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Debreate - Debian Package Builder

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Debreate is a utility to aid in creating Debian (.deb) packages. Currently it only supports binary packaging which allows packaging of pre-compiled or scripted applications, media, artwork, etc. for personal distribution. Plans for using backends such as dh_make & debuild (available in devscripts package) for creating source packages are in the works. But source packaging can be quite different & is a must if you want to get your packages into a distribution's official repositories or a Launchpad Personal Package Archive (PPA). The latter from which Debreate has recently become available.

The definition of Debian source packages may be a little confusing (as it was for me) for those that are new to the Debian format, or perhaps packaging in general. Debian source packages are essentially no different than common tarballed source archives & they can be available in many of the popular formats such as Gzip (.tar.gz), BZip2 (.tar.bz2), XZ (tar.xz), Lzip (tar.lzip), etc. To build Debian binary packages from source code, it must first be "debianized". Debianization involves creating a directory called 'debian' within the source root folder. Files with instructions, meta data, & more are placed within to instruct Debian tools, such as debuild, on how the source must be compiled & packaged into the final .deb. This is the process that must be taken to host software on repositories such as Lauchpad's PPA system. The debianized source is uploaded, then built & packaged on-site automatically. The resulting binary package (.deb) is published to the target PPA.


Debreate needs these packages installed to run:

These packages are recommended & enable some features:

If the package gvfs-bin is installed, there will be an option to use custom save/open dialogs. But, this is not recommended as these dialogs are currently very buggy. It is possible the option will be removed completely in future releases.


Using make command

The source uses a generic Makefile for "building" (because I don't know how to use GNU Autotools or CMake very well yet). The source is not actually built, but the Makefile simply installs the scripts onto the system. Just open a terminal in the extracted root directory & execute make install with superuser privileges. To uninstall, execute make uninstall. For more information, execute make help.

Creating .deb package & using installer

If you have devscripts installed, you can execute make deb-bin to build the debian package (.deb). To install the package, type dpkg --install ../debreate_<version>_all.deb with superuser privileges, or open in a GUI package installer such as gdebi.

This is the recommended method if you are not installing from a remote APT/PPA repository.

Standalone Use

To run without installing, open a terminal in the extracted root directory. Then launch the file named "" (./ or python It should execute via mouse-click for the system's file manager as well.



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