Provided by: debhelper_13.6ubuntu1_all bug


       debhelper - the debhelper tool suite


       dh_* [-v] [-a] [-i] [--no-act] [-ppackage] [-Npackage] [-Ptmpdir]


       Debhelper is used to help you build a Debian package. The philosophy behind debhelper is
       to provide a collection of small, simple, and easily understood tools that are used in
       debian/rules to automate various common aspects of building a package. This means less
       work for you, the packager.  It also, to some degree means that these tools can be changed
       if Debian policy changes, and packages that use them will require only a rebuild to comply
       with the new policy.

       A typical debian/rules file that uses debhelper will call several debhelper commands in
       sequence, or use dh(1) to automate this process. Examples of rules files that use
       debhelper are in /usr/share/doc/debhelper/examples/

       To create a new Debian package using debhelper, you can just copy one of the sample rules
       files and edit it by hand. Or you can try the dh-make package, which contains a dh_make
       command that partially automates the process. For a more gentle introduction, the maint-
       guide Debian package contains a tutorial about making your first package using debhelper.

       Except where the tool explicitly denotes otherwise, all of the debhelper tools assume that
       they run from the root directory of an unpacked source package.  This is so they can
       locate find files like debian/control when needed.


       Here is the list of debhelper commands you can use. See their man pages for additional

           tool for supporting debhelper tools and provide introspection

           automatically builds a package

           automatically cleans up after a build

           automatically configure a package prior to building

           automatically runs make install or similar

           automatically runs a package's test suites

           install bug reporting customization files into package build directories

           build Debian binary packages

           clean up package build directories

           compress files and fix symlinks in package build directories

           optimize DWARF debug information in ELF binaries via dwz

           fix permissions of files in package build directories

           generate and install control file

           Update caches of Freedesktop icons

           install files into package build directories

           install declarative alternative rules

           install and register SGML Catalogs

           install changelogs into package build directories

           install cron scripts into etc/cron.*

           install files into the DEBIAN directory

           install files used by debconf in package build directories

           create subdirectories in package build directories

           install documentation into package build directories

           register an Emacs add on package

           install example files into package build directories

           install GSettings overrides and set dependencies

           install if-up and if-down hooks

           install info files

           install service init files into package build directories

           install initramfs hooks and setup maintscripts

           install logcheck rulefiles into etc/logcheck/

           install logrotate config files

           install man pages into package build directories

           install Debian menu files into package build directories

           install mime files into package build directories

           register kernel modules

           install pam support files

           install ppp ip-up and ip-down files

           install systemd unit files

           install systemd unit files

           install and integrates systemd sysusers files

           install tmpfiles.d configuration files

           install udev rules files

           register a window manager

           register X fonts

           create symlinks in package build directories

           install lintian override files into package build directories

           list binary packages debhelper will act on

           automatically create shlibs file and call dpkg-gensymbols

           generate DEBIAN/md5sums file

           check for missing files

           move files out of debian/tmp into subpackages

           calculates Perl dependencies and cleans up after MakeMaker

           perform cleanups in preparation for building a binary package

           calculate shared library dependencies

           strip executables, shared libraries, and some static libraries

           enable/disable systemd unit files

           start/stop/restart systemd unit files

           test directory before building Debian package

           ensure that a package is built with necessary level of root permissions

           register configuration files with ucf

           Update autotools config files

           migrate usr/local directories to maintainer scripts

   Deprecated Commands
       A few debhelper commands are deprecated and should not be used.

           old-style man page installer (deprecated)

   Other Commands
       If a program's name starts with dh_, and the program is not on the above lists, then it is
       not part of the debhelper package, but it should still work like the other programs
       described on this page.


       Many debhelper commands make use of files in debian/ to control what they do. Besides the
       common debian/changelog and debian/control, which are in all packages, not just those
       using debhelper, some additional files can be used to configure the behavior of specific
       debhelper commands. These files are typically named debian/ (where package of
       course, is replaced with the package that is being acted on).

       For example, dh_installdocs uses files named debian/ to list the documentation
       files it will install. See the man pages of individual commands for details about the
       names and formats of the files they use.  Generally, these files will list files to act
       on, one file per line. Some programs in debhelper use pairs of files and destinations or
       slightly more complicated formats.

       Note for the first (or only) binary package listed in debian/control, debhelper will use
       debian/foo when there's no debian/ file.  However, it is often a good idea to
       keep the package. prefix as it is more explicit.  The primary exception to this are files
       that debhelper by default installs in every binary package when it does not have a package
       prefix (such as debian/copyright or debian/changelog).

       In some rare cases, you may want to have different versions of these files for different
       architectures or OSes. If files named debian/ or debian/
       exist, where ARCH and OS are the same as the output of "dpkg-architecture -qDEB_HOST_ARCH"
       / "dpkg-architecture -qDEB_HOST_ARCH_OS", then they will be used in preference to other,
       more general files.

       Mostly, these config files are used to specify lists of various types of files.
       Documentation or example files to install, files to move, and so on.  When appropriate, in
       cases like these, you can use standard shell wildcard characters (? and * and [..]
       character classes) in the files.  You can also put comments in these files; lines
       beginning with # are ignored.

       The syntax of these files is intentionally kept very simple to make them easy to read,
       understand, and modify.

   Substitutions in debhelper config files
       In compatibility level 13 and later, it is possible to use simple substitutions in
       debhelper config files for the following tools:

       •   dh_clean

       •   dh_install

       •   dh_installcatalogs

       •   dh_installdeb

       •   dh_installdirs

       •   dh_installdocs

       •   dh_installexamples

       •   dh_installinfo

       •   dh_installman

       •   dh_installwm

       •   dh_link

       •   dh_missing

       •   dh_ucf

       All substitution variables are of the form ${foo} and the braces are mandatory.  Variable
       names are case-sensitive and consist of alphanumerics (a-zA-Z0-9), hyphens (-),
       underscores (_), and colons (:).  The first character must be an alphanumeric.

