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lintian(1) Debian Package Checker lintian(1)
 

NAME

lintian - Static analysis tool for Debian packages

SYNOPSIS

lintian [action] [options] [packages] ...

DESCRIPTION

Lintian dissects Debian packages and reports bugs and policy violations. It contains automated checks for many aspects of Debian policy as well as some checks for common errors.
It uses an archive directory, called laboratory, in which it stores information about the packages it examines. It can keep this information between multiple invocations in order to avoid repeating expensive data-collection operations.
There are three ways to specify binary, udeb or source packages for Lintian to process: by file name (the .deb file for a binary package or the .dsc file for a source package), by naming a .changes file, or by using a lab query (see "LAB QUERY" below).
If you specify a .changes file, Lintian will process all packages listed in that file. This is convenient when checking a new package before uploading it.
If you specify packages to be checked or use the option --packages-from-file, the packages requested will be processed. Otherwise, if debian/changelog exists, it is parsed to determine the name of the .changes file to look for in the parent directory (when using the actions --check or --unpack). See "CHECKING LAST BUILD" for more information.

OPTIONS

Actions of the lintian command: (Only one action can be specified per invocation)
-c, --check
Run all checks over the specified packages. This is the default action.
-C chk1,chk2,..., --check-part chk1,chk2,...
Run only the specified checks. You can either specify the name of the check script or the abbreviation. For details, see the "CHECKS" section below.
-F, --ftp-master-rejects
Run only the checks that issue tags that result in automatic rejects from the Debian upload queue. The list of such tags is refreshed with each Lintian release, so may be slightly out of date if it has changed recently.
This is implemented via a profile and thus this option cannot be used together with --profile.
-T tag1,tag2,..., --tags tag1,tag2,...
Run only the checks that issue the requested tags. The tests for other tags within the check scripts will be run but the tags will not be issued.
With this options all tags listed will be displayed regardless of the display settings.
--tags-from-file filename
Same functionality as --tags, but read the list of tags from a file. Blank lines and lines beginning with # are ignored. All other lines are taken to be tag names or comma-separated lists of tag names to (potentially) issue.
With this options all tags listed will be displayed regardless of the display settings.
-u, --unpack
Unpacks the package will all collections. See the "COLLECTION" section below.
Note in this option will also run all collections. See the "COLLECTION" section below.
-X chk1,chk2,..., --dont-check-part chk1,chk2,...
Run all but the specified checks. You can either specify the name of the check script or the abbreviation. For details, see the "CHECKS" section below.
General options:
-h, --help
Display usage information and exit.
-q, --quiet
Suppress all informational messages including override comments (normally shown with --show-overrides).
This option is silently ignored if --debug is given. Otherwise, if both --verbose and --quiet is used, the last of these two options take effect.
This option overrides the verbose and the quiet variable in the configuration file. In the configuration file, this option is enabled by using quiet variable. The verbose and quiet variables may not both appear in the config file.
-v, --verbose
Display verbose messages.
If --debug is used this option is always enabled. Otherwise, if both --verbose and --quiet is used (and --debug is not used), the last of these two options take effect.
This option overrides the quiet variable in the configuration file. In the configuration file, this option is enabled by using verbose variable. The verbose and quiet variables may not both appear in the config file.
-V, --version
Display lintian version number and exit.
--print-version
Print unadorned version number and exit.
Behaviour options for lintian.
--color (never|always|auto|html)
Whether to colorize tags in lintian output based on their severity. The default is "never", which never uses color. "always" will always use color, "auto" will use color only if the output is going to a terminal, and "html" will use HTML <span> tags with a color style attribute (instead of ANSI color escape sequences).
This option overrides the color variable in the configuration file.
--default-display-level
Reset the current display level to the default. Basically, this option behaves exactly like passing the following options to lintian:
   B<-L> ">=important" B<-L> "+>=normal/possible" B<-L> "+minor/certain"
    
