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dgit - Man Page

git integration with the Debian archive


dgit [dgit-opts] clone [dgit-opts] package [suite] [./dir|/dir]
dgit [dgit-opts] fetch|pull [dgit-opts] [suite]
dgit [dgit-opts] build|sbuild|build-source [build-opts]
dgit [dgit-opts] pbuilder|cowbuilder [debbuildopts]
dgit [dgit-opts] push|push-built [dgit-opts] [suite]
dgit [dgit-opts] rpush|rpush-built build-host:build-dir [push args...]
dgit [dgit-opts] action ...


dgit allows you to treat the Debian archive as if it were a git repository. Conversely, it allows Debian to publish the source of its packages as git branches, in a format which is directly useable by ordinary people.

This is the command line reference. Please read the tutorial(s):

dgit-user(7)for users: edit, build and share packages
dgit-nmu-simple(7)for DDs: do a straightforward NMU
dgit-maint-native(7)for maintainers of Debian-native packages
dgit-maint-debrebase(7)for maintainers: a pure-git rebasish workflow
dgit-maint-merge(7)for maintainers: a pure-git merging workflow
dgit-maint-gbp(7)for maintainers already using git-buildpackage
dgit-sponsorship(7)for sponsors and sponsored contributors
dgit-downstream-dsc(7)setting up dgit push for a new distro

See dgit(7) for detailed information about the data model, common problems likely to arise with certain kinds of package, etc.


dgit clone package [suite] [./dir|/dir]

Consults the archive and dgit-repos to construct the git view of history for package in suite (sid by default) in a new directory (named ./package by default); also, downloads any necessary orig tarballs.

The suite's git tip is left on the local branch dgit/suite ready for work, and on the corresponding dgit remote tracking branch. The origin remote will be set up to point to the package's dgit-repos tree for the distro to which suite belongs.

suite may be a combination of several underlying suites in the form mainsuite,subsuite...; see COMBINED SUITES in dgit(7).

For your convenience, the vcs-git remote will be set up from the package's Vcs-Git field, if there is one - but note that in the general case the history found there may be different to or even disjoint from dgit's view. (See also dgit update-vcs-git.)

dgit fetch [suite]

Consults the archive and git-repos to update the git view of history for a specific suite (and downloads any necessary orig tarballs), and updates the remote tracking branch remotes/dgit/dgit/suite. If the current branch is dgit/suite then dgit fetch defaults to suite; otherwise it parses debian/changelog and uses the suite specified there. suite may be a combined suite, as for clone.

dgit pull [suite]

Does dgit fetch, and then merges the new head of the remote tracking branch remotes/dgit/dgit/suite into the current branch.

dgit checkout suite

Checks out the local branch dgit/suite.

If the branch does not exist, dgit checkout creates it, and sets it up the same way as dgit clone would. In that case, if the archive remote tracking branch does not exist, dgit checkout will do a dgit fetch first.

NB: dgit checkout will only do a fetch if it has to. If you already have the suite branch, and want to merge your branch with updates from the archive, use dgit pull.

dgit checkout will normally need to access the archive server, to canonicalise the provided suite name. The exception is if you specify the canonical name, and the branch (or tracking branch) already exists.

dgit build ...

Runs dpkg-buildpackage with some suitable options.  Options and arguments after build will be passed on to dpkg-buildpackage.  It is not necessary to use dgit build when using dgit; it is OK to use any approach which ensures that the generated source package corresponds to the relevant git commit.

Tagging, signing and actually uploading should be left to dgit push.

dgit's build operations access the network, to get the -v option right. See -v, below.

dgit build-source ...

Builds the source package, and a changes file for a prospective source-only upload, using dpkg-source. The output is left in package_version.dsc and package_version_source.changes.

Tagging, signing and actually uploading should be left to dgit push-source, or dgit push.

dgit clean

Cleans the current working tree (according to the --clean= option in force).

dgit update-vcs-git [suite|.] [--] [git fetch options]
dgit update-vcs-git [suite|.] -

Sets up, or updates the url of, the vcs-git remote, and (unless - was specified) runs git fetch on it.

By default, the Vcs-Git field of the .dsc from Debian sid is used, as that is probably most up to date. Another suite may be specified, or . to indicate that the Vcs-Git of the cwd's debian/control should be used instead.

dgit help

Print a usage summary.

dgit sbuild ...

Constructs the source package, uses sbuild to do a binary build, and uses mergechanges to merge the source and binary changes files.  Options and arguments after sbuild will be passed on to sbuild. The output is left in package_version_multi.changes.

Tagging, signing and actually uploading should be left to dgit push.

dgit pbuilder [debbuildopts]

Constructs the source package, uses pbuilder to do a binary build, and uses mergechanges to merge the source and binary changes files. The output is left in package_version_multi.changes.

You should ensure that your dgit --build-products-dir setting matches your pbuilder --buildresult.

The debbuildopts are passed to pbuilder using its --debbuildopts option.  If you want to pass other options to pbuilder, use the --pbuilder: dgit option as described below (remember that dgit options should appear between dgit and pbuilder).

You should ensure that in your pbuilderrc you do not have the setting SOURCE_ONLY_CHANGES=yes as this may cause trouble.

dgit cowbuilder [debbuildopts]

Like dgit pbuilder, but uses cowbuilder instead of pbuilder.

dgit gbp-build ...