       If you need a literal dollar sign that cannot trigger a substitution, you can either use
       the ${Dollar} substitution or the sequence ${}.

       The following expansions are available:

           Expands to the relevant dpkg-architecture(1) value (similar to dpkg-architecture

           When in doubt, the DEB_HOST_* variant is the one that will work both for native and
           cross builds.

           For performance reasons, debhelper will attempt to resolve these names from the
           environment first before consulting dpkg-architecture(1).  This is mostly mentioned
           for completeness as it will not matter for most cases.

           Expands to a single literal $-symbol.  This symbol will never be considered part of a
           substitution variable.  That is:

              # Triggers an error
              # Expands to the literal value "${NO_SUCH_TOKEN}"

           This variable equivalent to the sequence ${} and the two can be used interchangeably.

       Newline, Space, Tab
           Expands to a single ASCII newline, space and tab respectively.

           This can be useful if you need to include a literal whitespace character (e.g. space)
           where it would otherwise be stripped or used as a separator.

           Expands to the environment variable NAME.  The environment variable must be set (but
           can be set to the empty string).

       Note that all variables must expand to a defined value.  As an example, if debhelper sees
       ${env:FOO}, then it will insist that the environment variable FOO is set (it can be set to
       the empty string).

       Substitution limits

       To avoid infinite loops and resource exhaustion, debhelper will stop with an error if the
       text contains many substitution variables (50) or they expand beyond a certain size (4096
       characters or 3x length of the original input - whichever is bigger).

   Executable debhelper config files
       If you need additional flexibility, many of the debhelper tools (e.g. dh_install(1))
       support executing a config file as a script.

       To use this feature, simply mark the config file as executable (e.g. chmod +x
       debian/package.install) and the tool will attempt to execute it and use the output of the
       script.  In many cases, you can use dh-exec(1) as interpreter of the config file to retain
       most of the original syntax while getting the additional flexibility you need.

       When using executable debhelper config files, please be aware of the following:

       •   The executable config file must exit with success (i.e. its return code should
           indicate success).

       •   In compatibility level 13+, the output will be subject to substitutions (see
           "Substitutions in debhelper config files") where the tool support these.  Remember to
           be careful if your generator also provides substitutions as this can cause unnecessary

           Otherwise, the output will be used exactly as-is.  Notably, debhelper will not expand
           wildcards or strip comments or strip whitespace in the output.

       If you need the package to build on a file system where you cannot disable the executable
       bit, then you can use dh-exec(1) and its strip-output script.


       The following command line options are supported by all debhelper programs.

       -v, --verbose
           Verbose mode: show all commands that modify the package build directory.

           Do not really do anything. If used with -v, the result is that the command will output
           what it would have done.

       -a, --arch
           Act on architecture dependent packages that should be built for the DEB_HOST_ARCH

       -i, --indep
           Act on all architecture independent packages.

       -ppackage, --package=package
           Act on the package named package. This option may be specified multiple times to make
           debhelper operate on a given set of packages.

       -s, --same-arch
           Deprecated alias of -a.

           This option is removed in compat 12.

       -Npackage, --no-package=package
           Do not act on the specified package even if an -a, -i, or -p option lists the package
           as one that should be acted on.

           Do not act on the packages which have already been acted on by this debhelper command
           earlier (i.e. if the command is present in the package debhelper log).  For example,
           if you need to call the command with special options only for a couple of binary
           packages, pass this option to the last call of the command to process the rest of
           packages with default settings.

       -Ptmpdir, --tmpdir=tmpdir
           Use tmpdir for package build directory. The default is debian/package

           This little-used option changes the package which debhelper considers the "main
           package", that is, the first one listed in debian/control, and the one for which
           debian/foo files can be used instead of the usual debian/ files.

           This is used by dh(1) when passing user-specified options to all the commands it runs.
           If the command supports the specified option or option bundle, it will take effect. If
           the command does not support the option (or any part of an option bundle), it will be


       The following command line options are supported by some debhelper programs.  See the man
       page of each program for a complete explanation of what each option does.

       -n  Do not modify postinst, postrm, etc. scripts.

       -Xitem, --exclude=item
           Exclude an item from processing. This option may be used multiple times, to exclude
           more than one thing. The item is typically part of a filename, and any file containing
           the specified text will be excluded.

       -A, --all
           Makes files or other items that are specified on the command line take effect in ALL
           packages acted on, not just the first.


       The following command line options are supported by all of the dh_auto_* debhelper
       programs. These programs support a variety of build systems, and normally heuristically
       determine which to use, and how to use them.  You can use these command line options to
       override the default behavior.  Typically these are passed to dh(1), which then passes
       them to all the dh_auto_* programs.

       -Sbuildsystem, --buildsystem=buildsystem
           Force use of the specified buildsystem, instead of trying to auto-select one which
           might be applicable for the package.

           Pass none as buildsystem to disable auto-selection.

       -Ddirectory, --sourcedir=directory, --sourcedirectory=directory
           Assume that the original package source tree is at the specified directory rather than
           the top level directory of the Debian source package tree.

           Warning: The --sourcedir variant matches a similar named option in dh_install and
           dh_missing (etc.) for historical reasons.  While they have a similar name, they have
           very distinct purposes and in some cases it can cause errors when this variant is
           passed to dh (when then passes it on to all tools).

       -B[directory], --builddir[=directory], --builddirectory[=directory]
           Enable out of source building and use the specified directory as the build directory.
           If directory parameter is omitted, a default build directory will be chosen.

           If this option is not specified, building will be done in source by default unless the
           build system requires or prefers out of source tree building.  In such a case, the
           default build directory will be used even if --builddirectory is not specified.

           If the build system prefers out of source tree building but still allows in source
           building, the latter can be re-enabled by passing a build directory path that is the
           same as the source directory path.

