Preparations Part II: Setting up the building and testing environment

If you built debian packages for personal use before you probably used something like dpkg-buildpackage or debuild on your local machine to build the source and binary packages.

Your daily used machine normally runs a stable Debian system, maybe testing or a mixture of both with some unstable packages. To build and test an official Debian package this needs to happen in an clean unstable environment. So you will have to build and test using chroots or lxc-containers.

1. ruby-meta

The ruby-team offers a set of scripts called meta to make setting up such an environment for building and testing a little bit easier for you. It is located in its own Salsa-repository:

Clone this repository to the local computer where you want to build and test packages:

git clone meta

Enter the newly created directory meta, read the and then create your building and testing environment by running the setup-script (which utilizes sbuild, autopkgtest and lxc to do so):


The script will install missing packages and therefore ask for your user password. It case the script fails, you have to install some missing packages by yourself and rerun the script. At the end the script informs you:

Finished testbed setup for unstable: <Date>

From now on you can use the build-script in meta repository from within your package’s local git repository to build and test in a clean environment.

2. lintian options

For testing the packages lintian should be called with some extra options to make its report more verbose and pedantic. For using the build script of ruby-team’s meta-repository you should make this options standard for sbuild by adding them to your ~/.sbuildrc:

# this enables all lintian tags:
$lintian_opts = ['-i', '-I', '-E', '--pedantic'];

And after all this preparations: You are finally ready to start your first project!

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