Runs git-buildpackage with some suitable options.  Options and arguments after gbp-build will be passed on to git-buildpackage.

By default this uses --quilt=gbp, so HEAD should be a git-buildpackage style branch, not a patches-applied branch.

Tagging, signing and actually uploading should be left to dgit push.

dgit push-source [suite]

Does an `upload': sends the current HEAD to dgit-repos (as git commits), and to the archive (as a source package, built by this command).

This is the usual way to upload to Debian.  It is like saying "update the source code in the archive to match my git HEAD, and let the autobuilders do the rest."

In more detail: dgit push-source builds a source package from HEAD. It then pushes the HEAD to the suite's dgit-repos branch, adjusts the .changes to include any .origs which the archive lacks and exclude .origs which the archive has (so -sa and -sd are not needed when building for dgit push), makes a signed git tag, edits the .dsc to contain the dgit metadata field, runs debsign to sign the upload (.dsc and .changes), pushes the signed tag, and finally uses dput to upload the .changes to the archive.

dgit push always uses the package, suite and version specified in the debian/changelog and the .dsc, which must agree.  If the command line specifies a suite then that must match too.

When used on a git-debrebase branch, dgit calls git-debrebase to prepare the branch for source package upload and push.

With -C, dgit push-source performs a dgit push-built, additionally ensuring that no binary packages are uploaded.

dgit push-built [suite]

Does an `upload' of a previously built package, possibly including binaries. Sends the current HEAD to dgit-repos (as git commits); and, sends the previously built source package and binaries to the archive.

The package must already have been built ready for upload, with the .dsc and .changes left in the parent directory.  It is normally best to do the build with dgit too (e.g. with dgit sbuild): some existing build tools pass unhelpful options to dpkg-source et al by default, which can result in the built source package not being identical to the git tree.

dgit will check that the .dsc corresponds exactly to the current HEAD, ensuring that all users, whether of the dgit git view, or of the traditional archive, see the same source package.

dgit rpush-source|rpush-built build-host:src-dir [push args...]

Pushes the contents of the specified directory on a remote machine. This is like running dgit push on build-host with src-dir as the current directory; however, signing operations are done on the invoking host.  This allows you to do a push when the system which has the source code (and any built binaries) has no access to the key:

1.Clone on build host (dgit clone)
2.Edit code on build host (edit, git commit)
3.Build package on build host (dgit build)
4.Test package on build host or elsewhere (dpkg -i, test)
5.Upload by invoking dgit rpush on host with your GPG key.

However, the build-host must be able to ssh to the dgit repos.  If this is not already the case, you must organise it separately, for example by the use of ssh agent forwarding.

The remaining arguments are treated just as dgit push-source or dgit push-built would handle them.

build-host and build-dir can be passed as separate arguments; this is assumed to be the case if the first argument contains no : (except perhaps one in [ ], to support IPv6 address literals).

You will need similar enough versions of dgit on the build-host and the invocation host.  The build-host needs gnupg installed, with your public key in its keyring (but not your private key, obviously).

dgit push|rpush ...

Configurable aliases for dgit push-built and dgit rpush-built. These aliases will in the future change to mean dgit push-source and dgit rpush-source, and therefore they currently generate a warning.

The behaviour of dgit push is controlled by the dgit.default.push-subcmd git config option:

sourceruns dgit push-sourcefuture default
builtand runs dgit push-built
built,warnwarns, and runs dgit push-builtcurrent default

For dgit rpush, the behaviour is controlled by dgit.default.rpush-subcmd, falling back to dgit.default.push-subcmd if that is not set. Because dgit rpush is not typically run in a git working tree, only global git config options (and -c command line options) are relevant.

These settings can safely be passed to older dgit (via -c); the value built will be supported indefinitely. This should be used in scripts that need to work with both old versions of dgit (that don't have push-built) and new versions (where push-source is the default).

dgit setup-new-tree

Configure the current working tree the way that dgit clone would have set it up.  Like running dgit setup-useremail, setup-mergechangelogs and setup-gitattributes (but only does each thing if dgit is configured to do it automatically). You can use these in any git repository, not just ones used with the other dgit operations. Does not run update-vcs-git (as that requires Debian packaging information).

dgit setup-useremail

Set the working tree's user.name and user.email from the distro-specific dgit configuration (dgit-distro.distro.user-name and .user-email), or DEBFULLNAME or DEBEMAIL.

dgit setup-mergechangelogs

Configures a git merge helper for the file debian/changelog which uses dpkg-mergechangelogs.

dgit setup-gitattributes

Set up the working tree's .git/info/attributes to disable all transforming attributes for all files. This is done by defining a macro attribute, dgit-defuse-attrs, and applying it to *. For why, see GITATTRIBUTES in dgit(7). Note that only attributes affecting the working tree are suppressed. git-archive may remain exciting.

If there is an existing macro attribute line [attr]dgit-defuse-attrs in .git/info/attributes, but it is insufficient, because it was made by an earlier version of dgit and git has since introduced new transforming attributes, this modifies the macro to disable the newer transformations.