       --parallel, --no-parallel
           Control whether parallel builds should be used if underlying build system supports
           them.  The number of parallel jobs is controlled by the DEB_BUILD_OPTIONS environment
           variable ("Debian Policy, section 4.9.1") at build time. It might also be subject to a
           build system specific limit.

           If neither option is specified, debhelper currently defaults to --parallel in compat
           10 (or later) and --no-parallel otherwise.

           As an optimization, dh will try to avoid passing these options to subprocesses, if
           they are unnecessary and the only options passed.  Notably this happens when
           DEB_BUILD_OPTIONS does not have a parallel parameter (or its value is 1).

           This option implies --parallel and allows further limiting the number of jobs that can
           be used in a parallel build. If the package build is known to only work with certain
           levels of concurrency, you can set this to the maximum level that is known to work, or
           that you wish to support.

           Notably, setting the maximum to 1 is effectively the same as using --no-parallel.

           By default, dh(1) will compute several environment (e.g. by using dpkg-buildflags(1))
           and cache them to avoid having all dh_auto_* tool recompute them.

           When passing this option, the concrete dh_auto_* tool will ignore the cache from dh(1)
           and retrigger a rebuild of these variables.  This is useful in the very rare case
           where the package need to do multiple builds but with different ...FLAGS options.  A
           concrete example would be needing to change the -O parameter in CFLAGS in the second

               export DEB_CFLAGS_MAINT_APPEND=-O3

                   dh $@

                   dh_auto_configure -Bbuild-deb ...
                   DEB_CFLAGS_MAINT_APPEND=-Os dh_auto_configure \
                      --reload-all-buildenv-variables -Bbuild-udeb ...

           Without --reload-all-buildenv-variables in the second call to dh_auto_configure(1),
           the change in DEB_CFLAGS_MAINT_APPEND would be ignored as dh_auto_configure(1) would
           use the cached value of CFLAGS set by dh(1).

           This option is only available with debhelper (>= 12.7~) when the package uses
           compatibility level 9 or later.

       --list, -l
           List all build systems supported by debhelper on this system. The list includes both
           default and third party build systems (marked as such). Also shows which build system
           would be automatically selected, or which one is manually specified with the
           --buildsystem option.


       From time to time, major non-backwards-compatible changes need to be made to debhelper, to
       keep it clean and well-designed as needs change and its author gains more experience. To
       prevent such major changes from breaking existing packages, the concept of debhelper
       compatibility levels was introduced. You must tell debhelper which compatibility level it
       should use, and it modifies its behavior in various ways.

       In current debhelper, you can specify the compatibility level in debian/control by adding
       a Build-Depends on the debhelper-compat package.  For example, to use v13 mode, ensure
       debian/control has:

         Build-Depends: debhelper-compat (= 13)

       This also serves as an appropriate versioned build dependency on a sufficient version of
       the debhelper package, so you do not need to specify a separate versioned build dependency
       on the debhelper package unless you need a specific point release of debhelper (such as
       for the introduction of a new feature or bugfix within a compatibility level).

       Note that debhelper does not provide debhelper-compat for experimental or beta
       compatibility levels; packages experimenting with those compatibility levels should use
       debian/compat or DH_COMPAT.

       Prior versions of debhelper required specifying the compatibility level in the file
       debian/compat, and current debhelper still supports this for backward compatibility,
       though a package may not specify a compatibility level via multiple methods at once. To
       use this method, debian/compat should contain the compatibility level as a single number,
       and no other content. If you specify the compatibility level by this method, your package
       will also need a versioned build dependency on a version of the debhelper package equal to
       (or greater than) the compatibility level your package uses. So, if you specify
       compatibility level 13 in debian/compat, ensure debian/control has:

         Build-Depends: debhelper (>= 13~)

       Unless otherwise indicated, all debhelper documentation assumes that you are using the
       most recent compatibility level, and in most cases does not indicate if the behavior is
       different in an earlier compatibility level, so if you are not using the most recent
       compatibility level, you're advised to read below for notes about what is different in
       earlier compatibility levels.

   Supported compatibility levels
       These are the available compatibility levels:

       v7  This mode is deprecated.

           This is the lowest supported compatibility level.

           If you are upgrading from an earlier compatibility level, please review

       v8  Changes from v7 are:

           -       Commands will fail rather than warning when they are passed unknown options.

           -       dh_makeshlibs will run dpkg-gensymbols on all shared libraries that it
                   generates shlibs files for. So -X can be used to exclude libraries.  Also,
                   libraries in unusual locations that dpkg-gensymbols would not have processed
                   before will be passed to it, a behavior change that can cause some packages to
                   fail to build.

           -       dh requires the sequence to run be specified as the first parameter, and any
                   switches come after it. Ie, use "dh $@ --foo", not "dh --foo $@".

           -       dh_auto_* prefer to use Perl's Module::Build in preference to Makefile.PL.

           This mode is deprecated.

       v9  Changes from v8 are:

           -       Multiarch support. In particular, dh_auto_configure passes multiarch
                   directories to autoconf in --libdir and --libexecdir.

           -       dh is aware of the usual dependencies between targets in debian/rules.  So,
                   "dh binary" will run any build, build-arch, build-indep, install, etc targets
                   that exist in the rules file. There's no need to define an explicit binary
                   target with explicit dependencies on the other targets.

           -       dh_strip compresses debugging symbol files to reduce the installed size of
                   -dbg packages.

           -       dh_auto_configure does not include the source package name in --libexecdir
                   when using autoconf.

           -       dh does not default to enabling --with=python-support

                   (Obsolete: As the dh_pysupport tool was removed from Debian stretch.  Since
                   debhelper/10.3, dh no longer enables this sequence add-on regardless of compat

           -       All of the dh_auto_* debhelper programs and dh set environment variables
                   listed by dpkg-buildflags, unless they are already set.

