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Lintian - Static Debian package analysis tool ============================================= Lintian is a static analysis tool for finding many bugs, policy violations and other issues in Debian based packages. It can process binary Debian packages (.deb), micro/installer packages (.udeb), Debian source packages (.dsc) and (to a limited degree) the "changes" files. Running Lintian =============== Running Lintian is as simple as invoking $ lintian path/to/pkg_version_arch.changes Alternatively, you can pass Lintian binary/udeb or dsc files directly instead of the .changes file. Lintian is designed to work directly from the source tree (simply use "frontend/lintian" itself). For information about command options, please run lintian (or lintian-info) with "--help". Alternatively, you can also read the manpages lintian(1) and lintian-info(1). Advice / Tips and Tricks ------------------------ If there is a tag you are not familiar with, you can use "--info" or lintian-info to get more information: $ lintian-info -t no-version-field If you want to enable all tags, simply use the "Evil and pedantic" mnemonic: $ lintian -EvIL +pedantic path/to/pkg_version_arch.changes You may want to drop the "-v", which may make Lintian more verbose than you would like. Also, keep in mind that "-E" enables "experimental" tags and "-L +pedantic" enables some very pedantic tags. Lintian is not always right! Static analysis involves a trade-off between "accuracy" and CPU/memory usage. Furthermore, in some cases, certain packages trigger a corner case where the Debian Policy gives more leeway than Lintian does. If you have installed Lintian via the "lintian" Debian package, you can find the Lintian User's Manual in: $ sensible-browser /usr/share/doc/lintian/lintian.html/index.html # or in txt format $ less /usr/share/doc/lintian/lintian.txt.gz Alternatively, Debian provides an on-line version of the manual on the [Lintian web site][online-manual]. [online-manual]: http://lintian.debian.org/manual/index.html Compiling Lintian ================= Lintian is written in pure Perl and therefore does not require any "building" at all. Consequently, Lintian currently does not have a build system. Instead it relies on its Debian build system (implemented in debian/rules) and debhelper. Thus, on Debian-based systems, installing the build dependencies (see debian/control) and running: $ dpkg-buildpackage will provide you with a "lintian" Debian package. So far there has been little work in providing a stand-alone build system as Lintian requires a fair share of "Debian specific" tools and libraries, including the "Dpkg" and "AptPkg" Perl modules. We are willing to accept and maintain a stand-alone build system for Lintian. Where not intrusive, we may also be willing to accept alternative dependencies for "Debian specific" libraries/tools. Developing/Patching Lintian =========================== If you are interested in working developing patches for Lintian or just writing your own Lintian checks, please download the Lintian source and consider reading the doc/README.developers from the source tree: $ perldoc doc/README.developers We also have some short tutorials in our API docs. You can compile the API documentation via: $ debian/rules api-doc $ sensible-browser doc/api.html/index.html From there, you might want to start with "Lintian::Tutorial". If you prefer to use perldoc (or want to improve the tutorials), you can find the source files for the tutorial in doc/tutorial. There is also an online copy on the [Lintian web site][online-api-docs]. Note that the online copy does not necessarily reflect the API of the current development version of Lintian. Instead, it is the API of Lintian when it was last updated on the Lintian web site. [online-api-docs]: http://lintian.debian.org/library-api/index.html Translating Lintian =================== Translations are done using [GNU Gettext "po"-files][gnu-po-files]. Currently, it is only possible to translate descriptions of Lintian tags. If there exists a translation for your language, you can update/alter it by editing "po4a/po/checks/<language-code>.po" using an editor that supports PO-files (e.g. poedit or emacs). There are some tests of the resulting translation, which can be executed by the following commands: $ debian/rules runtests-translation Please note that this *may* regenerate the "po" file; this is an artifact of how one of the underlying tools (po4a) work. You can also explicit request a regeneration of the "po" file by running: $ debian/rules update-po This also updates the resulting translation files, so Lintian can use them. You can also view the result of your translation by using lintian-info. This shows you how other people will see the resulting translation, when they use Lintian. E.g. $ debian/rules update-po $ LC_ALL=<lang-code> frontend/lintian-info -t <tag> Where <lang-code> is the language code of the language for which your are translating and <tag> is the name of the tag, whose description you have translated. A concrete example: $ debian/rules update-po $ LC_ALL=da frontend/lintian-info -t \ package-depends-on-lower-priority-package Please note that during testing, the threshold for translations is reduced to ease testing and help with review. But for releases, at least 80% of all tags in a given file must have been translated, before the translations are used. [gnu-po-files]: https://www.gnu.org/software/gettext/manual/html_node/PO-Files.html Translating for a new language ------------------------------ You can start translating tag descriptions for a new language by creating a new po-file for it. Assuming you have gettext installed, this can be done by running: $ msginit -i po4a/po/checks/checks.pot -l <lang-code> \ -o po4a/po/checks/<lang-code>.po (Where <lang-code> is replaced by the language code, e.g. "da") Open the newly created "po4a/po/checks/<lang-code>.po" in your favorite editor and translate as above. Submitting (updated) translations --------------------------------- Updated translations can be submitted to Lintian as a bug report (see the Feedback section). Accepted formats include attached patches, references to public git branches or the resulting "po" file. Feedback ======== Please file bugs against the "lintian" package in the Debian Bug Tracker. We recommend using reportbug(1) for filing bugs, but in its absence you send a [mail to the BTS][bts-report-bug]. Any comments, critics, or suggestions about Lintian or related topics are highly appreciated by the authors! Please contact <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Thanks! Please note that all data submitted to the Debian Bug Tracker and the address <email@example.com> will be available to the general public. Should you be aware of a severe non-disclosed security issue in Lintian, then please contact the [Debian Security Team][report-security-issue] instead. [bts-report-bug]: http://www.debian.org/Bugs/Reporting [report-security-issue]: http://www.debian.org/security/faq#contact