The primary use for this is to ensure that lintian's display level has been reset to the built-in default values. Notably, this can be used to override display settings earlier on the command-line or in the lintian configuration file.
Further changes to the display level can be done after this option. Example: --default-display-level --display-info gives you the default display level plus informational ("I:") tags.
--display-source X
Only display tags from the source X (e.g. the Policy Manual or the Developer Reference). This option can be used multiple times to add additional sources. Example sources are "policy" or "devref" being the Policy Manual and the Developer Reference (respectively).
The entire list of sources can be found in $LINTIAN_ROOT/data/output/manual-references
-E, --display-experimental, --no-display-experimental
Control whether to display experimental ("X:") tags. They are normally suppressed.
If a tag is marked experimental, this means that the code that generates this message is not as well tested as the rest of Lintian, and might still give surprising results. Feel free to ignore Experimental messages that do not seem to make sense, though of course bug reports are always welcome (particularly if they include fixes).
These options overrides the display-experimental variable in the configuration file.
--fail-on-warnings
By default, lintian exits with 0 status if only warnings were found. If this flag is given, exit with a status of 1 if either warnings or errors are found.
This option overrides the fail-on-warnings variable in the configuration file.
This option is deprecated and will be removed in the near future.
-i, --info
Print explanatory information about each problem discovered in addition to the lintian error tags. To print a long tag description without running lintian, see lintian-info(1).
This option overrides info variable in the configuration file.
-I, --display-info
Display informational ("I:") tags as well. They are normally suppressed. (This is equivalent to -L ">=wishlist").
This option overrides the display-info variable in the configuration file.
Note: display-level and display-info may not both appear in the configuration file.
-L [+|-|=][>=|>|=|<|<=][S|C|S/C], --display-level [+|-|=][>=|>|=|<|<=][S|C|S/C]
Fine-grained selection of tags to be displayed. It is possible to add, remove or set the levels to display, specifying a severity (S: serious, important, normal, minor, wishlist, pedantic), a certainty (C: certain, possible, wild-guess), or both (S/C). The default settings are equivalent to -L ">=important" -L "+>=normal/possible" -L "+minor/certain").
The value consists of 3 parts, where two of them are optional. The parts are:
modifier operator
How to affect the current display level. Can be one of add to ("+"), remove from ("-") or set to ("=") the display level(s) denoted by the following selection.
The default value is "=" (i.e. set the display level).
set operator
The set of severity and certainties to be selected. The operator can be one of ">=", ">", "=", "<" or "<=". As an example, this can be used to select all important (or "more severe") tags via ">=important".
The selected values includes only items where both the severity and the certainty are both included in the set.
As an example, ">=important/possible" includes "important/possible", "important/certain", "serious/possible" and "serious/certain". Note that it does not include "serious/wild-guess" (since it does not satisfy the lower-bound for the certainty).
The default value is "=", which means "exactly" the given severity or/and certainty.
severity-certainty
The severity or/and certainty. This can be any of the 3 forms: severity, certainty or severity/certainty.
If only a severity or a certainty is given, the other one defaults to "any" as in "any certainty with the given severity" (or vice versa).
This option overrides the display-level variable in the configuration file. The value of the display-level in configuration file should be space separated entries in the same format as passed via command-line.
Note: display-level may not be used with display-info or pedantic in the configuration file.
-o, --no-override
Ignore all overrides provided by the package. This option will overrule --show-overrides.
This option overrides the override variable in the configuration file.
--pedantic
Display pedantic ("P:") tags as well. They are normally suppressed. (This is equivalent to -L "+=pedantic").
Pedantic tags are Lintian at its most pickiest and include checks for particular Debian packaging styles and checks that many people disagree with. Expect false positives and Lintian tags that you don't consider useful if you use this option. Adding overrides for pedantic tags is probably not worth the effort.
This option overrides the pedantic variable in the configuration file.
Note: pedantic and display-level may not both appear in the configuration file.
--profile vendor[/prof]
Use the profile from vendor (or the profile with that name). If the profile name does not contain a slash, the default profile for than vendor is chosen.
As an example, if you are on Ubuntu and want to use Lintian's Debian checks, you can use:
  --profile debian
    