           -       dh_auto_configure passes dpkg-buildflags CFLAGS, CPPFLAGS, and LDFLAGS to perl
                   Makefile.PL and Build.PL

           -       dh_strip puts separated debug symbols in a location based on their build-id.

           -       Executable debhelper config files are run and their output used as the

           This mode is deprecated.

       v10 Changes from v9 are:

           -       dh_installinit will no longer install a file named debian/package as an init

           -       dh_installdocs will error out if it detects links created with --link-doc
                   between packages of architecture "all" and non-"all" as it breaks binNMUs.

           -       dh_installdeb no longer installs a maintainer-provided debian/package.shlibs
                   file.  This is now done by dh_makeshlibs instead.

           -       dh_installwm refuses to create a broken package if no man page can be found
                   (required to register for the x-window-manager alternative).

           -       Debhelper will default to --parallel for all buildsystems that support
                   parallel building.  This can be disabled by using either --no-parallel or
                   passing --max-parallel with a value of 1.

           -       The dh command will not accept any of the deprecated "manual sequence control"
                   parameters (--before, --after, etc.).  Please use override targets instead.

                   Retroactively applied to earlier compat levels: dh no longer accepts any of
                   these since debhelper/12.4.

           -       The dh command will no longer use log files to track which commands have been
                   run.  The dh command still keeps track of whether it already ran the "build"
                   sequence and skip it if it did.

                   The main effects of this are:

                   -   With this, it is now easier to debug the install or/and binary sequences
                       because they can now trivially be re-run (without having to do a full
                       "clean and rebuild" cycle)

                   -   The main caveat is that dh_* now only keeps track of what happened in a
                       single override target.  When all the calls to a given dh_cmd command
                       happens in the same override target everything will work as before.

                       Example of where it can go wrong:

                           dh_foo -pmy-pkg

                           dh_foo --remaining

                       In this case, the call to dh_foo --remaining will also include my-pkg,
                       since dh_foo -pmy-pkg was run in a separate override target.  This issue
                       is not limited to --remaining, but also includes -a, -i, etc.

           -       The dh_installdeb command now shell-escapes the lines in the maintscript
                   config file.  This was the original intent but it did not work properly and
                   packages have begun to rely on the incomplete shell escaping (e.g. quoting
                   file names).

           -       The dh_installinit command now defaults to --restart-after-upgrade.  For
                   packages needing the previous behaviour, please use

           -       The autoreconf sequence is now enabled by default.  Please pass --without
                   autoreconf to dh if this is not desirable for a given package

           -       The systemd sequence is now enabled by default.  Please pass --without systemd
                   to dh if this is not desirable for a given package.

           -       Retroactively removed: dh no longer creates the package build directory when
                   skipping running debhelper commands. This will not affect packages that only
                   build with debhelper commands, but it may expose bugs in commands not included
                   in debhelper.

                   This compatibility feature had a bug since its inception in
                   debhelper/9.20130516 that made it fail to apply in compat 9 and earlier.  As
                   there has been no reports of issues caused by this bug in those ~5 years, this
                   item have been removed rather than fixed.

       v11 This mode is discouraged.

           The compat 11 is discouraged for new packages as it suffers from feature interaction
           between dh_installinit and dh_installsystemd causing services to not run correctly in
           some cases.  Please consider using compatibility mode 10 or 12 instead.  More details
           about the issue are available in Debian#887904 and

           Changes from v10 are:

           -       dh_installinit no longer installs service or tmpfile files, nor generates
                   maintainer scripts for those files.  Please use the new dh_installsystemd

           -       The dh_systemd_enable and dh_systemd_start helpers have been replaced by the
                   new dh_installsystemd helper.  For the same reason, the systemd sequence for
                   dh has also been removed.  If you need to disable the dh_installsystemd helper
                   tool, please use an empty override target.

                   Please note that the dh_installsystemd tool has a slightly different behaviour
                   in some cases (e.g. when using the --name parameter).

           -       dh_installdirs no longer creates debian/package directories unless explicitly
                   requested (or it has to create a subdirectory in it).

                   The vast majority of all packages will be unaffected by this change.

           -       The makefile buildsystem now passes INSTALL="install --strip-program=true" to
                   make(1).  Derivative buildsystems (e.g. configure or cmake) are unaffected by
                   this change.

           -       The autoconf buildsystem now passes --runstatedir=/run to ./configure.

           -       The cmake buildsystem now passes -DCMAKE_INSTALL_RUNSTATEDIR=/run to cmake(1).

           -       dh_installman will now prefer detecting the language from the path name rather
                   than the extension.

           -       dh_auto_install will now only create the destination directory it needs.
                   Previously, it would create the package build directory for all packages.
                   This will not affect packages that only build with debhelper commands, but it
                   may expose bugs in commands not included in debhelper.

           -       The helpers dh_installdocs, dh_installexamples, dh_installinfo, and
                   dh_installman now error out if their config has a pattern that does not match
                   anything or reference a path that does not exist.

                   Known exceptions include building with the nodoc profile, where the above
                   tools will silently permit failed matches where the patterns are used to
                   specify documentation.

           -       The helpers dh_installdocs, dh_installexamples, dh_installinfo, and
                   dh_installman now accept the parameter --sourcedir with same meaning as
                   dh_install. Furthermore, they now also fall back to debian/tmp like

                   Migration note: A bug in debhelper 11 up to 11.1.5 made dh_installinfo
                   incorrectly ignore --sourcedir.

           -       The perl-makemaker and perl-build build systems no longer pass -I. to perl.
                   Packages that still need this behaviour can emulate it by using the PERL5LIB
                   environment variable.  E.g. by adding export PERL5LIB=. in their debian/rules
                   file (or similar).

           -       The PERL_USE_UNSAFE_INC environment variable is no longer set by dh or any of
                   the dh_auto_* tools.  It was added as a temporary work around to avoid a lot
                   of packages failing to build at the same time.

