I have read https://lintian.debian.org/ but do not understand what that means in simple words. Which are examples of debian policy rules to be violated and detected by lintian?

3 Answers 3


Lintian is a quality assurance tool that runs automated checks on various aspects of packages conformity to the Debian policy. If a package don't respect one of the rules, the issue is reported in the Lintian Reports database.

It helps packager to get metrics to build better packages.

  • 3
    This answer could be improved, but has the basic fact right, which is that lintian is a tool whose main purpose it to check packages for compliance with Debian Policy. The people who work on Policy and lintian are largely the same. One point that is not clear is that lintian is a command line tool which can be run either during the building of a Debian binary package, or on an already existing Debian binary package, and will return the results of its tests to standard output. Lintian is automatically run during builds of the Debian archive, and its results can be found on lintian.debian.org. Aug 1, 2014 at 15:08
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    smonff, feel free to add the above to your answer, or if you prefer, I can add a separate answer, though there are already 3 here. Aug 1, 2014 at 15:10
  • @FaheemMitha I don't feel that free since you seem to know it much more better than me! I initially tried to give a very simple response. Thanks for adding these informations.
    – smonff
    Aug 1, 2014 at 15:13
  • @FaheemMitha now the initial question has been changed, I don't even know if my answer makes sense
    – smonff
    Aug 1, 2014 at 15:17
  • smonff, he asks what lintian is, and for examples. You have covered the first; you could also add something on the second. Aug 1, 2014 at 16:08

Examples of errors found are on the tags page. Clicking such a tag leads to a description of the problem.


Interesting are the privacy tags:

Finding spelling mistakes:


One of the main advantages offered by Free and Open Source Software is transparency of code. In order for this to be of any importance, however, there needs to be at least some concerted effort put into actually checking that this code is bug-free, complies with certain standards (some of which may be imposed by the community at large, and some by smaller organizations like the Debian Project), and is easily readable for others who wish to do the same.

Lintian, though I'm not familiar with this project specifically, seems to be a project backed by the Debian Project with the aim of carrying out this task.

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