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equivs-build - make a Debian package to register local software


equivs-build [--full|-f] [--arch=foo|-a=foo] controlfile


equivs-build is a program that creates Debian packages which can be used to inform dpkg about locally installed packages and their dependencies. Also empty packages that just require other packages can be created with equivs. These can be used as "profile" packages which just mark other ones for installation.
Please note that this is a crude hack and if thoughtlessly used, it might possibly do damage to your packaging system. And please note as well that using it is not the recommended way of dealing with broken dependencies. Better file a bug report instead.
The control file has a structure like the control files in "real" Debian packages, but it doesn't have to define all keys, as default values will be used if you omit one.
There are several additional fields that can be used:
File to be used as the changelog
If you don't use a local changelog, equivs will create a dummy one. As the version of the package is defined in the changelog, equivs will assume the version 1.0. With this field, you can set an explicit version.
A file to be used as the README.Debian file. You can use the strings @packagename@ and @depends @ to insert the package name and the dependency information used.
The copyright file to by used. If omitted, the GPL 2 will be used.
Preinst: Postinst: Prerm: Postrm:
Maintainerscripts executed before/after installation/removal of the package. See the Debian developers reference for a description (package developers-reference).
Field specifying multiarch dependency status. Used exactly as in 'real' packages. Foreign: Satisfies dependencies for all architectures Same: Satisfies dependencies only for the same architecture Allowed: Can act as either Foreign or Same, as specified in the dependency
A comma-separated list of files to copy to the /usr/share/doc/packagename directory.
Files to be copied into some directory of the created package. Each line contains a source filename and a destination directory, space-separated. As with other multi-line headers, all lines but the first must be indented. Example:
  Files: foo-cron /etc/cron.d/
   foo-cron-helper /usr/local/bin/
Files to be copied into some directory of the created package, specified inline in the source control file. The field syntax is the name of the files to be created, followed by lines indented by 1 space denoting file content; leading space will be trimmed. An octal file mode may be specified after the filename; it defaults to 644, and will be normalised to 644 or 755. Example:
  File: /usr/local/bin/true 755
   exit 0
See /usr/share/doc/equivs/README.Debian for more information.


--full | -f
Do a complete build. debuild will be called, that is, a full package will be built and signed, suitable for upload to the Debian servers.
The ID used to signed is taken from, in that order, the user from the last entry of a supplied changelog, the Maintainer: field in the equivs control file, or the local username.
--arch | -a
Build package for the specified architecture. Used e.g. for building packages for hurd under linux. equivs-build uses dpkg-architecture to provide this facility.


Distribution is subject to the GNU public licence version 2.


Martin Bialasinski <>


equivs-control(1), /usr/share/doc/equivs/README.Debian
19 Oct 2015