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Debian packaging tools

Project description

The Python package deb-pkg-tools is a collection of functions to work with Debian packages and repositories. Some of those functions have a command line interface (see below) because they’re very convenient to use in shell scripts, while other functions are meant to be called directly from Python code.


On the one hand the deb-pkg-tools package is based on my experiences with Debian packages and repositories over the past couple of years, however on the other hand deb-pkg-tools itself is quite young. However all functionality is covered by automated tests; at the time of writing coverage is around 96% (some of the error handling is quite tricky to test if we also want to test the non-error case, which is of course the main focus :-)

Installation and usage

You can install the deb-pkg-tools package using the following command:

$ pip install deb-pkg-tools

After installation you’ll have the deb-pkg-tools program available:

$ deb-pkg-tools --help
Usage: deb-pkg-tools [OPTIONS]

Supported options:

  -i, --inspect=FILE         inspect the metadata in a *.deb archive
  -b, --build=DIR            build a Debian package with `dpkg-deb --build'
  -u, --update-repo=DIR      create/update a trivial package repository
  -a, --activate-repo=DIR    enable `apt-get' to install packages from a
                             trivial repository (assumes root access)
  -d, --deactivate-repo=DIR  cleans up after --activate-repo
                             (assumes root access)
  -v, --verbose              make more noise
  -h, --help                 show this message and exit

If you’re interested in using deb-pkg-tools as a Python module, please refer to the function reference on Read the Docs.


The deb-pkg-tools package depends on the python-debian package for control file parsing. The following external programs are also required (depending on which functionality you need of course):

Program Package
apt-ftparchive apt-utils
apt-get apt
ar binutils
cat coreutils
cp coreutils
dpkg-deb dpkg
dpkg-scanpackages dpkg-dev
du coreutils
fakeroot fakeroot
gpg gnupg
gzip gzip
mv coreutils
sed sed
tar tar


The latest version of deb-pkg-tools is available on PyPI and GitHub. The documentation is hosted on Read the Docs. For bug reports please create an issue on GitHub. If you have questions, suggestions, etc. feel free to send me an e-mail at


This software is licensed under the MIT license.

© 2013 Peter Odding.

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