Likewise, on a Debian machine you can use this to request the Ubuntu checks.
If the token {VENDOR} appears in the profile name, lintian will substitute the token with a vendor name to find the profile. lintian uses Dpkg::Vendor to determine the best vendor to use (the closer to the current vendor, the better). This is mostly useful for people implementing their own checks on top of Lintian.
If not specified, the default value is {VENDOR}/main.
Please Refer to the Lintian User Manual for the full documentation of profiles.
--show-overrides, --hide-overrides
Controls whether tags that have been overridden should be shown.
The --show-overrides differs from --no-overrides in that shown overridden tags will still be marked as overridden (using an "O" code).
If the overridden tags are shown, the related override comments will also be displayed (unless --quiet is used). Please refer to the Lintian User Manual for the documentation on how lintian relates comments to a given override.
These options override the show-overrides variable in the configuration file.
--suppress-tags tag1,tag2,...
Suppress the listed tags. They will not be reported if they occur and will not affect the exit status of Lintian. This option can be given multiple times and can be mixed with --suppress-tags-from-file.
This option can be used together with --dont-check-part ("Not those checks nor these tags") and --check-part ("Only those checks, but not these tags (from those checks)") to further reduce the selection of tags.
When used with --tags, this option is mostly ignored.
--suppress-tags-from-file file
Suppress all tags listed in the given file. Blank lines and lines beginning with # are ignored. All other lines are taken to be tag names or comma-separated lists of tag names to suppress. The suppressed tags will not be reported if they occur and will not affect the exit status of Lintian.
Tags parsed from the file will be handled as if they had been given to the --suppress-tags option (e.g. ignored if --tags is used).
--no-tag-display-limit
By default, lintian limits itself to emitting at most 4 instances of each tag per processable when STDOUT is a TTY. This option disables that limit.
When STDOUT is not a TTY, lintian has no limit.
Configuration options:
--cfg configfile
Read the configuration from configfile rather than the default locations. This option overrides the LINTIAN_CFG environment variable.
--no-cfg
Do not read any configuration file. This option overrides the --cfg above.
--ignore-lintian-env
Ignore all environment variables starting with LINTIAN_.
This option is mostly useful for applications running lintian for checking packages and do not want the invoking user to affect the result (by setting LINTIAN_PROFILE etc.).
Note it does not cause lintian to ignore the entire environment like TMPDIR or DEB_VENDOR. The latter can affect the default profile (or "{VENDOR}" token for --profile).
Should usually be combined with --no-user-dirs (or unsetting $HOME and all XDG_ variables).
--include-dir dir
Use dir as an additional "LINTIAN_ROOT". The directory is expected have a similar layout to the LINTIAN_ROOT (if it exists), but does not need to be a full self-contained root.
lintian will check this directory for (additional) profiles, data files, support libraries and checks. The latter two implies that Lintian may attempt to load and execute code from this directory.
This option may appear more than once; each time adding an additional directory. Directories are searched in the order they appear on the command line.
The additional directories will be checked after the user directories (though see --no-user-dirs) and before the core LINTIAN_ROOT.
Note: This option should be the very first if given.
-j [X], --jobs[=X]
Set the limit for how many unpacking jobs Lintian will run in parallel. If X is not given, Lintian will not limit the number of unpacking jobs run that can run in parallel.
