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I have a piece of software that comes as a deb package or as source. I would like to install it from source so I can install it in a non-standard directory, but would like to use apt for dependency management.

Is there software that I can use that will create a deb package from another that is just a dummy package with the dependencies for the package?

EDIT: To clarify, I want to satisfy the dependencies of the software, not use the software to satisfy dependencies.

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You can use equivs for that. Install the equivs package, and run

equivs-control yourpackage.control

(replacing yourpackage with something appropriate for your situation).

This will create a template yourpackage.control file; edit it as appropriate:

  • to enforce dependencies, list them in the Depends: line;
  • to satisfy dependencies, list them in the Provides: line (adding it if necessary).

If you want to satisfy a single dependency, name your package accordingly, don’t Provide it.

You should also fill in the Version: line. Then run

equivs-build yourpackage.control

and install the resulting .deb package (which will enforce the dependencies).

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