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Now it is time to get practical ourselves. I have a simple shell script named 'linuxstatus' which I want to install as '/usr/bin/linuxstatus'. So first let's create a directory named 'debian' next to the file 'linuxstatus'.
$ mkdir -p ./debian/usr/bin $ cp linuxstatus ./debian/usr/bin
Let's start with the control file. The version number must have a dash with an additional Debian package version number, e.g. '1.1-1'. If your program consists e.g. only of portable shell scripts, use 'all' as its 'Architecture'.
For 'Depends' you might need to find out to which package a certain file or program your new package relies onto belongs to. You can use 'dpkg -S <file>' for this to find this out, e.g.:
$ dkpg -S /bin/cat coreutils: /bin/cat
Then to find out more about package 'coreutils' you can use the command 'apt-cache showpkg coreutils', which will tell you among other things the current version number that is installed on the system.
As a side note, there are two more ways to find the same information. There is a web page where you can search for Debian files: http://www.debian.org/distrib/packages. Go to the bottom of that page to fill out the web form.
Last not least there is a nice GUI application named 'kpackage', which provides convenient package browsing options and also allows to search after packages given individual file names.
'Suggests', 'Conflicts', and 'Replaces' etc. can be left out if not needed.
So here is the result of our first 'control' file:
Package: linuxstatus Version: 1.1-1 Section: base Priority: optional Architecture: all Depends: bash (>= 2.05a-11), textutils (>= 2.0-12), awk, procps (>= \ 1:2.0.7-8), sed (>= 3.02-8), grep (>= 2.4.2-3), coreutils (>= 5.0-5) Maintainer: Chr. Clemens Lee <firstname.lastname@example.org> Description: Linux system information This script provides a broad overview of different system aspects.
The 'control' file gets copied into a directory called 'DEBIAN' inside the other 'debian' directory.
$ mkdir -p debian/DEBIAN $ find ./debian -type d | xargs chmod 755 # this is necessary on Debian Woody, don't ask me why $ cp control debian/DEBIAN
If you expect your package to have a bigger audience in the future it might help to read this Writing Debian package descriptions article.
Now it is almost done. Just type:
$ dpkg-deb --build debian dpkg-deb: building package `linuxstatus' in `debian.deb'. $ mv debian.deb linuxstatus_1.1-1_all.deb
Uh, that was all easier than expected. Now we just have to install this package on our box and we are done:
root# dpkg -i ./linuxstatus_1.1-1_all.deb
Type 'linuxstatus' or 'ls -l /usr/bin/linuxstatus' to see if it worked. If you don't like your package any more, just type 'dpkg -r linuxstatus' and check again that the package is deinstalled. If you install a newer version you don't have to remove the old one first, thought.