This option overrides the jobs variable in the configuration file.
By default Lintian will use nproc to determine a reasonable default (or 2, if the nproc fails).
--user-dirs, --no-user-dirs
By default, lintian will check $HOME and /etc for files supplied by the user or the local sysadmin (e.g. config files and profiles). This default can be disabled (and re-enabled) by using --no-user-dirs (and --user-dirs, respectively).
These options will not affect the inclusion of LINTIAN_ROOT, which is always included.
These option can appear multiple times, in which case the last of them to appear determines the result.
Note that if the intention is only to disable the user's $HOME, then unsetting $HOME and XDG_*_HOME may suffice. Alternatively, /etc can be "re-added" by using --include-dir (caveat: /etc/lintianrc will be ignored by this).
If the intention is to avoid (unintentional) side-effects from the calling user, then this option could be combined with --ignore-lintian-env.
If for some reason --no-user-dirs cannot be used, then consider unsetting $HOME and all the $XDG_* variables (not just the $XDG_*_HOME ones).
Note: This option should be the very first if given.
Developer/Special usage options:
--allow-root
Override lintian's warning when it is run with superuser privileges.
--keep-lab
By default, temporary labs will be removed after lintian is finished. Specifying this options will leave the lab behind, which might be useful for debugging purposes. You can find out where the temporary lab is located by running lintian with the --verbose option.
For static (non-temporary) labs this option causes Lintian to skip the automatic clean up of some collections.
--lab labdir
Use labdir as the permanent laboratory. This is where Lintian keeps information about the packages it checks. This option overrides the LINTIAN_LAB environment variable and the configuration file entry of the same name.
--packages-from-file X
Process the packages listed in X. If the line starts with "!query:", then the rest of that line is processed as a lab query (see "LAB QUERY").
Otherwise the line is read as the path to a file to process (all whitespace is included!).
If X is "-", Lintian will read the packages from STDIN.
--perf-debug
Enable performance related debug logging.
The data logged and the format used is subject to change with every release.
Note that some of the information may also be available (possibly in a different format) with the --debug option.
--perf-output OUTPUT
Write performance related debug information to the specified file or file descriptor. If OUTPUT starts with a '&' or '+', Lintian will handle OUTPUT specially. Otherwise, Lintian will open the file denoted by OUTPUT for writing (truncating if it exists, creating it if it does not exist).
If the first character of OUTPUT is a & and the rest of argument is a number N, then lintian attempts to write it to the file descriptor with the number N. Said file descriptor must be open for writing. E.g &2 makes Lintian write the performance logging to STDERR.
If the first character of OUTPUT is a +, Lintian will append to the file rather than truncating it. In this case, the file name is OUTPUT with initial "+" character removed. E.g. +my-file makes Lintian append to my-file
If Lintian should write the output to a file starting with a literal '&' or '+', then simply prefix it with "./" (e.g. "+my-file" becomes "./+my-file").
If this option omitted, Lintian will default to using STDOUT.
-U info1,info2,..., --unpack-info info1,info2,...
Collect information info1, info2, etc. even if these are not required by the checks. Collections requested by this option are also not auto-removed (in this run).
This option is mostly useful for debugging or special purpose setups.
It is allowed to give this option more than once. The following two lines of arguments are semantically equivalent:
 -U info1 -U info2
 -U info1,info2
    

