Generally fine points, but some of them are exxaggerating and can thus be misleading even if not totally wrong:

On Tue, Mar 15, 2011 at 07:44:04PM +0100, Alessandro Ghedini wrote:
Also, since you have repackaged the orig.tar archive, you have also to document it properly in the d/copyright (you can use a 'Comment:' field), or in the d/README.source file, telling what and why you have removed (like [0]).

Notes on uncommon packaging procedures (which creating of tarballs from SVN falls under) belong in debian/README.source only.

What should be mentioned in debian/copyright is documenting parts of upstream source stripped or in other ways avoided from Debian redistribution.

As per Debian Policy you also have to provide a 'get-orig-source' target in the d/rules file, which builds properly the new tarball (without the files you decided to remove). This makes easier for future maintainance (you won't have to repack the tarball manually every time you update the package).

You don't "have to" provide a get-orig-source target, but yes, you are encouraged to do so.

Actually, the get-orig-source rule would have been required anyway, since you are using directly the sources from a SVN repository (I have not much experience in packaging directly from svn, so I missed this at the beginning). Have a look at [1] for an example of what you should do.

Again, this does not make get-orig-source a _requirement_.

Another requirement for the repackaged upstream tarball is to add something like '~dfsg' to both the source and binary packages version just to make clear to everyone that you have modified it. The package versions would look something like:

  0.0~dfsg+revNNN for the source package
  0.0~dfsg+revNNN-1 for the binary package

This is no requirement (for the reasons described above): A dfsg in the version number indicated that the source has been repackaged in order to comply with "Debian Free Software Guidelines" which is independent from creating a tarball due to upstream distributing in other forms than by tarballs.


 - Jonas

 * Jonas Smedegaard - idealist & Internet-arkitekt
 * Tlf.: +45 40843136  Website:

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