deb-changes - Linux


deb-changes is a command line tool that produces the Changes file for a Debian package. It is primarily used to generate and update the list of changes and fixes made to a software package, providing essential information for package maintenance and user notifications.


deb-changes [OPTIONS] [<dsc-file>]


  • -v, –verbose: Enable verbose output, providing additional details during execution.
  • -V, –version: Display the version of deb-changes.
  • -v1, –use-version-1: Force the use of Debian Changelog version 1 format.
  • -v2, –use-version-2: Force the use of Debian Changelog version 2 format.
  • –check-only: Check if the Changes file needs updating but don’t actually update it.
  • –force-distribution: Override the default distribution name in the Changes file.
  • –commit: Sign off the Changes file with your author identity.


Simple usage:


Generates a Changes file for the current directory.

Using a specific DSC file:

deb-changes mypackage.dsc

Generates a Changes file from the mypackage.dsc file.

Checking and updating:

deb-changes --check-only
deb-changes --force-distribution unstable

Checks if the Changes file needs updating and updates it with the unstable distribution name.

Integration with version control:

git commit -s <(deb-changes)

Generates a signed Changes file and commits it to a Git repository.

Common Issues

  • No Changes file created: Ensure that you have write permissions in the current directory.
  • Error in debian/control file: Check for any syntax errors in the control file.
  • Distribution not recognized: Specify a valid distribution name using --force-distribution.


  • dpkg: Use deb-changes to generate the Changes file before building and installing Debian packages.
  • dch: Run deb-changes with the -v1 or -v2 option to update an existing Changes file.
  • equivs: Convert Changes files between Debian versions.

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