I am working on the installation for Maxima, a computer algebra system. The reference manual is written as a collection of Texinfo files. The primary documentation is English, but there are several translations (German, Spanish, etc.). .info files are then generated by makeinfo.

What is the general agreement (explicit or implicit) about where to put .info files for various languages? I am interested in Debian guidelines or conventions since, to my understanding, they are somewhat more constraining than other packaging systems, so, they might have a clearer guideline, and also Debian is likely to be a bottleneck for an installation which is supposed to work on various systems.

I am hoping to make the installation of English and other languages symmetric in the sense that English goes into an en subdirectory just as German, Spanish, etc., go into de, es, etc. subdirectories. Does it make sense to just put the files into /usr/share/info/nn where nn is a language subdirectory? (Would the info reader be able to find .info files in such subdirectories?)

I wasn't able to locate any relevant hints by a web search, and perusing the .info files on my Linux system doesn't turn up any apparently non-English files, so I don't have an example of how another project is doing it.

1 Answer 1


I’ve never seen a language-specific subdirectory used for non-English info files.

In Debian, I can find a couple of “conventions” (perhaps not used enough to actually be conventions), both variants of a language-specific suffix; for example,

  • hyphenated suffixes, such as developers-reference-fr.info.gz in developers-reference-fr (and similar files in other translations), the French translation of developers-reference.info.gz in developers-reference, or help2man-fr.info.gz in help2man;
  • dot-suffixes in a number of files in the guix package, such as guix.fr.info.gz, the French translation of guix.info.gz.

Neither of these are Debian-specific.

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