                   Note this item will eventually become obsolete as upstream intends to drop
                   support for the PERL_USE_UNSAFE_INC environment variable.  When perl drops
                   support for it, then this variable will be removed retroactively from existing
                   compat levels as well.

           -       The dh_makeshlibs helper will now exit with an error if objdump returns a non-
                   zero exit from analysing a given file.

           -       The dh_installdocs and dh_installexamples tools may now install most of the
                   documentation in a different path to comply with the recommendation from
                   Debian policy §12.3 (since version 3.9.7).

                   Note that if a given source package only contains a single binary package in
                   debian/control or none of the packages are -doc packages, then this change is
                   not relevant for that source package and you can skip to the next change.

                   By default, these tools will now attempt to determine a "main package for the
                   documentation" (called a doc-main-package from here on) for every -doc
                   package.  If they find such a doc-main-package, they will now install the
                   documentation into the path /usr/share/doc/doc-main-package in the given doc
                   package.  I.e. the path can change but the documentation is still shipped in
                   the -doc package.

                   The --doc-main-package option can be used when the auto-detection is
                   insufficient or to reset the path to its previous value if there is a reason
                   to diverge from Debian policy recommendation.

                   Some documentation will not be affected by this change.  These exceptions
                   include the copyright file, changelog files, README.Debian, etc.  These files
                   will still be installed in the path /usr/share/doc/package.

           -       The dh_strip and dh_shlibdeps tools no longer uses filename patterns to
                   determine which files to process.  Instead, they open the file and look for an
                   ELF header to determine if a given file is an shared object or an ELF

                   This change may cause the tools to process more files than previously.

       v12 Changes from v11 are:

           -       The dh_makeshlibs tool now generates shlibs files with versioned dependency by
                   default.  This means that -VUpstream-Version (a.k.a. -V) is now the default.

                   If an unversioned dependency in the shlibs file is wanted, this can be
                   obtained by passing -VNone instead.  However, please see dh_makeshlibs(1) for
                   the caveat of unversioned dependencies.

           -       The -s (--same-arch) option is removed.  Please use -a (--arch) instead.

           -       Invoking dh_clean -k now causes an error instead of a deprecation warning.

           -       The --no-restart-on-upgrade option in dh_installinit has been removed.  Please
                   use the new name --no-stop-on-upgrade

           -       There was a bug in the doit (and similar) functions from
                   Debian::Debhelper::Dh_Lib that made them spawn a shell in one particular
                   circumstance.  This bug is now removed and will cause helpers that rely on the
                   bug to fail with a "command not found"-error.

           -       The --list-missing and --fail-missing in dh_install has been removed.  Please
                   use dh_missing and its corresponding options, which can also see the files
                   installed by other helpers.

           -       The dh_installinit helper no longer installs configuration for the upstart
                   init system.  Instead, it will abort the build if it finds an old upstart
                   configuration file.  The error is there to remind the package maintainer to
                   ensure the proper removal of the conffiles shipped in previous versions of the
                   package (if any).

           -       The dh_installdeb tool will do basic validation of some
                   dpkg-maintscript-helper(1) commands and will error out if the commands appear
                   to be invalid.

           -       The dh_missing tool will now default to --list-missing.

           -       The dh_makeshlibs tool will now only pass libraries to dpkg-gensymbols(1) if
                   the ELF binary has a SONAME (containing ".so").

           -       The dh_compress tool no longer compresses examples (i.e. anything installed in

           -       The standard sequence in dh now includes dh_dwz and dh_installinitramfs by
                   default.  This makes the dwz and installinitramfs sequences obsolete and they
                   will now fail with an error.  If you want to skip these commands, then please
                   insert an empty override target for them in debian/rules (e.g.

           -       The build systems meson and autoconf no longer explicitly set the --libexecdir
                   variable and thus relies on the build system default - which should be
                   /usr/libexec (per FHS 3.0, adopted in Debian Policy 4.1.5).

                   If a particular upstream package does not use the correct default, the
                   parameter can often be passed manually via dh_auto_configure(1).  E.g.  via
                   the following example:

                           dh_auto_configure -- --libexecdir=/usr/libexec

                   Note the -- before the --libexecdir parameter.

           -       Retroactively removed in debhelper/13.5:

                   The dh_installdeb tool would no longer installs the maintainer provided
                   conffiles file as it was deemed unnecessary.  However, the remove-on-upgrade
                   from dpkg/1.20 made the file relevant again and dh_installdeb now installs it
                   again in compat levels 12+.

           -       The dh_installsystemd tool no longer relies on dh_installinit for handling
                   systemd services that have a sysvinit alternative.  Both tools must now be
                   used in such a case to ensure the service is properly started under both
                   sysvinit and systemd.

                   If you have an override for dh_installinit (e.g. to call it with --no-start)
                   then you will probably need one for dh_installsystemd as well now.

                   This change makes dh_installinit inject a misc:Pre-Depends for init-system-
                   helpers (>= 1.54~).  Please ensure that the package lists ${misc:Pre-Depends}
                   in its Pre-Depends field before upgrading to compat 12.

           -       The third-party dh_golang tool (from dh-golang package) now defaults on
                   honoring DH_GOLANG_EXCLUDES variable for source installation in -dev packages
                   and not only during the building process. Please set DH_GOLANG_EXCLUDES_ALL to
                   false to revert to the previous behaviour. See
                   Debian::Debhelper::Buildsystem::golang(3pm) for details and examples.

           -       dh_installsystemduser is now included in the dh standard sequence by default.

           -       The python-distutils buildsystem is now removed.  Please use the third-party
                   build system pybuild instead.

       v13 This is the recommended mode of operation.

           Changes from v12 are:

           -       The meson+ninja build system now uses meson test instead of ninja test when
                   running the test suite.  Any override of dh_auto_test that passes extra
                   parameters to upstream test runner should be reviewed as meson test is not
                   command line compatible with ninja test.

