Building a package to extract files/run scripts (not from source)

Alex Mandel tech_dev at
Sun Jan 28 04:44:58 UTC 2007

Matthew Nicholson wrote:
> Hash: SHA1
> greetings,
> I am looking for some help/pointers. I have a piece of software (MatLab)
> that I do not have the source to (obviously) that I need to build a .deb
> of. Basically, I already built a self-extracting archive of it, that
> will expand everything needed to a folder (matlab), so that sort of does
> the trick, however, i'm looking for something a bit nicer.
> Ideally, I would like to have a .deb of the package. This would extract
> everything somewhere (lets say /opt/matlab), and create a symlink or two
> like: /usr/local/bin/matlab -> /opt/matlab/bin/matlab
> A final task would be to create a menu icon entry, but this is absolute
> lowest priority.
> Basically, we want it to be easy as can be for our users to install
> MatLab with our license etc.
> I know there are some packages out there that work in a similar way
> (just extracting files and running a post install script). I had gone
> thoruhg the packaging guide, but all of the utilities there expect a
> source directory so that things can be compiled etc as the package is
> built. Obviously, this is not what i need.
> Any help/pointers/links to guides would be great.
> Thanks
> Matt Nicholson
> sjoeboo at

Try Checkinstall, I did this with some binaries before(JRE, ATI Drivers) 
and I think this is what I used. But usually this is just used to 
replace the make install command which comes after a make.

Or you could just build a deb, I haven't done this before but it seems 
like it's just binaries packaged up.
This page says that you can the "source" option in the control file is 


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