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Python wheel to debian package converter

Project description


cicd codecov MIT license Code style: black PyPI version Downloads WakeMeOps

wheel2deb is a python wheel to debian package converter. It takes a list of wheels as input and produces a list of debian binary CPython packages (those prefixed with python- or python3-).


Quick Example

The following shows how to convert numpy and pytest, along with their dependencies into a list of debian packages:

# Download (and build if needed) pytest, numpy and their requirements
pip3 wheel pytest numpy
# Convert all wheels to debian source packages, build them with dpkg-buildpackage
ls -l output/*.deb
# Install generated packages
dpkg -i output/*.deb
# Run pytest on numpy
python3 -c "import numpy; numpy.test()"

Project scope

  • Python 2.7 and 3
  • CPython only for now
  • support for non pure python wheels
  • support debian architectures all, armhf, amd64, i686
  • tested on jessie, stretch, buster so far, ubuntu should also work


wheel2deb uses apt-cache to search for debian packages, dpkg-shlibdeps to calculate shared library dependencies and apt-file to search packages providing shared library dependencies. wheel2deb build requires the usual tools to build a debian package:

apt update
apt install apt-file dpkg-dev fakeroot build-essential devscripts debhelper
apt-file update

If you want to cross build packages for ARM, you will also need to install binutils-arm-linux-gnueabihf.

Converting pure python wheels, don't actually requires apt-file and dpkg-dev.

Keep in mind that you should only convert wheels that have been built for your distribution and architecture. wheel2deb will not warn you about ABI compatibility issues.


From the release page

wheel2deb is packaged as a single binary application that you can download from the release page. Using those releases will spare you the hassle of building Python 3.10 on old Debian based distributions.

With wakemeops

sudo apt-get install wheel2deb

With docker

We currently do not build docker images with wheel2deb pre-installed. You can use wakemeops docker images to quickly play with wheel2deb on a different distribution than your host.

docker run -ti wakemeops/debian:buster

And in the container run:

install_packages wheel2deb

With pipx

wheel2deb is available from pypi:

pipx install wheel2deb


  • guess debian package names from wheel names and search for them in the cache
  • search packages providing shared library dependencies for wheels with native code
  • handle entrypoints and scripts (those will be installed in /usr/bin with a proper shebang)
  • try to locate licence files and to generate a debian/copyright file


Use wheel2deb convert --help and wheel2deb build --help to check all supported options.


You will need poetry, and probably pyenv if you don't have python 3.10 on your host.

poetry install

To run wheel2deb test suite run:

poetry run task check

To build a python wheel:

poetry run poetry build


Please use the GitHub issue tracker to submit bugs or request features.


Copyright Parkoview SA 2019-2023.

Distributed under the terms of the MIT license, wheel2deb is free and open source software.

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