           -       All debhelper like tools based on the official debhelper library (including dh
                   and the official dh_* tools) no longer accepts abbreviated command parameters.
                   At the same time, dh now optimizes out calls to redundant dh_* helpers even
                   when passed long command line options.

           -       The ELF related debhelper tools (dh_dwz, dh_strip, dh_makeshlibs,
                   dh_shlibdeps) are now only run for arch dependent packages by default (i.e.
                   they are excluded from *-indep targets and are passed -a by default). If you
                   need them for *-indep targets, you can add an explicit Build-Depends on dh-

           -       The third-party gradle build system (from gradle-debian-helper package) now
                   runs the upstream-provided test suite automatically.  To suppress such
                   behavior, override dh_auto_test.

           -       The dh_installman tool now aborts if it sees conflicting definitions of a
                   manpage.  This typically happens if the upstream build system is installing a
                   compressed version and the package lists an uncompressed version of the
                   manpage in debian/package.manpages.  Often the easiest fix is to remove the
                   manpage from debian/package.manpages (assuming both versions are identical).

           -       The dh_auto_* helpers now reset the environment variables HOME and common
                   XDG_* variable.  Please see description of the environment variables in
                   "ENVIRONMENT" for how this is handled.

                   This feature changed between debhelper 13 and debhelper 13.2.

           -       The dh command will now error if an override or hook target for an obsolete
                   command are present in debian/rules (e.g. override_dh_systemd_enable:).

           -       The dh_missing command will now default to --fail-missing.  This can be
                   reverted to a non-fatal warning by explicitly passing --list-missing like it
                   was in compat 12.

                   If you do not want the warning either, please omit the call to dh_missing.  If
                   you use the dh command sequencer, then you can do this by inserting an empty
                   override target in the debian/rules file of the relevant package.  As an

                       # Disable dh_missing

           -       The dh command sequencer now runs dh_installtmpfiles in the default sequence.
                   The dh_installtmpfiles takes over handling of tmpfiles.d configuration files.
                   Related functionality in dh_installsystemd is now disabled.

                   Note that dh_installtmpfiles responds to debian/package.tmpfiles where
                   dh_installsystemd used a name without the trailing "s".

           -       Many dh_* tools now support limited variable expansion via the ${foo} syntax.
                   In many cases, this can be used to reference paths that contain either spaces
                   or dpkg-architecture(1) values.  While this can reduce the need for dh-exec(1)
                   in some cases, it is not a replacement dh-exec(1) in general.  If you need
                   filtering, renaming, etc., the package will still need dh-exec(1).

                   Please see "Substitutions in debhelper config files" for syntax and available
                   substitution variables.  To dh_* tool writers, substitution expansion occurs
                   as a part of the filearray and filedoublearray functions.

           -       The dh command sequencer will now skip all hook and override targets for
                   dh_auto_test, dh_dwz and dh_strip when DEB_BUILD_OPTIONS lists the relevant
                   nocheck / nostrip options.

                   Any package relying on these targets to always be run should instead move
                   relevant logic out of those targets.  E.g. non-test related packaging code
                   from override_dh_auto_test would have to be moved to
                   execute_after_dh_auto_build or execute_before_dh_auto_install.

           -       The cmake buildsystem now passes -DCMAKE_SKIP_INSTALL_ALL_DEPENDENCY=ON to
                   cmake(1) to speed up automatic installation process. If for some reason you
                   need previous behavior, override the flag:

                       dh_auto_configure -- -DCMAKE_SKIP_INSTALL_ALL_DEPENDENCY=OFF ...

       v14 This compatibility level is still open for development; use with caution.

           Changes from v13 are:

           -       The cmake buildsystem now passes -DCMAKE_SKIP_RPATH=ON and
                   -DCMAKE_BUILD_RPATH_USE_ORIGIN=ON to cmake(1) to avoid some reproducibility

                   This can cause issues with running binaries directly from the build
                   directories as they might now require a manually set LD_LIBRARY_PATH.  If you
                   need to override this change, we recommend that you try to pass the
                   -DCMAKE_SKIP_RPATH=OFF option first to see if that fixes the problem (leaving
                   CMAKE_BUILD_RPATH_USE_ORIGIN at its new default).  This should undo the need
                   for LD_LIBRARY_PATH and avoid the reproducibility issues on Linux, where
                   $ORIGIN is supported by the runtime linkers.

           -       The tool dh_installsysusers is now included in the default sequence. It will
                   cause units to be automatically started on installation, restarted on upgrade
                   and stopped on removal for every systemd user instance running on the system.

           -       Use of the dh_gconf command in override and hook targets now causes an error.
                   The dh_gconf command has been a no-op for years and was removed in debhelper

           -       The dh sequencer will warn if the single-binary addon is implicitly activated
                   to warn maintainers of the pending compat 15 change in dh_auto_install.

                   Maintainers are urged to either explicitly activate the single-binary addon to
                   preserve the existing behaviour (e.g., by adding dh-sequence-single-binary to
                   Build-Depends), or explicitly passing --destdir to dh_auto_install if used and
                   then passing --without single-binary to dh (the latter to silence the

                   The rationale for this change to avoid "surprises" when adding a second binary
                   package later.  Previously, debhelper would silently change behaviour often
                   resulting in empty binary packages being uploaded to the archive by mistake.
                   With the new behaviour, the single-binary addon will detect the mismatch and
                   warn the maintainer of what is about to happen.

       v15 This compatibility level is still open for development; use with caution.

           Changes from v14 are:

           -       The dh_auto_install tool no longer defaults to --destdir=debian/package for
                   source packages only producing a single binary.  If this behaviour is wanted,
                   the package should explicitly activate the single-binary dh addon (e.g., by
                   adding dh-sequence-single-binary to Build-Depends) or pass --destdir to

                   The rationale for this change to avoid "surprises" when adding a second binary
                   package later.  Previously, debhelper would silently change behaviour often
                   resulting in empty binary packages being uploaded to the archive by mistake.
                   With the new behaviour, the single-binary addon will detect the mismatch and
                   warn the maintainer of what is about to happen.