(If there is already a macro attribute line [attr]dgit-defuse-attrs in .git/info/attributes which does what dgit requires (whatever files it effects), this operation does nothing further. This fact can be used to defeat or partially defeat dgit setup-gitattributes and hence dgit setup-new-tree.)

dgit quilt-fixup

`3.0 (quilt)' format source packages need changes representing not only in-tree but also as patches in debian/patches.  dgit quilt-fixup checks whether this has been done; if not, dgit will make appropriate patches in debian/patches and also commit the resulting changes to git.

This is normally done automatically by dgit build and dgit push.

dgit will try to turn each relevant commit in your git history into a new quilt patch.  dgit cannot convert nontrivial merges, or certain other kinds of more exotic history.  If dgit can't find a suitable linearisation of your history, by default it will fail, but you can ask it to generate a single squashed patch instead.

When used with a git-debrebase branch, dgit will ask git-debrebase to prepare patches. However, dgit can make patches in some situations where git-debrebase fails, so dgit quilt-fixup can be useful in its own right. To always use dgit's own patch generator instead of git-debrebase make-patches, pass --git-debrebase=true to dgit.

See FORMAT 3.0 (QUILT) in dgit(7).

dgit import-dsc [sub-options] ../path/to/.dsc [+|..]branch

Import a Debian-format source package, specified by its .dsc, into git, the way dgit fetch would do.

This does about half the work of dgit fetch: it will convert the .dsc into a new, orphan git branch. Since dgit has no access to a corresponding source package archive or knowledge of the history it does not consider whether this version is newer than any previous import or corresponding git branches; and it therefore does not make a pseudomerge to bind the import into any existing git history.

Because a .dsc can contain a Dgit field naming a git commit (which you might not have), and specifying where to find that commit (and any history rewrite table), import-dsc might need online access. If this is a problem (or dgit's efforts to find the commit fail), consider --no-chase-dsc-distro or --force-import-dsc-with-dgit-field.

There is only one sub-option:

--require-valid-signature causes dgit to insist that the signature on the .dsc is valid (using the same criteria as dpkg-source -x). Otherwise, dgit tries to verify the signature but the outcome is reported only as messages to stderr.

If branch is prefixed with + then if it already exists, it will be simply overwritten, no matter its existing contents. If branch is prefixed with .. then if it already exists and dgit actually imports the dsc (rather than simply reading the git commit out of the Dgit field), dgit will make a pseudomerge so that the result is necessarily fast forward from the existing branch. Otherwise, if branch already exists, dgit will stop with an error message.

If branch does not start with refs/, refs/heads/ is prepended.

dgit version

Prints version information and exits.

dgit clone-dgit-repos-server destdir

Tries to fetch a copy of the source code for the dgit-repos-server, as actually being used on the dgit git server, as a git tree.

dgit print-dgit-repos-server-source-url

Prints the url used by dgit clone-dgit-repos-server. This is hopefully suitable for use as a git remote url. It may not be useable in a browser.

dgit print-dpkg-source-ignores

Prints the -i and -I arguments which must be passed to dpkg-souce to cause it to exclude exactly the .git directory and nothing else. The separate arguments are unquoted, separated by spaces, and do not contain spaces.

dgit print-unapplied-treeish

Constructs a tree-ish approximating the patches-unapplied state of your 3.0 (quilt) package, and prints the git object name to stdout. This requires appropriate .orig tarballs. This tree object is identical to your .origs as regards upstream files. The contents of the debian subdirectory is not interesting and should not be inspected; except that debian/patches will be identical to your HEAD.

To make this operate off-line, the access configuration key which is used to determine the build-products-dir is the uncanonicalised version of the suite name from the changelog, or (of course) dgit.default.build-products-dir. See Access Configuration, below.

This function is primarily provided for the benefit of git-debrebase.



Use keyid for signing the tag and the upload.  The default comes from the distro's keyid config setting (see Configuration, below), or failing that, the uploader trailer line in debian/changelog.


does not sign tags or uploads (meaningful only with push).


Specifies that we should process source package package rather than looking in debian/control or debian/changelog. Valid with dgit fetch and dgit pull, only.

--clean=git | -wg

Use git clean -xdf to clean the working tree, rather than running the package's rules clean target.

This will delete all files which are not tracked by git. (Including any files you forgot to git add.)

--clean=... options other than dpkg-source are useful when the package's clean target is troublesome, or to avoid needing the build-dependencies.

dgit will only actually clean the tree if it needs to (because it needs to build the source package or binaries from your working tree). Otherwise it will just check that there are no untracked unignored files. See --clean=git[-ff],always, below.

--clean=git-ff | -wgf

Use git clean -xdff to clean the working tree. Like git clean -xdf but it also removes any subdirectories containing different git trees (which only unusual packages are likely to create).

--clean=git[-ff],always | -wga | -wgfa

Like --clean=git, but always does the clean and not just a check, deleting any untracked un-ignored files.

--clean=check | --clean=check,ignores | -wc | -wci

Merely check that the tree is clean (does not contain uncommitted files). Avoids running rules clean, and can avoid needing the build-dependencies.

With ,ignores or -wci, untracked files covered by .gitignore are tolerated, so only files which show up as ? in git status (ie, ones you maybe forgot to git add) are treated as a problem.

