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Packages: Debian Style

Debian Packages: doc-debian debian-policy debmake devscripts fakeroot apt dpkg make g++ gcc perl autoconf sed libc6-dev

You can become part of the international effort that is Debian GNU/Linux by maintaining finding a package that you use regularly but is not available under Debian. You can then package it up and perhaps even become a Debian developer yourself. The steps to take include:

  1. Read the developer documentation at, probably starting with the "New Maintainer's Guide" at Most of these manuals can be installed as debian packages and read offline.
  2. Send a message to the debian-devel mailing list with a subject line ITP: mynewpackage (the ITP stands for Intend to Package). This will let others know your intention, and serve to double check that it has not already been done, and that it is worth doing!
  3. Find a Debian developer that will sponsor you.
  4. Your sponsor will have access to the debian machines and can test your package on all the architectures with you.

We will use as an example the packaging of a Debian tool called wajig. It is a simplified front end to the APT and DPKG suite of tools. It is a python program. We use autoconf to manage the configuration and turned the tool into a Debian package using the steps outlined below. We essentially follow the example in the Debian Policy Manual at


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