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Parse D-Bus introspection XML and process it in various ways

Project description


dbus-deviation is a project for parsing D-Bus introspection XML and processing
it in various ways. Its main tool is dbus-interface-diff, which calculates the
difference between two D-Bus APIs for the purpose of checking for API breaks.
This functionality is also available as a Python module, dbusdeviation.

A second Python module, dbusapi, is provided for parsing D-Bus introspection
XML to produce an AST representing a D-Bus interface.

dbus-deviation’s API is currently unstable and is likely to change wildly.

Using dbus-deviation

dbus-deviation can be used as a utility program or as a Python library.

The utility programs:
• dbus-interface-diff:
Check for differences between two versions of the same D-Bus API and
print details of each difference. It can check for problems with forwards
and backwards compatibility, as well as general informational

dbus-interface-diff \
com.example.Interface1.xml \ # old version of the interface
com.example.Interface2.xml # new version of the interface

• dbus-interface-vcs-helper:
This is a helper program designed to be used by

As a library, the core object is an InterfaceParser, allowing a D-Bus API to
be parsed and represented as an AST. See the API documentation for more
explanation and examples.

This is a Makefile snippet which should be copied into your project, added to
git, and the following two lines included in your top-level
dbus_api_xml_files = list of D-Bus interface XML files
-include $(top_srcdir)/

Do not add it to EXTRA_DIST. It is designed to work from git checkouts only.

Then run:
make dbus-deviation-mk-install
to set up the API signature database. This assumes that your project defines
D-Bus interfaces in XML files, and does not generate them at runtime.

Finally, copy pre-push.hook to .git/hooks/pre-push and ensure it’s executable.
This script will automatically update the API signature database when a new
release tag is pushed to the git remote.

There is currently no streamlined support for projects which generate D-Bus
interfaces at runtime. defines the following rules:
• dist-dbus-api-compatibility (a dependency of dist-hook)
• check-dbus-api-compatibility (a dependency of check-local)
• dbus-deviation-mk-install (never triggered automatically)


• argparse
• lxml


For fun, dbus-deviation uses the following services to do continuous
integration and gather build statistics:


dbus-deviation is licensed under the LGPL version 2.1 (or, at your option, any
later version). See COPYING for more details.

dbus-deviation versions 0.4.0 and earlier were licensed under the choice of the
Academic Free License version 2.1, or the GNU General Public License version 2
(or, at your option, any later version). This is the same license as D-Bus
itself. Version 0.5.0 was relicensed to LGPLv2.1+ as it’s a more standard license
with less ambiguity about its implications.


Bug reports and patches should be sent via GitHub or Gitlab:


Philip Withnall <>

Overview of changes from dbus-deviation 0.5.0 to dbus-deviation 0.6.0

Major changes:
• Split out the logging API to allow for reuse
• Expose source line numbers in dbusapi.ast
• Add a D-Bus type parser, dbusapi.typeparser (thanks to Kaloyan Tenchov)
• Drop Python 3.3 support as Sphinx no longer supports it
• Add a D-Bus type formatter, dbusapi.typeformatter

Overview of changes from dbus-deviation 0.4.0 to dbus-deviation 0.5.0

Major changes:
• Add support for <node> elements (Kaloyan Tenchov)
• Add object path, interface name and callable name validation
(Kaloyan Tenchov)
• Relicense to LGPLv2.1+

Overview of changes from dbus-deviation 0.3.0 to dbus-deviation 0.4.0

Major changes:
• Improve test coverage
• Port to lxml instead of xml.etree
• Support parsing comments and documentation nodes

Overview of changes from dbus-deviation 0.2.0 to dbus-deviation 0.3.0

Major changes:
• Improve utility arguments and variables in and vcs-helper

Overview of changes from dbus-deviation 0.1.0 to dbus-deviation 0.2.0

Major changes:
• Improve error reporting
• Improve test coverage
• Add Makefile snippet and helper program (vcs-helper) for use in other

Initial release of dbus-deviation 0.1.0

Major changes:
• Initial version of the project

Project details

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