--clean=none | -wn

Do not clean the tree, nor check that it is clean. Avoids running rules clean, and can avoid needing the build-dependencies. If there are files which are not in git, or if the build creates such files, a subsequent dgit push will fail.

--clean=dpkg-source[-d] | -wd | -wdd

Use dpkg-buildpackage to do the clean, so that the source package is cleaned by dpkg-source running the package's clean target. --clean=dpkg-source is the default.

Without the extra d, requires the package's build dependencies.

With ...-d or -wdd, the build-dependencies are not checked (due to passing -d to dpkg-buildpackage), which violates policy, but may work in practice.

The rules clean target will only be run if it is needed: when dgit is going to build source or binary packages from your working tree, rather than from your git branch (for example because of --include-dirty or because the binary package build uses your working tree).

In all cases, dgit will check that there are (after rules clean, if applicable) no untracked un-ignored files, in case these are files you forgot to git add. (Except that this check is not done for a `3.0 (quilt)' package when dgit has to apply patches, dirtily, to the working tree.) If your package does not have a good .gitignore you will probably need --clean=dpkg-source,no-check aka -wdn.

--clean=dpkg-source[-d],no-check | -wdn | -wddn

Like --clean=dpkg-source, but does not care about untracked un-ignored files.

--clean=dpkg-source[-d],all-check | -wda | -wdda

Like --clean=dpkg-source, but fails even on ignored untracked files. This could perhaps be used to detect bugs in your rules clean target.

-N | --new

The package is, or may be, new in this suite.  Without this, dgit will refuse to push. Needing --new is not unusual; for example, it is frequently needed for uploading to Debian experimental.

Note that dgit may be unable to access the git history for an entirely new package which has not been accepted by the archive. So for an entirely new package you need to properly coordinate with anyone else who might upload.


Do not complain if the working tree does not match your git HEAD, and when building, include the changes from your working tree. This can be useful with build, if you plan to commit later.  (dgit push will still ensure that the .dsc you upload and the git tree you push are identical, so this option won't make broken pushes.)

Note that this does not prevent dgit from cleaning your tree, so if the changes in your working tree are in the form of untracked files, those might still be deleted, especially with --clean=git. If you want to include untracked files in the build, you can use --clean=none or --clean=dpkg-source[-d] in addition to --include-dirty. Note that this combination can fail if the untracked files are under debian/patches/.


Deprecated alias for --include-dirty.


Declare that your HEAD really does contain all the (wanted) changes from all versions listed in its changelog; or, all (wanted) changes from previous-version. This promise is needed when your git branch is not a descendant of the version in the archive according to the git revision history.

It is safer not to specify previous-version, and usually it's not needed. Just say --overwrite, unless you know what you are doing.

This option is useful if you are the maintainer, and you have incorporated NMU changes into your own git workflow in a way that doesn't make your branch a fast forward from the NMU. It can also be useful when there was an upload made without dgit since the most recent upload made with dgit.

This option is also usually necessary the first time a package is pushed with dgit push to a particular suite. See dgit-maint-*(7).

If previous-version is not specified, dgit will check that the version in the archive is mentioned in your debian/changelog. (This will avoid losing changes, even with --overwrite, unless someone committed to git a finalised changelog entry, and then made later changes to that version.) If previous-version is specified, it ought to be the version currently in the archive.

dgit push --overwrite will, if necessary, make a pseudo-merge (that is, something that looks like the result of git merge -s ours) to stitch the archive's version into your own git history, so that your push is a fast forward from the archive.

(In quilt mode gbp, dpm, unpatched or baredebian*, implying a split between the dgit view and the maintainer view, the pseudo-merge will appear only in the dgit view; --split-view=always can be used to force that behaviour, e.g. in other quilt modes.)


Upload to a DELAYED queue.

WARNING: If the maintainer responds by cancelling your upload from the queue, and does not make an upload of their own, this will not rewind the git branch on the dgit git server. Other dgit users will then see your push (with a warning message from dgit) even though the maintainer wanted to abolish it. Such users might unwittingly reintroduce your changes.

If this situation arises, someone should make a suitable dgit push to update the contents of dgit-repos to a version without the controversial changes.


Tells dgit not to look online for additional git repositories containing information about a particular .dsc being imported. Chasing is the default.

For most operations (such as fetch and pull), disabling chasing means dgit will access only the git server for the distro you are directly working with, even if the .dsc was copied verbatim from another distro. For import-dsc, disabling chasing means dgit will work completely offline.

Disabling chasing can be hazardous: if the .dsc names a git commit which has been rewritten by those in charge of the distro, this option may prevent that rewrite from being effective. Also, it can mean that dgit fails to find necessary git commits.


Specifies that when split view is in operation, and dgit calculates (or looks up in its cache) a dgit view corresponding to your HEAD, the dgit view will be left in ref. The specified ref is unconditionally overwritten, so don't specify a branch you want to keep.

This option is effective only with the following operations: quilt-fixup; push; all builds. And it is only effective when split view is actually in operation.

If ref does not start with refs/ it is taken to be a branch - i.e. refs/heads/ is prepended.

--dgit-view-save is a deprecated alias for --save-dgit-view.


