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WRAP-AND-SORT(1) General Commands Manual WRAP-AND-SORT(1)


wrap-and-sort - wrap long lines and sort items in Debian packaging files


wrap-and-sort [options]


wrap-and-sort wraps the package lists in Debian control files. By default the lists will only split into multiple lines if the entries are longer than the maximum line length limit of 79 characters. wrap-and-sort sorts the package lists in Debian control files and all .dirs, .docs, .examples, .info, .install, .links, .maintscript, and .manpages files. Beside that wrap-and-sort removes trailing spaces in these files.

This script should be run in the root of a Debian package tree. It searches for control, control*.in, copyright,, install, and *.install in the debian directory.


Show this help message and exit.
Wrap all package lists in the Debian control file even if they do not exceed the line length limit and could fit in one line.
Only indent wrapped lines by one space (default is in-line with the field name).
Sort binary package paragraphs by name.
When sorting binary package paragraphs, leave the first one at the top.

Unqualified debhelper(7) configuration files are applied to the first package.

Do not remove trailing whitespaces.
Add a trailing comma at the end of the sorted fields. This minimizes future differences in the VCS commits when additional dependencies are appended or removed.
Location of the debian directory (default: ./debian).
Wrap and sort only the specified file. You can specify this parameter multiple times. All supported files will be processed if no files are specified.
Print all files that are touched.
Set the maximum allowed line length. Package lists in the Debian control file that exceed this length limit will be wrapped.

The default maximum line length is 79 characters.

Do not modify any file, instead only print the files that would be modified.


wrap-and-sort and this manpage have been written by Benjamin Drung <>.

Both are released under the ISC license.

Debian Utilities DEBIAN