mk-origtargz - Man Page

rename upstream tarball, optionally changing the compression and removing unwanted files


mk-origtargz [options] foo-1.0.tar.gz

mk-origtargz --help


mk-origtargz renames the given file to match what is expected by dpkg-buildpackage, based on the source package name and version in debian/changelog. It can convert zip to tar, optionally change the compression scheme and remove files according to Files-Excluded and Files-Excluded-component in debian/copyright. The resulting file is placed in debian/../... (In debian/copyright, the Files-Excluded and Files-Excluded-component stanzas are a part of the first paragraph and there is a blank line before the following paragraphs which contain Files and other stanzas. The Files-Included stanza may be used to ignore parts of subdirectories specified by the Files-Excluded stanza See uscan(1) "COPYRIGHT FILE EXAMPLE".)

The archive type for zip is detected by "file --dereference --brief --mime-type" command.  So any zip type archives such as jar and xpi are treated in the same way.

If the package name is given via the --package option, no information is read from debian/, and the result file is placed in the current directory.

mk-origtargz is commonly called via uscan, which first obtains the upstream tarball.


Metadata options

The following options extend or replace information taken from debian/.

--package package

Use package as the name of the Debian source package, and do not require or use a debian/ directory. This option can only be used together with --version.

The default is to use the package name of the first entry in debian/changelog.

-v,  --version version

Use version as the version of the package. This needs to be the upstream version portion of a full Debian version, i.e. no Debian revision, no epoch.

The default is to use the upstream portion of the version of the first entry in debian/changelog.

--exclude-file glob

Remove files matching the given glob from the tarball, as if it was listed in Files-Excluded.

--copyright-file filename

Remove files matching the patterns found in filename, which should have the format of a Debian copyright file (Format: to be precise). Errors parsing that file are silently ignored, exactly as is the case with debian/copyright.

Unmatched patterns will emit a warning so the user can verify whether it is correct.  If there are multiple patterns which match a file, only the last one will count as being matched.

Both the --exclude-file and --copyright-file options amend the list of patterns found in debian/copyright. If you do not want to read that file, you will have to use --package.

--signature signature-mode

Set signature-mode:

0 for no signature

1 for normal detached signature

2 for signature on decompressed

3 for self signature

--signature-file signature-file

Use signature-file as the signature file corresponding to the Debian source package to create a dpkg-source (post-stretch) compatible signature file. (optional)

Action options

These options specify what exactly mk-origtargz should do. The options --copy, --rename and --symlink are mutually exclusive.


Make the resulting file a symlink to the given original file. (This is the default behaviour.)

If the file has to be modified (because it is a zip, xpi or zst file, because of --repack or Files-Excluded), this option behaves like --copy.


Make the resulting file a copy of the original file (unless it has to be modified, of course).


Rename the original file.

If the file has to be modified (because it is a zip, xpi, zst file, because of --repack or Files-Excluded), this implies that the original file is deleted afterwards.


If the given file is not compressed using the desired format (see --compression), recompress it.

-S,  --repack-suffix suffix

If the file has to be modified, because of Files-Excluded, append suffix to the upstream version.


Recompress even if file is compressed using the desired format and no files were deleted.

-c,  --component componentname

Use <componentname> as the component name for the secondary upstream tarball. Set componentname as the component name.  This is used only for the secondary upstream tarball of the Debian source package. Then packagename_version.orig-componentname.tar.gz is created.

--compression [ gzip | bzip2 | lzma | xz | default ]

The default method is xz. When mk-origtargz is launched in a debian source repository which format is "1.0" or undefined, the method switches to gzip.

-C,  --directory directory

Put the resulting file in the given directory.

--unzipopt options

Add the extra options to use with the unzip command such as -a, -aa, and -b.

See Also

uscan(1), uupdate(1)


mk-origtargz and this manpage have been written by Joachim Breitner <>.

Referenced By

devscripts(1), uscan(1).

2024-01-24 Debian Utilities