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README.md

Pragmatic Debian packaging

Those are examples on how to build Debian packages using Debian tools while being quite loose on the policy. Those packages are not fit for the official Debian archive but may be OK for other usages. The packaging practices presented here are compatible with Debian 9 (Stretch) and more recent, and Ubuntu Bionic and more recent. If you wish to support older distributions, switch to the 2016 tag.

See the following articles for some background: Pragmatic Debian packaging.

All those packages can be built with:

dpkg-buildpackage -us -uc -b

Only binary packages can be safely built from those sources. Do not attempt to build source packages as they are likely to be flawed.

If you don't wish to satisfy the build dependencies, you can build with:

dpkg-buildpackage -us -uc -b -d

You can build them with git-pbuilder as well:

GIT_PBUILDER_OPTIONS=--use-network=yes DIST=bionic git-pbuilder -us -uc -b

Most packages will download the source code from Internet (without any check). This is more convenient for simple examples, but the debian/ directory could have been just integrated into the original source tree to skip this test.

It is better to build the package on the target distribution. Some of the generated packages may be installed on another distribution, but there is no guarantee.

Note that those packages are received no real operational tests and should not be used on production system. Their only purpose is to illustrate how to build Debian packages.

Dependencies

Ensure you have those packages installed:

  • build-essential
  • debhelper

You may also want the specified build dependencies.

systemd support

When applicable, the examples come with systemd support. Support for other inits are not illustrated here (have a look at the 2016 tag if you want to support non-systemd init systems).

Packages

geoip-database-all

This package is built from the most recent Maxmind GeoIP databases. It is intended to be built monthly and should replace geoip-database, geoip-database-extra and geoip-database-contrib packages.

nodejs

This is a all-in-one package for nodejs. It will download the version specified in debian/rules and build a package from that. This package contains an embedded copy OpenSSL, libuv, zlib and I suppose many other dependencies.

memcached

This is an all-in-one package for memcached. It will download the version specified in debian/rules and build a package from that. Being based on autoconf, debhelper knows how to handle this kind of program. It will run ./configure with the appropriate options, make, make check and make install.

We add an upstart script and a systemd unit definition. This package won't work with systems using neither systemd nor upstart.

memcached-basic

This is a more basic version of the previous package. Notably, it's easier to explain as an introduction to "pragmatic" packaging.

memcached-intermediate

This is an intermediate version between memcached-basic and memcached.

golang

This package is just a conversion of the precompiled tarball. Compiling Go from source is too deemed to complex (unless you already have Go). The tarball is extracted in /usr/lib and a symbolic link is done from /usr/local/go to /usr/lib/go. Debian packages are not expected to install anything in /usr/local.

flask

This is the popular Flask microframework as a Python module. This example rely on dh_python, an helper tool to help packaging Python modules. We just download and extract the tarball, override the package version and let this helper do its work. The resulting package is almost correct in respect to the Debian policy.

etcd

This package ships etcd, a key-value store written in Go. It ships a systemd service unit. It doesn't come with a /etc/default/etcd that would have been handy to have for more customizations. It will make the daemon run as etcd, relying on systemd to create it.

riemann

This package ships riemann. The build dependencies are incomplete since it is unlikely you'll find lein already packaged. We could fetch and execute it in debian/rules, but we assume that something else is doing that for us. It comes with an upstart and systemd job. It will run as _riemann. The package makes use of an uberjar to bundle all dependencies.

puppetboard

This package makes use of dh-virtualenv, a nifty helper to ship a whole virtualenv. Dependencies are therefore frozen and the package is independant of other Python modules on the system (but relies nonetheless on system Python). As usual, shipped with a user and some upstart job/systemd unit.

sentry

This package also uses dh-virtualenv but with a variation. It relies on pip to download sentry through a provided requirements.txt (where the version should be set with pip-tools for example). It also ensure everything is built from source with the exception of symbolic which is too "hard" to compile (it needs rust and cargo). It also uses several systemd unit files. As a dynamic user cannot be shared accross systemd unit files, we have to create the user in postinst.

kiwiirc

This is an IRC web client written in Node.JS. There is currently no equivalent to dh-virtualenv for NodeJS but it's enough to do yourself. Shipped with a systemd unit featuring a dynamic user.