debhelper is a collection of programs that can be used in a debian/rules file to automate common tasks related to building binary debian packages. Programs are included to install various files into your package, compress files, fix file permissions, integrate your package with the debian menu system, etc. This will be of use only to debian developers or others who wish to build debian packages.

Debhelper's git repository is now located at: git://

I posted a good overview of debhelper's history in my blog. Here is the thread that started it all.

Colin graphs debhelper statistics here.


no longer maintaining debhelper

I've passed maintanence for debhelper on to others. This page is provided only for historical reasons.

version 9.20141107

debhelper 9.20141107 released with these changes

  • I'm leaving Debian, and Debhelper needs a new maintainer.
version 9.20141022

debhelper 9.20141022 released with these changes

  • dh_installdeb: Sort conffile list so there is a stable order for reproducible builds. Closes: #766384 Thanks, Jérémy Bobbio.

Adding stuff

The tricky thing about maintaining debhelper is that everyone would like to see a program added to it to handle some special-purpose thing, and this is rarely a good idea, since it just serves to increase debhelper's command count, and thus its learning curve, while making me responsible for maintaining support for said obscure thing.

My first rule of thumb is that at least ten packages need to be obvious benefactors of a feature or command before it's added to debhelper. That's an easy bar; after that I have to do some thinking and make the hard call.