   Multiple binary package support
       If your source package generates more than one binary package, debhelper programs will
       default to acting on all binary packages when run. If your source package happens to
       generate one architecture dependent package, and another architecture independent package,
       this is not the correct behavior, because you need to generate the architecture dependent
       packages in the binary-arch debian/rules target, and the architecture independent packages
       in the binary-indep debian/rules target.

       To facilitate this, as well as give you more control over which packages are acted on by
       debhelper programs, all debhelper programs accept the -a, -i, -p, and -s parameters. These
       parameters are cumulative.  If none are given, debhelper programs default to acting on all
       packages listed in the control file, with the exceptions below.

       First, any package whose Architecture field in debian/control does not match the
       DEB_HOST_ARCH architecture will be excluded ("Debian Policy, section 5.6.8").

       Also, some additional packages may be excluded based on the contents of the
       DEB_BUILD_PROFILES environment variable and Build-Profiles fields in binary package
       stanzas in debian/control, according to the draft policy at

       Interaction between package selections and Build-Profiles

       Build-Profiles affect which packages are included in the package selections mechanisms in
       debhelper.  Generally, the package selections are described from the assumption that all
       packages are enabled.  This section describes how the selections react when a package is
       disabled due to the active Build-Profiles (or lack of active Build-Profiles).

       -a/--arch, -i/--indep OR no selection options (a raw "dh_X" call)
           The package disabled by Build-Profiles is silently excluded from the selection.

           Note you will receive a warning if all packages related to these selections are
           disabled.  In that case, it generally does not make sense to do the build in the first

       -N package / --no-package package
           The option is accepted and effectively does nothing.

       -p package / --package package
           The option is accepted, but debhelper will not act on the package.

       Note that it does not matter whether a package is enabled or disabled by default.

   Automatic generation of Debian install scripts
       Some debhelper commands will automatically generate parts of Debian maintainer scripts. If
       you want these automatically generated things included in your existing Debian maintainer
       scripts, then you need to add #DEBHELPER# to your scripts, in the place the code should be
       added.  #DEBHELPER# will be replaced by any auto-generated code when you run

       If a script does not exist at all and debhelper needs to add something to it, then
       debhelper will create the complete script.

       All debhelper commands that automatically generate code in this way let it be disabled by
       the -n parameter (see above).

       Note that the inserted code will be shell code, so you cannot directly use it in a Perl
       script. If you would like to embed it into a Perl script, here is one way to do that (note
       that I made sure that $1, $2, etc are set with the set command):

         my $temp="set -e\nset -- @ARGV\n" . << 'EOF';
         if (system($temp)) {
            my $exit_code = ($? >> 8) & 0xff;
            my $signal = $? & 0x7f;
            if ($exit_code) {
                die("The debhelper script failed with error code: ${exit_code}");
            } else {
                die("The debhelper script was killed by signal: ${signal}");

   Automatic generation of miscellaneous dependencies.
       Some debhelper commands may make the generated package need to depend on some other
       packages. For example, if you use dh_installdebconf(1), your package will generally need
       to depend on debconf. Or if you use dh_installxfonts(1), your package will generally need
       to depend on a particular version of xutils. Keeping track of these miscellaneous
       dependencies can be annoying since they are dependent on how debhelper does things, so
       debhelper offers a way to automate it.

       All commands of this type, besides documenting what dependencies may be needed on their
       man pages, will automatically generate a substvar called ${misc:Depends}. If you put that
       token into your debian/control file, it will be expanded to the dependencies debhelper
       figures you need.

       This is entirely independent of the standard ${shlibs:Depends} generated by
       dh_makeshlibs(1), and the ${perl:Depends} generated by dh_perl(1).  You can choose not to
       use any of these, if debhelper's guesses don't match reality.

   Package build directories
       By default, all debhelper programs assume that the temporary directory used for assembling
       the tree of files in a package is debian/package.

       Sometimes, you might want to use some other temporary directory. This is supported by the
       -P flag. For example, "dh_installdocs -Pdebian/tmp", will use debian/tmp as the temporary
       directory. Note that if you use -P, the debhelper programs can only be acting on a single
       package at a time. So if you have a package that builds many binary packages, you will
       need to also use the -p flag to specify which binary package the debhelper program will
       act on.

       Debhelper includes support for udebs. To create a udeb with debhelper, add "Package-Type:
       udeb" to the package's stanza in debian/control.  Debhelper will try to create udebs that
       comply with debian-installer policy, by making the generated package files end in .udeb,
       not installing any documentation into a udeb, skipping over preinst, postrm, prerm, and
       config scripts, etc.


       This section describes some of the environment variables that influences the behaviour of
       debhelper or which debhelper interacts with.

       It is important to note that these must be actual environment variables in order to affect
       the behaviour of debhelper (not simply Makefile variables).  To specify them properly in
       debian/rules, be sure to "export" them. For example, "export DH_VERBOSE".

           Set to 1 to enable verbose mode. Debhelper will output every command it runs. Also
           enables verbose build logs for some build systems like autoconf.

           Set to 1 to enable quiet mode. Debhelper will not output commands calling the upstream
           build system nor will dh print which subcommands are called and depending on the
           upstream build system might make that more quiet, too.  This makes it easier to spot
           important messages but makes the output quite useless as buildd log.  Ignored if
           DH_VERBOSE is also set.

           Temporarily specifies what compatibility level debhelper should run at, overriding any
           value specified via Build-Depends on debhelper-compat or via the debian/compat file.

           Set to 1 to enable no-act mode.

           All debhelper tools will parse command line arguments listed in this variable before
           any command option (as if they had been prepended to the command line arguments).
           Unfortunately, some third-party provided tools may not support this variable and will
           ignore these command line arguments.

