repeated more than once, or multiple addons to disable can
be listed, separated by commas.
List all available addons.
Prints commands that would run for a given sequence, but does not
Other options passed to dh are passed on to each command it runs. This
can be used to set an option like -v or -X or -N, as well as for more
To see what commands are included in a sequence, without actually doing
dh binary-arch --no-act
This is a very simple rules file, for packages where the default
sequences of commands work with no additional options.
Often you'll want to pass an option to a specific debhelper command.
The easy way to do with is by adding an override target for that
dh_auto_configure -- --with-foo --disable-bar
Sometimes the automated dh_auto_configure(1) and dh_auto_build(1) can't
guess what to do for a strange package. Here's how to avoid running
either and instead run your own commands.
Another common case is wanting to do something manually before or after
a particular debhelper command is run.
chmod 4755 debian/foo/usr/bin/foo
If your package uses autotools and you want to freshen config.sub and
config.guess with newer versions from the autotools-dev package at
build time, you can use some commands provided in autotools-dev that
automate it, like this.
dh $@ --with autotools_dev
Python tools are not run by dh by default, due to the continual change
in that area. (Before compatibility level v9, dh does run
dh_pysupport.) Here is how to use dh_python2.
dh $@ --with python2
Here is how to force use of Perl's Module::Build build system, which
can be necessary if debhelper wrongly detects that the package uses
dh $@ --buildsystem=perl_build
Here is an example of overriding where the dh_auto_* commands find the
package's source, for a package where the source is located in a
dh $@ --sourcedirectory=src
And here is an example of how to tell the dh_auto_* commands to build
in a subdirectory, which will be removed on clean.
dh $@ --builddirectory=build
If your package can be built in parallel, you can support parallel
building as follows. Then dpkg-buildpackage -j will work.
dh $@ --parallel
Here is a way to prevent dh from running several commands that you
don't want it to run, by defining empty override targets for each
# Commands not to run:
override_dh_auto_test override_dh_compress override_dh_fixperms:
A long build process for a separate documentation package can be
separated out using architecture independent overrides. These will be
skipped when running build-arch and binary-arch sequences.
$(MAKE) -C docs
# No tests needed for docs
$(MAKE) -C docs install
Adding to the example above, suppose you need to chmod a file, but only
when building the architecture dependent package, as it's not present
when building only documentation.
chmod 4755 debian/foo/usr/bin/foo
If you're curious about dh's internals, here's how it works under the
Each debhelper command will record when it's successfully run in
debian/package.debhelper.log. (Which dh_clean deletes.) So dh can tell
which commands have already been run, for which packages, and skip
running those commands again.
Each time dh is run, it examines the log, and finds the last logged
command that is in the specified sequence. It then continues with the
next command in the sequence. The --until, --before, --after, and
--remaining options can override this behavior.
A sequence can also run dependent targets in debian/rules. For
example, the "binary" sequence runs the "install" target.
dh uses the DH_INTERNAL_OPTIONS environment variable to pass
information through to debhelper commands that are run inside override
targets. The contents (and indeed, existence) of this environment
variable, as the name might suggest, is subject to change at any time.
Commands in the build-indep, install-indep and binary-indep sequences
are passed the -i option to ensure they only work on architecture
independent packages, and commands in the build-arch, install-arch and
binary-arch sequences are passed the -a option to ensure they only work
on architecture dependent packages.
The following options are deprecated. It's much better to use override
Run commands in the sequence until and including cmd, then stop.
Run commands in the sequence before cmd, then stop.
Run commands in the sequence that come after cmd.
Run all commands in the sequence that have yet to be run.
In the above options, cmd can be a full name of a debhelper command, or
a substring. It'll first search for a command in the sequence exactly
matching the name, to avoid any ambiguity. If there are multiple
substring matches, the last one in the sequence will be used.
This program is a part of debhelper.
Joey Hess <firstname.lastname@example.org>