CHECKS

apache2
Checks various build mistakes in Apache2 reverse dependencies
application-not-library
application packaged like a library (imported from pkg-perl-tools)
automake (autom)
Checks for erroneous, missing or deprecated automake files
binaries (bin)
This script checks binaries and object files for bugs.
changelog-file (chg)
This script checks if a binary package conforms to policy with regards to changelog files.
Each binary package with a /usr/share/doc/<foo> directory must have a Debian changelog file in changelog.Debian.gz unless the Debian changelog and the upstream one is the same file; in this case, it must be in changelog.gz.
If there is an upstream changelog file, it must be named "changelog.gz".
Both changelog files should be compressed using "gzip -9". Even if they start out small, they will become large with time.
changes-file (chng)
This script checks for various problems with .changes files
conffiles (cnf)
This script checks if the conffiles control file of a binary package is correct.
control-file (dctl)
This script checks debian/control files in source packages
control-files (ctl)
Check for unknown control files in the binary package.
copyright-file (cpy)
This script checks if a binary package conforms to policy with regard to copyright files.
Each binary package must either have a /usr/share/doc/<foo>/copyright file or must have a symlink /usr/share/doc/<foo> -> <bar>, where <bar> comes from the same source package and pkg foo declares a "Depends" relation on bar.
cruft (deb)
This looks for cruft in Debian packaging or upstream source
dbus
Checks for deprecated or harmful D-Bus configuration
deb-format (dfmt)
This script checks the format of the deb ar archive itself.
debconf (dc)
This looks for common mistakes in packages using debconf.
debhelper (dh)
This looks for common mistakes in debhelper source packages.
debian-readme (drm)
This script checks the README.Debian file for various problems.
debian-source-dir (dsd)
This script looks for mistakes in debian/source/* files.
description (des)
Check if the Description control field of a binary package conforms to the rules in the Policy Manual (section 3.4).
duplicate-files (dupf)
This script checks for duplicate files using checksums
fields (fld)
This script checks the syntax of the fields in package control files, as described in the Policy Manual.
filename-length (flen)
This script checks for long package file names
files (fil)
This script checks if a binary package conforms to policy WRT to files and directories.
group-checks (gchck)
This script checks for some issues that may appear in packages built from the same source. This includes intra-source circular dependencies and intra-source priority checks.
huge-usr-share (hus)
This script checks whether an architecture-dependent package has large amounts of data in /usr/share.
infofiles (info)
This script checks if a binary package conforms to info document policy.
init.d (ini)
Check if a binary package conforms to policy with respect to scripts in /etc/init.d.
java (java)
This script checks if the packages comply with various aspects of the Debian Java policy.
manpages (man)
This script checks if a binary package conforms to manual page policy.
md5sums (md5)
This script checks if md5sum control files are valid, if they are provided by a binary package.
menu-format (mnf)
This script validates the format of menu files.
menus (men)
Check if a binary package conforms to policy with respect to menu and doc-base files.
nmu (nmu)
This script checks if a source package is consistent about its NMU-ness.
obsolete-sites (obso)
This script checks for obsolete (but still valid) URLs
ocaml (ocaml)
This looks for common mistakes in OCaml binary packages.
patch-systems (pat)
This script checks for various possible problems when using patch systems
phppear (phppear)
This script checks if the packages comply with various aspects of the Debian PHP policy.
po-debconf (pd)
This looks for common mistakes in packages using po-debconf(7).
rules (rul)
Check targets and actions in debian/rules.
scripts (scr)
This script checks the #! lines of scripts in a package.
shared-libs (shl)
This script checks if a binary package conforms to shared library policy.
source-copyright (scpy)
This script checks if a source package conforms to policy with regard to copyright files.
Each source package should have a debian/copyright file.
standards-version (std)
This script checks if a source package contains a valid Standards-Version field.
symlinks (sym)
This script checks for broken symlinks.
systemd
Checks various systemd policy things
testsuite
This script checks the Testsuite field in package dsc files, and debian/tests/control if any.
upstream-metadata
This script checks the upstream/metadata file for problems.
usrmerge (usr)
This script checks for files with the same name installed in / and /usr.
version-substvars (v-s)
This script checks for correct use of the various *Version substvars, e.g. deprecated substvars, or usage that can cause un-binNMUability
watch-file (watch)
Check debian/watch files in source packages.

COLLECTION

ar-info
This script runs the "ar t" command over all .a files of package.
This collection is auto-removed by default in static labs.
bin-pkg-control
This script extracts the contents of control.tar into the control/ and creates control-index as well.
changelog-file
This script copies the changelog file and NEWS.Debian file (if any) of a package into the lintian directory.
copyright-file
This script copies the copyright file of a package into the lintian directory.
debian-readme
This script copies the README.Debian file of a package into the lintian directory.
This collection is auto-removed by default in static labs.
diffstat
This script extracts the Debian diff of a source package, and runs diffstat on it, leaving the result in the diffstat output file
file-info
This script runs the file(1) command over all files of any kind of package.
java-info
This script extracts information from manifests of JAR files
md5sums
This script runs the md5sums(1) over all files in a binary package.
objdump-info
This script runs objdump(1) over all binaries and object files of a binary package.
override-file
This script copies the override file of a package into the lintian directory.
scripts
This script scans a binary package for scripts that start with #! and lists their filenames together with the interpreter named by their first line.
 The format is: scriptpath filename
    
Note that the filename might contain spaces, but the scriptpath will not, because linux only looks at the first word when executing a script.
src-orig-index
This script create an index file of the contents of the orig tarballs.
strings
This script runs the strings(1) command over all files of a binary package.
This collection is auto-removed by default in static labs.
unpacked
This script unpacks the package under the unpacked/ directory
This collection is auto-removed by default in static labs.