Declare that you are deliberately doing something. This can be used to override safety catches, including safety catches which relate to distro-specific policies. The use of --deliberately is declared and published in the signed tags generated for you by dgit, so that the archive software can give effect to your intent, and for the benefit of humans looking at the history. The meanings of somethings understood in the context of Debian are discussed below:


Declare that you are deliberately rewriting history. This could be because your branch is not fast forward from the dgit server history, or not fast forward from a locally-synthesised dsc import.

When pushing to Debian, use this only when you are making a renewed upload of an entirely new source package whose previous version was not accepted for release from NEW because of problems with copyright or redistributibility; or, exceptionally, for the very first upload with dgit.

When split view is in operation, this also prevents the construction by dgit of a pseudomerge to make the dgit view fast forwarding. Normally only one of --overwrite (which creates a suitable pseudomerge) and --deliberately-not-fast-forward (which suppresses the pseudomerge and the fast forward checks) should be needed; --overwrite is usually better.


Declare that you are deliberately including, in the git history of your current push, history which contains a previously-submitted version of this package which was not approved (or has not yet been approved) by the ftpmasters.  When pushing to Debian, only use this option after verifying that: none of the rejected-from-NEW (or never-accepted) versions in the git history of your current push, were rejected by ftpmaster for copyright or redistributability reasons.


Declare that you are deliberately rewriting history and want to throw away the existing repo.  Not relevant when pushing to Debian, as the Debian server will do this automatically when necessary.


With format `3.0 (quilt)', insist on a linear patch stack: one new patch for each relevant commit. If such a stack cannot be generated, fail. This is the default for Debian.

HEAD should be a series of plain commits (not touching debian/patches/), and pseudomerges, with as ancestor a patches-applied branch.


With format `3.0 (quilt)', prefer a linear patch stack (as with --quilt=linear) but if that doesn't seem possible, try to generate a single squashed patch for all the changes made in git (as with --quilt=smash). This is not a good idea for an NMU in Debian.


With format `3.0 (quilt)', assume patches-applied (as obtained from dgit clone) and generate a single additional patch for all the changes made in git. This is not a good idea for an NMU in Debian.

(If HEAD has any in-tree patches already, they must apply cleanly. This will be the case for any trees produced by dgit fetch or clone; if you do not change the upstream version nor make changes in debian/patches, it will remain true.)


With format `3.0 (quilt)', assume patches-applied (as obtained from dgit clone), delete all the existing patches, and then generate a single patch for all the changes made in git. This is not a good idea for an NMU in Debian.

Use this instead of the single-debian-patch dpkg-source format option. That dpkg-source option cannot handle certain changes to the tree that dpkg-source otherwise permits, and in some cases it can generate strange source packages that dpkg-source appears to accept but which become corrupted when people later try to modify them.


With format `3.0 (quilt)', assume patches-applied (as obtained from dgit clone), and check that the patch metadata is up to date. If it isn't, fail; you must then fix the metadata yourself somehow before pushing.  (NB that dpkg-source --commit will not work because the dgit git tree does not have a .pc directory.)

--quilt=nocheck | --no-quilt-fixup

With format `3.0 (quilt)', assume that the tree is patches-applied (as obtained from dgit clone), and assume that the patch metadata is up to date. If you use this option and the patch metadata is out of date, dgit push will fail.

--[quilt=]gbp | --[quilt=]dpm | --quilt=unapplied | --[quilt=]baredebian[+git|+tarball]

Tell dgit that you are using a nearly-dgit-compatible git branch, aka a maintainer view, and do not want your branch changed by dgit.

These quilt modes are known as splitting quilt modes. See --split-view, below.

--gbp (short for --quilt=gbp) is for use with git-buildpackage. Your HEAD is expected to be a patches-unapplied git branch, except that it might contain changes to upstream .gitignore files.  This is the default for dgit gbp-build.

--dpm (short for --quilt=dpm) is for use with git-dpm. Your HEAD is expected to be a patches-applied git branch, except that it might contain changes to upstream .gitignore files.

--quilt=unapplied specifies that your HEAD is a patches-unapplied git branch (and that any changes to upstream .gitignore files are represented as patches in debian/patches).

--quilt=baredebian (or its alias --quilt=baredebian+git) specifies that your HEAD contains only a debian/ directory, with any changes to upstream files represented as patches in debian/patches. The upstream source must be available in git, by default, in a suitably named git tag; see --upstream-commitish. In this mode, dgit cannot check that all edited upstream files are properly represented as patches: dgit relies on debian/patches being correct.

--quilt=baredebian+tarball is like --quilt=baredebian, but is used when there is no appropriate upstream git history. To construct the dgit view, dgit will import your orig tarballs' contents into git. In this mode, dgit cannot check that the upstream parts of your upload correspond to what you intend: dgit relies on the right orig tarball(s) existing, and debian/patches being correct.

With --quilt=gbp|dpm|unapplied|baredebian*, dgit push (or precursors like quilt-fixup and build) will automatically generate a conversion of your git branch into the right form. dgit push will push the dgit-compatible form (the dgit view) to the dgit git server. The dgit view will be visible to you in the dgit remote tracking branches, but your own branch will not be modified. dgit push will create a tag debian/version for the maintainer view, and the dgit tag archive/debian/version for the dgit view. dgit quilt-fixup will merely do some checks, and cache the maintainer view.