           When using dh(1), it can be passed options that will be passed on to each debhelper
           command, which is generally better than using DH_OPTIONS.

           If set, this adds the value the variable is set to to the -X options of all commands
           that support the -X option. Moreover, dh_builddeb will rm -rf anything that matches
           the value in your package build tree.

           This can be useful if you are doing a build from a CVS source tree, in which case
           setting DH_ALWAYS_EXCLUDE=CVS will prevent any CVS directories from sneaking into the
           package you build. Or, if a package has a source tarball that (unwisely) includes CVS
           directories, you might want to export DH_ALWAYS_EXCLUDE=CVS in debian/rules, to make
           it take effect wherever your package is built.

           Multiple things to exclude can be separated with colons, as in

           If set, this adds the specified dh addons to be run in the appropriate places in the
           sequence of commands. This is equivalent to specifying the addon to run with the
           --with flag in the debian/rules file. Any --without calls specifying an addon in this
           environment variable will not be run.

           This is intended to be used by downstreams or specific local configurations that
           require a debhelper addon to be run during multiple builds without having to patch a
           large number of rules file. If at all possible, this should be avoided in favor of a
           --with flag in the rules file.

           These variables can be used to control whether debhelper commands should use colors in
           their textual output.  Can be set to "always", "auto" (the default), or "never".

           Note that DPKG_COLOR also affects a number of dpkg related tools and debhelper uses it
           on the assumption that you want the same color setting for dpkg and debhelper.  In the
           off-hand chance you want different color setting for debhelper, you can use DH_COLORS
           instead or in addition to DPKG_COLORS.

           If no explicit request for color has been given (e.g. DH_COLORS and DPKG_COLORS are
           both unset), the presence of this environment variable cause the default color setting
           to be "never".

           The variable is defined according to <>.  In this project, the
           environment variables (such as DH_COLORS) are considered an explicit request for

           By default (in any non-deprecated compat level), debhelper will automatically set
           these flags by using dpkg-buildflags(1), when they are unset.  If you need to change
           the default flags, please use the features from dpkg-buildflags(1) to do this (e.g.
           DEB_BUILD_MAINT_OPTIONS=hardening=all or
           DEB_CPPFLAGS_MAINT_APPEND=-DCUSTOM_MACRO=true) rather than setting the concrete
           variable directly.

       HOME, XDG_*
           In compat 13 and later, these environment variables are reset before invoking the
           upstream build system via the dh_auto_* helpers.  The variables HOME (all dh_auto_*
           helpers) and XDG_RUNTIME_DIR (dh_auto_test only) will be set to a writable directory.
           All remaining variables and XDG_RUNTIME_DIR (except for during dh_auto_test) will be

           The HOME directory will be created as an empty directory but it will be reused between
           calls to dh_auto_*.  Any content will persist until explicitly deleted or dh_clean.

           Please see "Supported flags in DEB_BUILD_OPTIONS" for this environment variable.

           Please note that this variable should not be altered by package maintainers inside
           debian/rules to change the behaviour of debhelper.  Instead, where the package
           maintainer need these features, they should look disabling the relevant feature
           directly (e.g. by overriding the concrete tools).

           This is a dpkg specific environment variable (see e.g. dpkg-buildflags(1)).  The
           debhelper tool suite silently ignores it.

           It is documented here because it has a similar name to DEB_BUILD_OPTIONS, which make
           some people mistakenly assume that debhelper will also react to this variable.

   Supported flags in DEB_BUILD_OPTIONS
       The debhelper tool suite reacts to the following flags in DEB_BUILD_OPTIONS.

           This is a debhelper specific value.

           When dherroron is present and set to obsolete-compat-levels, then debhelper tools will
           promote deprecation warnings for usage of old soon to be removed compat levels into

           This is useful for automated checking for code relying on deprecated compat levels
           that is scheduled for removal.

           This option is intended for testing purposes; not production builds.

           This value will change the content of the debs being built.  The .deb packages built
           when this is set is therefore not bit-for-bit reproducible with a regular build in the
           general case.

           This value will cause the official debhelper tools will skip actions and helpers that
           either remove, detach or deduplicate debugging symbols in ELF binaries.

           This value affects dh_dwz(1) and dh_strip(1).

           This value will cause the official debhelper build systems to skip runs of upstream
           test suites.

           Package maintainers looking to avoid running the upstream tests should not rely on
           this.  Instead, they can add an empty override target to skip dh_auto_test.

           This value affects dh_auto_test(1).

           This value will change the content of the debs being built.  The .deb packages built
           when this is set is therefore not bit-for-bit reproducible with a regular build in the
           general case.

           This value will cause several debhelper tools to skip installation of documentation
           such as manpages or upstream provided documentation.  Additionally, the tools will
           also ignore if declared documentation is "missing" on the assumption that the
           documentation has not been built.

           This value effects tools like dh_installdocs(1), which knows it is working with

       noautodbgsym, noddebs
           The official name is autodbgsym.  The noddebs variant is accepted for historical

           This value causes debhelper to skip the generation of automatically generated debug
           symbol packages.

           This value affects dh_strip(1).

           This value enables debhelper to use up to N threads or processes (subject to
           parameters like --no-parallel and --max-parallel=M).  Not all debhelper tools work
           with parallel tasks and may silently ignore the request.

           This value affects many debhelper tools.  Most notably dh_auto_*, which will attempt
           to run the underlying upstream build system with that number of threads.

           This value will cause the official debhelper build systems to configure upstream
           builds to be terse (i.e. reduce verbosity in their output).  This is subject to the
           upstream and the debhelper build system supporting such features.

           This value affects most dh_auto_* tools.

       Unknown flags are silently ignored.

       Note third-party debhelper-like tools or third-party provided build systems may or may not
       react to the above flags.  This tends to depend on implementation details of the tool.


           A set of example debian/rules files that use debhelper.

           Debhelper web site.


       Joey Hess <>