dh_installdocs - install documentation into package build directories
is a debhelper program that is responsible for installing
documentation into usr/share/doc/package
in package build directories.
In compat 10 and earlier, dh_install
(1) may be a better tool for handling
the upstream documentation, when upstream's own build system installs all the
desired documentation correctly. In this case, dh_installdocs
useful for installing packaging related documentation (e.g. the
In compat 11 and later, dh_installdocs
offers many of the features that
(1) also have. Furthermore, dh_installdocs
supports the nodoc
build profile to exclude documentation (regardless
of compat level).
- List documentation files to be installed into
- The copyright file is installed into all packages, unless a
more specific copyright file is available.
- Each of these files is automatically installed if present
for a package.
- These files are installed into the first binary package
listed in debian/control.
Note that README.debian files are also installed as
README.Debian, and TODO files will be installed as
TODO.Debian in non-native packages.
- Installed as doc-base control files. Note that the doc-id
will be determined from the Document: entry in the doc-base control
file in question. In the event that multiple doc-base files in a single
source package share the same doc-id, they will be installed to
usr/share/doc-base/package instead of usr/share/doc-base/doc-id.
- If your package needs to register more than one document,
you need multiple doc-base files, and can name them like this. In the
event that multiple doc-base files of this style in a single source
package share the same doc-id, they will be installed to
usr/share/doc-base/package-* instead of usr/share/doc-base/doc-id.
- -A, --all
- Install all files specified by command line parameters in
ALL packages acted on.
- -Xitem, --exclude=item
- Exclude files that contain item anywhere in their
filename from being installed. Note that this includes doc-base
- Set the main package for a documentation package. This is
used to install the documentation of the documentation package in
/usr/share/doc/ main-package as recommended by the
Debian policy manual 3.9.7 in §12.3.
In compat 11 (or later), this option is only useful if debhelper's
auto-detection of the main package is wrong. The option can also be used
to silence a warning from debhelper when the auto-detection fails but the
default happens to be correct.
This option cannot be used when dh_installdocs is instructed to act
on multiple packages. If you need this option, you will generally need to
combine it with -p to ensure exactly one package is acted on.
Please keep in mind that some documentation (the copyright file,
README.Debian, etc.) will be unaffected by this option.
- Make the documentation directory of all packages acted on
be a symlink to the documentation directory of package. This has no
effect when acting on package itself, or if the documentation
directory to be created already exists when dh_installdocs is run.
To comply with policy, package must be a binary package that comes
from the same source package.
debhelper will try to avoid installing files into linked documentation
directories that would cause conflicts with the linked package. The
-A option will have no effect on packages with linked documentation
directories, and copyright, changelog, README.Debian,
and TODO files will not be installed.
(An older method to accomplish the same thing, which is still supported, is
to make the documentation directory of a package be a dangling symlink,
before calling dh_installdocs.)
Please note that this option only applies to the documentation directory for
the package itself. When the package ships documentation for another
package (e.g. see --doc-main-package), it will not use a symlink
for the documentation of the other package.
CAVEAT 1: If a previous version of the package was built without
this option and is now built with it (or vice-versa), it requires a
"dir to symlink" (or "symlink to dir") migration.
Since debhelper has no knowledge of previous versions, you have to enable
this migration itself.
This can be done by providing a "debian/
package.maintscript" file and using dh_installdeb(1) to
provide the relevant maintainer script snippets.
CAVEAT 2: The use of --link-doc should only be done when the
packages have same "architecture" type. A link from a
architecture independent package to a architecture dependent package (or
vice versa) will not work. Since compat 10, debhelper will actively reject
- file ...
- Install these files as documentation into the first package
acted on. (Or in all packages if -A is specified).
This is an example of a debian/package.docs
Note that dh_installdocs
will happily copy entire directory hierarchies
if you ask it to (similar to cp -a
). If it is asked to install a
directory, it will install the complete contents of the directory.
This program is a part of debhelper.
Joey Hess <firstname.lastname@example.org>