dh_installdocs(1) — Linux manual page


DH_INSTALLDOCS(1)               Debhelper              DH_INSTALLDOCS(1)

NAME         top

       dh_installdocs - install documentation into package build

SYNOPSIS         top

       dh_installdocs [debhelper options] [-A] [-Xitem] [file ...]

DESCRIPTION         top

       dh_installdocs 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 is still useful for installing packaging
       related documentation (e.g. the debian/copyright file).

       From debhelper compatibility level 11 on, dh_install will fall
       back to looking in debian/tmp for files, if it does not find them
       in the current directory (or wherever you've told it to look
       using --sourcedir).

       In compat 11 and later, dh_installdocs offers many of the
       features that dh_install(1) also has.  Furthermore,
       dh_installdocs also supports the nodoc build profile to exclude
       documentation (regardless of compat level).

FILES         top

           List documentation files to be installed into package.

           Supports substitution variables in compat 13 and later as
           documented in debhelper(7).

           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

           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

           Please be aware that this deduplication is currently done in
           memory only, so for now it requires dh_installdocs to be
           called no more than once during the package build. Calling
           dh_installdocs -ppackage in combination with using
           debian/package.doc-base.* files can lead to uninstallable
           packages. See <https://bugs.debian.org/980903> for details.

OPTIONS         top

       -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 files.

           Look in the specified directory for files to be installed.
           This option requires compat 11 or later (it is silently
           ignored in compat 10 or earlier).

           Note that this is not the same as the --sourcedirectory
           option used by the dh_auto_* commands. You rarely need to use
           this option, since dh_installman automatically looks for
           files in debian/tmp in debhelper compatibility level 11 and

           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

           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

           (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

           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 an
           architecture independent package to an architecture dependent
           package (or vice versa) will not work.  Since compat 10,
           debhelper will actively reject unsupported combinations.

       file ...
           Install these files as documentation into the first package
           acted on. (Or in all packages if -A is specified).

EXAMPLES         top

       This is an example of a debian/package.docs file:


NOTES         top

       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.

SEE ALSO         top


       This program is a part of debhelper.

AUTHOR         top

       Joey Hess <joeyh@debian.org>

COLOPHON         top

       This page is part of the debhelper (helper programs for
       debian/rules) project.  Information about the project can be
       found at [unknown -- if you know, please contact man-
       pages@man7.org] If you have a bug report for this manual page,
       send it to submit@bugs.debian.org.  This page was obtained from
       the project's upstream Git repository
       ⟨https://salsa.debian.org/debian/debhelper.git⟩ on 2021-08-27.
       (At that time, the date of the most recent commit that was found
       in the repository was 2021-08-24.)  If you discover any rendering
       problems in this HTML version of the page, or you believe there
       is a better or more up-to-date source for the page, or you have
       corrections or improvements to the information in this COLOPHON
       (which is not part of the original manual page), send a mail to

13.4+nmu1                      2021-08-19              DH_INSTALLDOCS(1)

Pages that refer to this page: debhelper(7)