If you have a branch like this it is essential to specify the appropriate --quilt= option! This is because it is not always possible to tell: a patches-unapplied git branch of a package with one patch, for example, looks very like a patches-applied branch where the user has used git revert to undo the patch, expecting to actually revert it. However, if you fail to specify the right --quilt option, and you aren't too lucky, dgit will notice the problem and stop, with a useful hint.

-ddistro | --distro=distro

Specifies that the suite to be operated on is part of distro distro. This overrides the default value found from the git config option dgit-suite.suite.distro. The only effect is that other configuration variables (used for accessing the archive and dgit-repos) used are dgit-distro.distro.*.

If your suite is part of a distro that dgit already knows about, you can use this option to make dgit work even if your dgit doesn't know about the suite.  For example, specifying -ddebian will work when the suite is an unknown suite in the Debian archive.

To define a new distro it is necessary to define methods and URLs for fetching (and, for dgit push, altering) a variety of information both in the archive and in dgit-repos. How to set this up is not yet documented.


Controls whether dgit operates a split view, separating your own branch (as Debian maintainer) from that shown to users of dgit clone and dgit fetch.

When split view is in operation dgit will not make or merge any commits onto your own branch. Specifically, only the dgit view will contain dgit's pseudomerges, which bring into the git history previous uploads made with dgit push, and any commits in debian/patches required to make a correct `3.0 (quilt)' source package.

auto is the default, and splits the view only when needed: i.e., when you are working with a `3.0 (quilt)' source package and a splitting quilt mode: --[quilt=]gbp, dpm, unpatched or baredebian*.

always splits the view regardless of the source format and the quilt mode.

never will cause dgit to fail if split view is needed.

When split view is in operation, the dgit view is visible in your local git clone, but only in refs specific to dgit: notably remotes/dgit/dgit/suite and archive/distro/version.

Note that split view does not affect dgit fetch, and is not compatible with dgit pull.


Specifies the .changes file which is to be uploaded.  By default dgit push looks for a single .changes file in the parent directory whose filename suggests it is for the right package and version.

If the specified changesfile pathname contains slashes, the directory part is also used as the value for --build-products-dir; otherwise, the changes file is expected in that directory (by default, in ..).


For use with --quilt=baredebian only. Specifies the commit containing the upstream source. This commit must be identical to your .orig tarball. The default is to look for one of the git tags U vU upstream/U (in that order), where U is the upstream version.


When doing a build, delete any changes files matching package_version_*.changes before starting.  This ensures that dgit push (and dgit sbuild) will be able to unambiguously identify the relevant changes files from the most recent build, even if there have been previous builds with different tools or options. The default is not to remove, but --no-rm-old-changes can be used to override a previous --rm-old-changes or the .rm-old-changes configuration setting.

Note that dgit push-source will always find the right .changes, regardless of this option.


Specifies where to find and create tarballs, binary packages, source packages, .changes files, and so on.

By default, dgit uses the parent directory (..).

Changing this setting may necessitate moving .orig tarballs to the new directory, so it is probably best to use the dgit.default.build-products-dir configuration setting (see Configuration, below) which this command line option overrides).


Do not delete the destination directory if clone fails.


Generates a DEP-14 tag (eg debian/version) as well as a dgit tag (eg archive/debian/version). This is the default.


Do not generate a DEP-14 tag, except when split view is in operation.


Obsolete alias for --dep14tag, retained for compatibility.


Prints debugging information to stderr.  Repeating the option produces more output (currently, up to -DDDD is meaningfully different).


Controls whether to retain the "playground" working directory .git/dgit/unpack even on success, for examination and debugging. The default is --no-keep-playground which deletes the directory after a successful execution.


Specifies a git configuration option, to be used for this run. dgit itself is also controlled by git configuration options.

-vversion|_ | --since-version=version|_

Specifies the -vversion option to pass to dpkg-genchanges, during builds.  Changes (from debian/changelog) since this version will be included in the built changes file, and hence in the upload.  If this option is not specified, dgit will query the archive and use the latest version uploaded to the intended suite.

Specifying _ inhibits this, so that no -v option will be passed to dpkg-genchanges (and as a result, only the last stanza from debian/changelog will be used for the build and upload).


Passed to dpkg-genchanges (eventually).


Specifies a single additional option to pass, eventually, to dpkg-genchanges.

Options which are safe to pass include -C (and also -si -sa -sd although these should never be necessary with Debian since dgit automatically calculates whether .origs need to be uploaded.)

For other options the caveat below applies.

--curl:option | --dput:option |...

Specifies a single additional option to pass to curl, dput, debsign, dpkg-source, dpkg-buildpackage, dpkg-genchanges, sbuild, pbuilder, cowbuilder, ssh, dgit, git-debrebase, apt-get, apt-cache, gbp-pq, gbp-build, or mergechanges. Can be repeated as necessary.

Use of this ability should not normally be necessary. It is provided for working around bugs, or other unusual situations. If you use these options, you may violate dgit's assumptions about the behaviour of its subprograms and cause lossage.

For dpkg-buildpackage, dpkg-genchanges, mergechanges and sbuild, the option applies only when the program is invoked directly by dgit. Usually, for passing options to dpkg-genchanges, you should use --ch:option.

