dh_movetousr - Linux


dh_movetousr is a utility used in Debian packaging to transfer files and directories from the package build tree to the system’s user space during package installation. It ensures that essential files are moved to appropriate locations for the user to access.


dh_movetousr [options] source dest


  • -a, –all: Move all files and directories, including those not present in the debian/ subdirectory.
  • -c, –copy: Copy files instead of moving them.
  • -d, –patch: Apply a patch to the moved files.
  • -p, –prefix: Specify a prefix to add to the destination paths.
  • -s, –silent: Suppress output, except for errors.
  • -v, –verbose: Display detailed information about the operation.
  • -h, –help: Display help.


Simple file move:

dh_movetousr /tmp/foo /usr/local/bin/foo

Copy a file to a user-specified destination:

dh_movetousr -c /tmp/foo /home/user/bin/foo

Apply a patch to a moved file:

dh_movetousr -d /tmp/foo /usr/local/bin/foo /tmp/patch

Move all files from the Debian subdirectory:

dh_movetousr -a debian/ /usr/local/share/foo

Common Issues

  • File permission issues: Ensure the user running dh_movetousr has sufficient permissions to move or copy the files.
  • Destination directory does not exist: Make sure the destination directory exists before using dh_movetousr.


dh_movetousr can be used in conjunction with other Debian packaging tools such as dh_installdirs, which creates necessary directories for package installation.

Related Commands

  • dh_install: Install files into the system’s root directory.
  • dpkg-deb: Create or modify Debian packages.
  • fakeroot: Runs commands with superuser privileges in a fake root environment.