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man/nl/man7/dgit-maint-gbp(7) dgit man/nl/man7/dgit-maint-gbp(7)


dgit - tutorial for package maintainers already using git-buildpackage(1)


This document explains how dgit can be incorporated into a git-buildpackage(1) package-maintenance workflow. This should be read jointly with git-buildpackage(1)'s documentation. Some reasons why you might want to incorporate dgit into your existing workflow:

  • Benefit from dgit's safety catches. In particular, ensure that your upload always matches exactly your git HEAD.
  • Provide a better, more detailed git history to downstream dgit users, such as people using dgit to do an NMU (see dgit-nmu-simple(7) and dgit-user(7)).

Note that we assume a patches-unapplied repository: the upstream source committed to the git repository is unpatched. git-buildpackage(1) can work with patched-applied repositories, but is normally used with patches-unapplied.


If you have configured an export-dir in your gbp.conf, you should tell dgit about it:

    % git config --global /home/spwhitton/build-area

If you run

    % git config dgit.default.quilt-mode gbp

in your repository, you can omit --gbp wherever it occurs below.

Note that this does require that you always work from your gbp master branch, never the dgit patches-applied branch.


You can perform test builds like this:

    % dgit [--include-dirty] gbp-build [OPTIONS]

where --include-dirty is needed for testing uncommitted changes, and OPTIONS are any further options to be passed on to gbp-buildpackage(1).

If you are doing a source-only upload, you do not need to prepare a _source.changes, as dgit push-source will take of that on your behalf.

If you need to include binaries with your upload, you will probably want to use sbuild(1), pbuilder(1) or cowbuilder(1):

    % dgit --rm-old-changes --gbp sbuild

replacing 'sbuild' with 'pbuilder' or 'cowbuilder' if appropriate.

We use --rm-old-changes to ensure that there is exactly one changes file corresponding to this package, so we can be confident we're uploading what we intend (though dgit push will do some safety checks).

Note that none of the commands in this section are required to upload with dgit. You can invoke gbp-buildpackage(1), pbuilder(1), cowbuilder(1) and sbuild(1) directly. However, the defaults for these tools may leave you with something that dgit will refuse to upload because it doesn't match your git HEAD.

As a general rule, leave all signing and tagging to dgit.


Don't use --git-tag: dgit push will do this for you. To do a source-only upload:

    % dgit --gbp push-source

or if you need to include binaries,

    % dgit --gbp push

This will push your git history to the dgit-repos, but you probably want to follow it up with a push to salsa.

You will need to pass --overwrite if the previous upload was not performed with dgit.

If this is first ever dgit push of the package, consider passing --deliberately-not-fast-forward instead of --overwrite. This avoids introducing a new origin commit into the dgit view of your git history. (This origin commit would represent the most recent non-dgit upload of the package, but this should already be represented in your git history.)

Alternatively, you can use git-debpush(1). For the first upload you should pass the --gbp quilt mode option (see git-debpush(1)).


dgit pull can't yet incorporate NMUs into patches-unapplied gbp branches. You can just apply the NMU diff the traditional way. The next upload will require --overwrite.


dgit(1), dgit(7)


This tutorial was written and is maintained by Sean Whitton <>.

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