Packaging Guide Feedback

Jono Bacon jono at
Wed Oct 17 00:49:59 BST 2007

Hi all,

Well, tonight I made my very first steps into learning how to package.
To do this I used the packaging guide, and while using it, I made a
bunch of notes where things could be clearer. Here they are:


 * Instead of 822-date, should use date -R

 * control file should explain Depends: in much more detail

 * rules file should be explained in much more detail, the guide just
skims over it, this should be explained line by line, particularly the
binary-arch section which specifies how the package should be built

 * in the part about postinst and prerm, it says to copy the files from
the ubuntu package, but they are not there in the debian/ dir of the
ubuntu package

 * in "Building the Source Package" it should explain again the
difference between a source and binary package

 * when I built the source package I had changelog problem, but I copied
over the changelog from the ubuntu package and edited it, and it worked

 * lintian is explained at the end of the page, but it is not explained
how to understand the output of it and how it can help fix problems


 * when it says to unpack the original upstream package, we should cd
back to the hello-debhelper/ dir

 * when it says "Now, from the package's directory, run dh_make:" it
should really say, from the *upstream source* directory

 * when it says "2. Creates the basic files needed in debian/ and many
template files (.ex) that may be needed." - what are these .ex files and
why are some .ex and some .EX?

 * when it says to edit the changelog to rename from hello to
hello-debhelper, it is already hello-debhelper

 * it also seems the distro name is 'unstable' in the changelog that is
generated by debhelper - do I need to change it to 'gutsy'?

 * in the control file, the guide mentions Build-Depends - this is new,
what is it?

 * again, the postinst and prerm files are not in the ubuntu-debhelper
source dir

 * when using my pbuilder for the second build (the debhelper build),
does the debhelper build have its own pbuilder and therefore the package
will check dependencies and download them again? this should be

I have not got to the CDBS bit yet. I hope to look into that tomorrow

Hope this helps. :)


Jono Bacon
Ubuntu Community Manager
jono(at)ubuntu(dot)com /

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