dpkg-distaddfile - Linux


The dpkg-distaddfile command adds non-package files to the Debian package distribution. It is primarily used to manage files that do not belong in any specific package but need to be present on the system for various reasons.


dpkg-distaddfile [options] <filename>


  • -a, –append: Append the file to the distribution.
  • -s, –subdirs: Copy the file to all subdirectories of the distribution.
  • -d, –dir: Specify the directory where the file should be copied.
  • -x, –exclude: Specify a pattern to exclude files from being added.
  • -b, –badsize: Disable the size check for the file.
  • -n, –nosymlink: Do not create a symbolic link to the file.
  • -V, –verbose: Enable verbose output.
  • -h, –help: Display help and usage information.


Add a single file to the distribution:

dpkg-distaddfile /usr/local/bin/custom-script

Append a file to the distribution:

dpkg-distaddfile -a /usr/local/share/doc/README.txt

Copy a file to all subdirectories of the distribution:

dpkg-distaddfile -s /usr/local/lib/custom-library.so

Common Issues

File not found:

  • Ensure that the file exists at the specified path.
  • Check if the file is excluded by any patterns specified with the -x option.

Permission denied:

  • Verify that you have sufficient permissions to add the file to the distribution.


dpkg-distaddfile can be integrated with other commands to automate file management tasks. For example, the following command creates a distribution file containing all files in a specified directory:

find /usr/local -type f | xargs dpkg-distaddfile -s

Related Commands

  • dpkg: Manage Debian packages.
  • dpkg-query: Query information about Debian packages.
  • dpkg-reconfigure: Reconfigure installed Debian packages.