I have two Python scripts, and I need to package them into a Debian package. I have tried quite a few things with some success. For example, I made a setup.py and then used python-stdeb to create a package (which - if I recall properly - did not work very well), and I also made my own package from scratch with a structure like so:


It was something like that, anyway. I got a package that then acted like a Debian package and I could use dpkg -b project to first build it and then dpkg -i package.deb to install the Debian packaging, however it didn't install anything (well it did install some things, but it didn't install the scripts that I wrote, which is what I would really like to install). So, how can I just make a package that will install my Python scripts. I don't care if they go to X11 or I have to say "Install to ~/package". All I want is for my scripts to go into a package so that someone else can install that package and have my scripts.

My guess is that I have to put metadata or something in the install file, but I don't know what to put in there.

1 Answer 1


One fast and easy way could be to use alien, it convert .tar to .deb:

tar czf pkg-name.tgz usr/
fakeroot alien -d pkg-name.tgz

Else use the old way, I use a Makefile like that:

all: deb

    mkdir -p tmp/usr/bin tmp/DEBIAN tmp/etc tmp/usr/share/man/man5
    find tmp -type d | xargs chmod 755
    cp some.conf tmp/etc/
    cp man/some.5 tmp/usr/share/man/man5/
    cp somecmd tmp/usr/bin/
    tar c --owner root --group root -v -z -f tmp/data.tar.gz -C tmp ./etc ./usr
    cd tmp && find usr/ etc/ -type f | xargs md5sum >DEBIAN/md5sums
    awk '/^#Package:/{i++}i {print substr($$0,2); }' Makefile >tmp/DEBIAN/control
    tar c --owner root --group root -v -z -f tmp/control.tar.gz -C tmp/DEBIAN ./control ./md5sums
    echo 2.0 >tmp/debian-binary
    ar rcv pkg-name_1.0-1.deb tmp/debian-binary tmp/control.tar.gz tmp/data.tar.gz

.phony: clean
    -rm -fr tmp

#Package: pkg-name
#Version: 1.0
#Section: net
#Priority: optional
#Architecture: all
#Essential: no
#Installed-size: 100
#Maintainer: Name <mail@here>
#Depends: optional dependencies
#Description: short descr
# long descr
  • huh, I saw that the other day. Since I didn't have a .tar file (just two scripts -- now three scripts and a PNG -- I didn't want to use it. I guess I could just tar -cvzf it. Not a bad idea. Again, I know basically nothing about Debian packages. My coworker just said "hey, make a package so I can download it on this headless wandboard." How would you "make" or build the make file (I'm assuming you wouldn't just do make make install or something like that. I like the make file idea, I just don't know what to do with it once I have it. Also, let me get back to you with the tar. Thanks!!!
    – Dylan
    Commented Oct 6, 2014 at 0:30
  • Nice alien worked like a dream. That was a little too easy. The only thing it it installed to /. Any way to change that. (I honestly haven't looked around much for this on the internet yet, though.)
    – Dylan
    Commented Oct 6, 2014 at 0:41
  • tar+alien are really easy, you must create and archive the relative path, ie: ./usr/bin/thescript, .debs are installed relative to /
    – Alex
    Commented Oct 6, 2014 at 0:43
  • Come again. I don't really understand what you are trying to say. I, of course, know what a relative path is, but I don't know what you mean by "create and archive the relative path." Do you mean that I must specify a relative path when I tar the package or when I use alien or something else entirely? Thanks
    – Dylan
    Commented Oct 6, 2014 at 1:19
  • If you need to install script in /usr/bin/ you've to tar ./usr/bin/script
    – Alex
    Commented Oct 6, 2014 at 1:53

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