FILES

Lintian looks for its configuration file in the following locations:
The argument given to --cfg
$LINTIAN_CFG
$XDG_CONFIG_HOME/lintian/lintianrc
$HOME/.lintianrc
Deprecated in Lintian/2.5.12 and newer (use the XDG based variant above)
XGD_DIR/lintian/lintianrc
Where XGD_DIR is a directories listed in $XDG_CONFIG_DIRS (or /etc/xdg if $XDG_CONFIG_DIRS is unset).
/etc/lintianrc
Deprecated in Lintian/2.5.12 and newer (use the XDG based variant above)
Lintian uses the following directories:
/tmp
If no lab location is specified via the LINTIAN_LAB environment variable, configuration, or the --lab command-line option, lintian defaults to creating a temporary lab directory in /tmp. To change the directory used, set the TMPDIR environment variable to a suitable directory. TMPDIR can be set in the configuration file.
/usr/share/lintian/checks
Scripts that check aspects of a package.
/usr/share/lintian/collection
Scripts that collect information about a package and store it for use by the check scripts.
/usr/share/lintian/data
Supporting data used by Lintian checks and for output formatting.
/usr/share/lintian/lib
Utility scripts used by the other lintian scripts.
For binary packages, Lintian looks for overrides in a file named usr/share/lintian/overrides/<package> inside the binary package, where <package> is the name of the binary package. For source packages, Lintian looks for overrides in debian/source/lintian-overrides and then in debian/source.lintian-overrides if the first file is not found. The first path is preferred. See the Lintian User's Manual for the syntax of overrides.

CONFIGURATION FILE

The configuration file can be used to specify default values for some options. The general format is:
 option = value
All whitespace adjacent to the "=" sign as well as leading and trailing whitespace is ignored. However whitespace within the value is respected, as demonstrated by this example:
 # Parsed as "opt1" with value "val1"
    opt1    =   val1
 # Parsed as "opt2" with value "val2.1  val2.2     val2.3"
 opt2 = val2.1  val2.2     val2.3
Unless otherwise specified, no option may appear more than once. Lintian will ignore empty lines or lines starting with the #-character.
Generally options will be the long form of the command-line option without the leading dashes. There some exceptions (such as --profile), where Lintian uses the same name as the environment variable.
Lintian only allows a subset of the options specified in the configuration file; please refer to the individual options in "OPTIONS".
In the configuration file, all options listed must have a value, even if they do not accept a value on command line (e.g. --pedantic). The values "yes", "y", "1", or "true" will enable such an option and "no", "n", "0" or "false" will disable it. Prior to the 2.5.2 release, these values were case sensitive.
For other options, they generally take the same values as they do on the command line. Though some options allow a slightly different format (e.g. --display-level). These exceptions are explained for the relevant options in "OPTIONS".
Beyond command line options, it is also allowed to specify the environment variable "TMPDIR" in the configuration file.
A sample configuration file could look like:
 # Sample configuration file for lintian
 #
 # Set the default profile (--profile)
 LINTIAN_PROFILE = debian
 
 # Set the default TMPDIR for lintian to /var/tmp/lintian
 # - useful if /tmp is tmpfs with "limited" size.
 TMPDIR = /var/tmp/lintian/
 
 # Show info (I:) tags by default (--display-info)
 #  NB: this cannot be used with display-level
 display-info=yes
 
 # Ignore all overrides (--no-override)
 #  NB: called "override" in the config file
 #      and has inverted value!
 override = no
 
 # Automatically determine if color should be used
 color = auto

EXIT STATUS

0
No policy violations or major errors detected. (There may have been warnings, though.)
1
Policy violations or major errors detected.
2
Lintian run-time error. An error message is sent to stderr.

