dh_install - install files into package build directories
] [debhelper options
is a debhelper program that handles installing files into
package build directories. There are many dh_install*
that handle installing specific types of files such as documentation,
examples, man pages, and so on, and they should be used when possible as they
often have extra intelligence for those particular tasks. dh_install
then, is useful for installing everything else, for which no particular
intelligence is needed. It is a replacement for the old dh_movefiles
This program may be used in one of two ways. If you just have a file or two that
the upstream Makefile does not install for you, you can run dh_install
on them to move them into place. On the other hand, maybe you have a large
package that builds multiple binary packages. You can use the upstream
to install it all into debian/tmp
, and then use
to copy directories and files from there into the proper
package build directories.
From debhelper compatibility level 7 on, dh_install
will fall back to
looking in debian/tmp
for files, if it doesn't find them in the current
directory (or wherever you've told it to look using --sourcedir
- List the files to install into each package and the directory they should
be installed to. The format is a set of lines, where each line lists a
file or files to install, and at the end of the line tells the directory
it should be installed in. The name of the files (or directories) to
install should be given relative to the current directory, while the
installation directory is given relative to the package build directory.
You may use wildcards in the names of the files to install (in v3 mode and
Note that if you list exactly one filename or wildcard-pattern on a line by
itself, with no explicit destination, then dh_install will
automatically guess the destination to use, the same as if the --autodest
option were used.
- List the files that are deliberately not installed in any binary
package. Paths listed in this file are ( only) ignored by the check
done via --list-missing (or --fail-missing). However, it is
not a method to exclude files from being installed. Please use
--exclude for that.
Please keep in mind that dh_install will not expand wildcards in this
- This option makes dh_install keep track of the files it installs,
and then at the end, compare that list with the files in the source
directory. If any of the files (and symlinks) in the source directory were
not installed to somewhere, it will warn on stderr about that.
This may be useful if you have a large package and want to make sure that
you don't miss installing newly added files in new upstream releases.
Note that files that are excluded from being moved via the -X option
are not warned about.
- This option is like --list-missing, except if a file was missed, it
will not only list the missing files, but also fail with a nonzero exit
- -Xitem, --exclude=item
- Exclude files that contain item anywhere in their filename from
- Look in the specified directory for files to be installed.
Note that this is not the same as the --sourcedirectory option used
by the dh_auto_* commands. You rarely need to use this
option, since dh_install automatically looks for files in
debian/tmp in debhelper compatibility level 7 and above.
- Guess as the destination directory to install things to. If this is
specified, you should not list destination directories in
debian/package.install files or on the command line. Instead,
dh_install will guess as follows:
Strip off debian/tmp (or the sourcedir if one is given) from the
front of the filename, if it is present, and install into the dirname of
the filename. So if the filename is debian/tmp/usr/bin, then that
directory will be copied to debian/package/usr/. If the filename is
debian/tmp/etc/passwd, it will be copied to
- file|dir ... destdir
- Lists files (or directories) to install and where to install them to. The
files will be installed into the first package dh_install acts
cannot rename files or directories, it can only install them
with the names they already have into wherever you want in the package build
However, renaming can be achieved by using dh-exec
level 9 or later. An example debian/ package
.install file using
could look like:
debian/default.conf => /etc/my-package/start.conf
Please remember the following three things:
- The package must be using compatibility level 9 or later (see
- The package will need a build-dependency on dh-exec.
- The install file must be marked as executable.
This program is a part of debhelper.
Joey Hess <firstname.lastname@example.org>