Specifying --git is not effective for some lower-level read-only git operations performed by dgit, and also not when git is invoked by another program run by dgit.

See notes below regarding ssh and dgit.

NB that --gpg:option is not supported (because debsign does not have that facility). But see -k and the keyid distro config setting.

--curl!:option | --dput!:option |...

Specifies an option to remove from the command line for a program called by dgit, as for --program:option (and the same caveats apply).

Any options or arguments exactly identical to option are removed. (It is not an error if there were none.)

This can only be used to delete options which are always passed by default by dgit, or to undo a previous --program:option. It cannot be used to override option(s) dynamically decided on by dgit.

--curl=program | --dput=program |...

Specifies alternative programs to use instead of curl, dput, debsign, dpkg-source, dpkg-buildpackage, dpkg-genchanges, sbuild, pbuilder, cowbuilder, gpg, ssh, dgit, git-debrebase, apt-get, apt-cache, git, gbp-pq, gbp-build, or mergechanges.

For dpkg-buildpackage, dpkg-genchanges, mergechanges and sbuild, this applies only when the program is invoked directly by dgit.

For dgit, specifies the command to run on the remote host when dgit rpush needs to invoke a remote copy of itself.  (dgit also reinvokes itself as the EDITOR for dpkg-source --commit; this is done using argv[0], and is not affected by --dgit=).

gbp-build's value is used instead of gbp build or git-buildpackage.  (The default is the latter unless the former exists on PATH.) gbp-pq's value is used instead of gbp pq. In both cases, unusually, the specified value is split on whitespace to produce a command and possibly some options and/or arguments.

For pbuilder and cowbuilder, the defaults are sudo -E pbuilder and sudo -E cowbuilder respectively. Like with gbp-build and gbp pq, the specified value is split on whitespace.

For ssh, the default value is taken from the DGIT_SSH or GIT_SSH environment variables, if set (see below).  And, for ssh, when accessing the archive and dgit-repos, this command line setting is overridden by the git config variables dgit-distro.distro.ssh and .dgit.default.ssh (which can in turn be overridden with -c).  Also, when dgit is using git to access dgit-repos, only git's idea of what ssh to use (eg, GIT_SSH) is relevant.


dgit push needs to canonicalise the suite name.  Sometimes, dgit lacks a way to ask the archive to do this without knowing the name of an existing package.  Without --new we can just use the package we are trying to push.  But with --new that will not work, so we guess dpkg or use the value of this option.  This option is not needed with the default mechanisms for accessing the archive.


Print a usage summary.


dgit rpush uses a temporary directory on the invoking (signing) host. This option causes dgit to use directory instead.  Furthermore, the specified directory will be emptied, removed and recreated before dgit starts, rather than removed after dgit finishes.  The directory specified must be an absolute pathname.

--dry-run | -n

Go through the motions, fetching all information needed, but do not actually update the output(s).  For push, dgit does the required checks and leaves the new .dsc in a temporary file, but does not sign, tag, push or upload.

This is not a very good simulation. It can easily go wrong in ways that a for-real push wouldn't.

--damp-run | -L

Go through many more of the motions: do everything that doesn't involve either signing things, or making changes on the public servers.

Using this will make unsigned tags, and possibly other local changes, that will get in the way of a for-real push. So be prepared to burn the version number you're using.


Instructs dgit to try to proceed despite detecting what it thinks is going to be a fatal problem. This is probably not going to work. These options are provided as an escape hatch, in case dgit is confused. (They might also be useful for testing error cases.)


Tell dgit import-dsc to treat a .dsc with a Dgit field like one without it. The result is a fresh import, discarding the git history that the person who pushed that .dsc was working with.


Carry on even though this involves reusing a version number of a previous push or upload. It is normally best to give different versions different numbers. Some servers (including, usually, the Debian server) will reject attempts to reuse or replace already-pushed versions.


Carry on and upload binaries even though dgit thinks your distro does not permit that.


Carry on and do a source-only upload, without any binaries, even though dgit thinks your distro does not permit that, or does not permit that in this situation.


Carry on even if dgit thinks that your git tree contains changes (relative to your .orig tarballs) which dpkg-source is not able to represent. Your build or push will probably fail later.


Use the set of .origs specified in your .changes, exactly, without regard to what is in the archive already. The archive may well reject your upload.


Carry on despite dgit not understanding your source package format. dgit will probably mishandle it.


Do not check whether .dsc and .changes match. The archive will probably reject your upload.

--force-import-gitapply-absurd | --force-import-gitapply-no-absurd

Force on or off the use of the absurd git-apply emulation when running gbp pq import when importing a package from a .dsc. See Debian bug #841867.


Go ahead and try to push even tainted git objects hat the server says it is going to reject, but without declaring any --deliberately. This option is provided for testing or strange situations, and is not the way to override the taint check: using it will probably just fail later, burning the version number you are using. Use the appropriate --deliberately option instead.


Override the dgit-distro.distro.readonly configuration setting, to specify that we have read/write access and should use the corresponding git and achieve access approach even if the operation is a read-only one.


dgit can be configured via the git config system. You may set keys with git-config (either in system-global or per-tree configuration), or provide -ckey=value on the dgit command line.

