The debichem team uses GIT to store the packaging files. There are two different layouts, that are used.

  1. Both the Upstream sources and the packaging files are stored in Git. Using pristine-tar it is possible to recreate identical tarballs from the Git source.

  2. Only the packaging files (only the debian/ directory) is stored in Git. This is called the overlay layout. The tarball can be retrieved by origtargz or a similar tools.

Both layouts can be easily handled by git-buildpackage. They are just a bit different in the configuration and the options to use. For the moment we don’t enforce one or the other, but prefer the latter!

Common Git packaging practices

Please make sure, that the name and email address and the signing key, if existent, are set correctly for Git (either locally, as shown below, or globally):

git config --local "Your name"
git config --local ""
git config --local user.signingkey "yourkey"

Common git-buildpackage configurations

It is not mandatory to use git-buildpackage, but the tool is easy to use and also used for CI/CD. There is detailed documentation. The following sections will ionly cover the basics and get you up and running in no time.

The configuration can be done in several files: /etc/git-buildpackage/gbp.conf (system-wide), ~/.gbp.conf (per user), debian/gbp.conf (per repository, distributable) and .git/gbp.conf (per repository, not distributed). If you need a skeleton, just copy /etc/git-buildpackage/gbp.conf to any of the other locations. The options are explained in gbp.conf(5) too.

iSome important options, that you maybe want to set or check in ~/.gbp.conf:

builder = ...
pristine-tar = true

sign-tags = true
keyid = <key-id>
export-dir = /tmp/build-area/
notify = off

filter-pristine-tar = true

Overlay layout or debian/-only

For this create a new project. If you are not yet a team member, you can use your own personal space to do this. Otherwise creating a new project in the debichem group space is fine too.

Add your packaging files - the debian directory - and the file debian/gbp.conf with this content:

pristine-tar = false
debian-branch = master
verbose = true

overlay = true

Because the Git repository will not store the upstream sources in this layout, git-buildpackage needs to be told, where to find the tarball. This can be done by setting the tarball variable in ~/.gbp.conf to the place, where you store the tarballs. The default value is ../tarballs/. My file for example looks like this:

tarball-dir = ~/.local/src/tarballs/

Adjust the path to your tarball location. The source tarball can be easily obtained by running origtargz -dt. The tool will try different package sources and run e.g. apt-get source or uscan -dd --download-current-version depending of where the tarball is available. Then the tarball should be moved to the desired location. In the next step the package can be built:

$ gbp buildpackage

Pristine-tar layout with master, upstream and pristine-tar branch




Packages can be built using gitlabs Continous Integration (CI). After every push, a pipeline of scripts is run to build, test, and validate the code changes. It is even possible to check the resulting package with lintian, autopkgtest, reprotest and more. The configuration is done by a file called debian/salsa-ci.yml.

Because the default file name and location is a bit different from what we use for Debian, the path in

Project > Settings > CI/CD > General pipelines (Expand) > Custom CI config path

must be set to debian/salsa-ci.yml. This can also be done using the Gitlab API and your generated token:

curl -X PUT \
     -H "Content-Type: application/json" \
     --data '{"ci_config_path":"debian/salsa-ci.yml"}' \

To not have every project write its own files and pipelines, the Salsa CI Team has created the pipeline project. To enable building the package, the debian/salsa-ci.yml file only needs this content:


Including pipeline-jobs.yml enables all jobs inlcuding building the package and testing the results. Usually it is not necessary to add anything else. But if you want to build the package for a different suite than Sid, you can add variables, which are described in the documentation.

This file should not be exported into the Debian package source. Therefor add this entry to .gitattributes

debian/.gitattributes export-ignore
debian/salsa-ci.yml export-ignore


There is currently just the tagpending webhook enabled for all project repositories, which is triggered by push events. This hook can be set either via API:

curl -X POST \
     -H "Content-Type: application/json" \
     --data '{"url":""}' \

or by manually configuring a push event trigger URL at

Project > Settings > Integration

using replacing __PROJECT__ with the actual project name on