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A basic Ubuntu/Debian packager plugin for Gradle. It has some quirks but it should be possible to use it to create packages.

Note: the plugin is available in maven central so you can start using it right away.


This plugin may only be used to build architecture independent packages, such as packages containing compiled Java code.

Example Project

The below examples come from the example project helloworld-example

build.gradle example

buildscript {
    repositories {
    dependencies {
        classpath "be.thinkerit.gradle:ubuntu-packager-plugin:0.3"
apply plugin:'ubuntu'

version = '0.1'

ubuntu {
    archive = new File("helloworld.tar.gz").toURI()
    releaseNotes = "Example for the ubuntu packager plugin"
    author = 'me'
    email = ''
    homepage = ''
    depends {
        // uncomment to add dependencies to be installed
        // on 'mysql-server'
        // on 'jetty'
    dirs {
        // you can add as many dir statements as you need
        dir '/usr/share/helloworld/bin'


Note: if you do not want to add a build script dependency you can add the sources to buildSrc instead. See the gradle documentation on custom plugins.

dir structure

├── build.gradle
├── helloworld.tar.gz
└── src
    └── ubuntu
        └── debian
            ├── copyright
            └── helloworld-example.install

The following optional scripts can be added to src/ubuntu/debian

  • helloworld-example.default -- /etc/default/helloworld-example holds environment variable defaults
  • helloworld-example.init -- /etc/init.d/helloworld-example system start-stop script
  • helloworld-example.preinst -- executed before installation
  • helloworld-example.postinst -- executed after installation
  • helloworld-example.prerm -- executed before removal
  • helloworld-example.postrm -- executed after removal

Finally you can still add any number of custom files to src/ubuntu/overrides which are copied to the same level as the contents of the tgz so they are available for use in helloworld-example.install

See the packaging guide as for the format to use in these files.


~/helloworld-example$ gradle clean deb


The plugin expects the presence of a tgz which isn't common for Java projects though not hard to make.

The package will be named based on the gradle name property which is the same as the directory in which the gradle project is located. As a result when using a CI system such as jenkins this name/dir will be called workspace and is probably not what you want. To work around this I have been putting my package scripts in their own subdir named the way I want the package to be named.


  • myapp/grails
  • myapp/myapp
  • myapp/myapp-data