Creating Debian Packages (.deb files) can be tricky business. A .deb file a special file format that holds metadata about the package and its dependencies and the data. The data simply an overlay of the package files to be installed.
The basic method is to create a folder with the name of the new package and then add the program files and metadata. 1
Decide on the name of your package. Standard debian notation is all lowercase in the following format:
<project>_<major version>.<minor version>-<package revision>
For example, your first package could be:
Step 2 Create a directory to make your package in. The name should be the same as the package name.
Step 3 Pretend that the packaging directory is actually the root of the file system. Put the files of your program where they would be installed to on a system.
mkdir helloworld_1.0-1/usr mkdir helloworld_1.0-1/usr/local mkdir helloworld_1.0-1/usr/local/bin cp "~/Projects/Hello World/helloworld" helloworld_1.0-1/usr/local/bin
Step 4 Now create a special metadata file with which the package manager will install your program...
mkdir helloworld_1.0-1/DEBIAN gedit helloworld_1.0-1/DEBIAN/control
Put something like this in that file...
Package: helloworld Version: 1.0-1 Section: base Priority: optional Architecture: i386 Depends: libsomethingorrather (>= 1.2.13), anotherDependency (>= 1.2.6) Maintainer: Your Name <firstname.lastname@example.org> Description: Hello World When you need some sunshine, just run this small program! (the space before each line in the description is important)
Step 5 Now you just need to make the package:
dpkg-deb --build helloworld_1.0-1
The other way it build .deb packages is using the
debhelper tool suite.
Step 1 Prepare a source code folder for debian packaging
cd my-source-code dh_make --createorig
dh_make command will create a new
debian folder and add a bunch of boilerplate template files. The
--createorig will create a tar of the source code. The tar is used by the debhelper scripts to compare diffs later.
The next thing to do is remove a bunch of the option example files:
cd debian rm *ex *EX
Configure install step. Most source packages have a install script that copies the binary files to your computer. For example, a lot of source packages use Makefiles and the
make install build target to copy binary files to
/bin. If your source package does not already have a Makefile with install target, the easiest thing to do is to make one. The
dh_auto_install tool will run
make install. The
$DESTDIR var will point to the path where debhelper scripts are expecting your Makefile to install to (
$DESTDIR will resolve to the
debian/<package_name>/ inside your source dir).
Step 3 Build the .deb file.
If everything goes as expected, there should be a new .deb package created in the parent folder.