Suggestions on packaging a patched source tarball

Stefan Potyra sistpoty at
Sun Sep 23 12:48:47 BST 2007

Hi Cesare,

Am Sonntag 23 September 2007 09:57:36 schrieb Cesare Falco:
> Hi there,
> I'm facing an unusual situation. I'm already packaging sdlmame from
> a .zip upstream file. Well, you didn't know? Please review it:
> :)
> Now I'm considering to package another Mame derivative, namely WolfMame,
> which is distributed as a patch to the baseline code. I wonder what is
> the correct way to handle this:

First off all, a nonnative debian package consists of a .orig.tar.gz, which 
should contain the upstream sources and of a .diff.gz, which contains the 
debian/ubuntu modification. The gist of this distinction is to separate 
cleanly stuff from upstream and the maintainers modifications.

> 1. I should download the upstream tarball, uncompress and
> patch it with the set of patches and finally build a
> wolfmame_xxx.orig.tar.gz

So this seams to be the right approach, since it will separate upstreams work 
and debian/ubuntu stuff via .orig.tar.gz and .diff.gz. However to also make 
it transparent how you built your orig-tarball, you should create the 
orig-tarball via a script and add it to the debian directory for reference.

> *or*
> 2. use upstream tarball to build a
> wolfmame_xxx.orig.tar.gz and then patch it during the package build
> process (ugly IMHO)

This would leave the upstream source being part of the .diff.gz so that's not 
a good idea.

> *or*
> 3. add a patching system to my existing maintainer scripts in the
> sdlmame package and build another binary right from it

Likewise, no clear distinction between maintainer patches and upstream work 

> *or*
> 4. I'm waiting for your suggestions, they will be highly welcome ;)

Build a tarball containing the sdlmame zip file and the wolfmame zip file (or 
both converted to tarballs) as an .orig.tar.gz and have the build system 
mangle both together (the tarball thingy of cdbs might be useful here), 
though I've never liked packages in this style much, but that's a personal 

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