Settings likely to be useful for an end user include:


Specifies where to find the built files to be uploaded, when --build-products-dir is not specified.  The default is the parent directory (..).

dgit-suite.suite.distro distro

Specifies the distro for a suite.  dgit keys off the suite name (which appears in changelogs etc.), and uses that to determine the distro which is involved.  The config used is thereafter that for the distro.

suite may be a glob pattern.

dgit.default.distro distro

The default distro for an unknown suite.

This is only used if no /usr/share/distro-info/somedistro.csv mentions the specified suite.

dgit.default.default-suite suite

The default suite (eg for clone).


for each dgit-distro.distro.*, the default value used if there is no distro-specific setting.


One of the values for the command line --clean= option; used if --clean is not specified.


Like .clean-mode, but ignored if the value is unknown to this version of dgit. Setting both .clean-mode and .clean-mode-newer is useful to provide a single git config compatible with different dgit versions.


One of the values for the command line --quilt= option; used if --quilt is not specified.


Boolean, used if neither --rm-old-changes nor --no-rm-old-changes is specified.  The default is not to remove.

dgit-distro.distro.readonly auto|a | true|t|y|1 | false|f|n|0

Whether you have push access to the distro. For Debian, it is OK to use auto, which uses readonly mode if you are not pushing right now; but, setting this to false will avoid relying on the mirror of the dgit git repository server.


See also -k.

dgit-distro.distro.mirror url

Not relevant for Debian.


Might be useful if you have an intermediate queue server.

dgit-distro.distro.user-name dgit-distro.distro.user-email

Values to configure for user.name and user.email in new git trees.  If not specified, the DEBFULLNAME and DEBEMAIL environment variables are used, respectively.  Only used if .setup-usermail is not disabled.


Whether to set user.name and user.email in new git trees. True by default.  Ignored for dgit setup-useremail, which does it anyway.


Whether to set up a merge driver which uses dpkg-mergechangelogs for debian/changelog.  True by default.  Ignored for dgit setup-mergechangelogs, which does it anyway.


Whether to configure .git/info/attributes to suppress checkin/checkout file content transformations in new git trees. True by default.  Ignored for dgit setup-gitattributes, which does it anyway.


Program to use instead of cmd. Works like --cmd=... .


Extra options to pass to cmd. Works like --cmd:... . To pass several options, configure multiple values in git config (with git config --add).  The options for dgit.default.opts-cmd and dgit-distro.distro/push.opts-cmd are all used, followed by options from dgit's command line.

Access Configuration

There are many other settings which specify how a particular distro's services (archive and git) are provided.  These should not normally be adjusted, but are documented for the benefit of distros who wish to adopt dgit.


Shown in git tags, Dgit fields, and so on.


Used for all access configuration lookup.


If set, overrides corresponding non /push config when readonly=false, or when pushing and readonly=auto.

dgit-distro.distro.git-check true|false|url|ssh-cmd
dgit-distro.distro.policy-query-supported-ssh false|unknown|true
dgit-distro.distro.diverts.divert new-distro|/distro-suffix
dgit-distro.distro.git-create ssh-cmd|true
dgit-distro.distro.archive-query ftpmasterapi: | madison:distro | dummycat:/path  | sshpsql:user@host:dbname | aptget:
dgit-distro.distro.dep14tag want|no[|always]
dgit-distro.distro.source-only-uploads ok|always|never|not-wholly-new
dgit.default.push-subcmd source|built|warn,built

Controls the behaviour of dgit push.

dgit.vcs-git.suites suite[;...]

Environment Variables


specify an alternative default program (and perhaps arguments) to use instead of ssh.  DGIT_SSH is consulted first and may contain arguments; if it contains any whitespace will be passed to the shell.  GIT_SSH specifies just the program; no arguments can be specified, so dgit interprets it the same way as git does. See also the --ssh= and --ssh: options.


Default git user.email and user.name for new trees.  See dgit setup-new-tree.

gpg,  dpkg-..., debsign,  git, [lib]curl, dput

and other subprograms and modules used by dgit are affected by various environment variables.  Consult the documentation for those programs for details.


There should be a `dgit rebase-prep' command or some such to turn a fast-forwarding branch containing pseudo-merges back into a rebasing patch stack. It might have to leave a note for a future dgit push.

If the dgit push fails halfway through, it is not necessarily restartable and idempotent. It would be good to check that the proposed signing key is available before starting work.

dgit's build functions, and dgit push, may make changes to your current HEAD.  Sadly this is necessary for packages in the `3.0 (quilt)' source format.  This is ultimately due to what I consider design problems in quilt and dpkg-source.

--dry-run does not always work properly, as not doing some of the git fetches may result in subsequent actions being different.  Doing a non-dry-run dgit fetch first will help. --damp-run is likely to work much better.

See Also

dgit(7), dgit-*(7), curl(1), dput(1), debsign(1), git-config(1), git-buildpackage(1), dpkg-buildpackage(1),

Referenced By

dgit(7), dgit-downstream-dsc(7), dgit-maint-bpo(7), dgit-maint-debrebase(7), dgit-maint-gbp(7), dgit-maint-merge(7), dgit-maint-native(7), dgit-nmu-simple(7), dgit-sponsorship(7), dgit-user(7).

Debian Project