LAB QUERY

A lab query can be used to refer to a (set of) package(s) in the Lintian Laboratory. The general format of a query is:
 [type:]package[/version[/arch]]
Where:
type
This is the type of the package and (if present) must be one of "ALL", "GROUP", "binary", "udeb", "source" or "changes". This is case sensitive.
If omitted this defaults to "ALL". The pseudo type "ALL" acts as a wildcard for any real package type.
The special type "GROUP" can be used to match all packages related to a given source package. For more info, please see "Group query" below.
package
This is the name of the package. This is mandatory and must match exactly.
version
This is the version of the package, if left out (or if it is "_") then any version will do. Otherwise the version must match exactly.
arch
This is the architecture of the package, if left out (or it is "_") then any architecture will do. Otherwise the architecture must match exactly.
Note: This is completely ignored when matching against source packages or when type is "GROUP".
Note: For changes packages, this must match the contents of the architecture field in the changes. This field may contain a space (e.g. "source all") and therefore may also need proper shell escape.

Group query

A group query can be used to (re-)process all packages in a given group. The package and version part will be used to look up one or more source packages. The binaries, udebs and changes files for each matching source package will also be activated.

CHECKING LAST BUILD

When run in an unpacked package dir (with no package selection arguments), Lintian will use debian/changelog to determine the source and version of the package. Lintian will then attempt to find a matching .changes file for this source and version combination.
Lintian will (in order) search the following directories:
..
Used by dpkg-buildpackage(1).
../build-area
Used by svn-buildpackage(1).
/var/cache/pbuilder/result
Used by pbuilder(1) and cowbuilder(1).
In each directory, Lintian will attempt to find a .changes file using the following values as architecture (in order):
$DEB_BUILD_ARCH (or dpkg --print-architecture)
The environment variable DEB_BUILD_ARCH (if not set, "dpkg --print-architecture" will be used instead)
$DEB_HOST_ARCH
The environment variable DEB_HOST_ARCH.
dpkg --print-foreign-architectures
If dpkg(1) appears to support multi-arch, then any architecture listed by "dpkg --print-foreign-architectures" will be used (in the order returned by dpkg).
multi
Pseudo architecture used by mergechanges(1).
all
Used when building architecture indep packages only (e.g. dpkg-buildpackage -A).
source
Used for "source only" builds (e.g. dpkg-buildpackage -S).
If a .changes file matches any combination above exists, Lintian will process the first match as if you had passed it per command line. If no .changes file can be found, Lintian will print a list of attempted locations on STDERR and exit 0.

EXAMPLES

$ lintian foo.changes
Check the changes file itself and any (binary, udeb or source) package listed in it.
$ lintian foo.deb
Check binary package foo given by foo.deb.
$ lintian foo.dsc
Check source package foo given by foo.dsc.
$ lintian foo.dsc -L +minor/possible
Check source package foo given by foo.dsc, including minor/possible tags.
$ lintian -i foo.changes
Check the changes file and, if listed, the source and binary package of the upload. The output will contain detailed information about the reported tags.
$ lintian
Assuming debian/changelog exists, look for a changes file for the source in the parent dir. Otherwise, print usage information and exit.

BUGS

Lintian does not have any locking mechanisms yet. (Running several Lintian processes on the same laboratory simultaneously is likely to fail or corrupt the laboratory.)
If you discover any other bugs in lintian, please contact the authors.

SEE ALSO

lintian-info(1), Lintian User Manual (/usr/share/doc/lintian/lintian.html/index.html), lintian-lab-tool(1)
Packaging tools: debhelper(7), dh_make(8), dpkg-buildpackage(1).

AUTHORS

Niels Thykier <niels@thykier.net>
Richard Braakman <dark@xs4all.nl>
Christian Schwarz <schwarz@monet.m.isar.de>
Please use the email address <lintian-maint@debian.org> for Lintian related comments.
2017-06-03 Lintian v2.5.50.4