Brandon Rozek

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PhD Student @ RPI studying Automated Reasoning in AI and Linux Enthusiast.

Quick and Dirty DEB/RPM with Checkinstall

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To create a quick and dirty Debian or RPM package, check out checkinstall! Be forewarned though that this isn’t the recommended way of creating packages. This post on AskUbuntu gives good reasons for why. Though if it is between running a make install or running this utility, I would consider running checkinstall instead.

This program works by tracking all the files installed by a make install equivalent. This makes it easy to remove later on.

To install on a debian based distribution,

sudo apt install checkinstall

Then you can go to the directory that you normally make install and instead run the following to make a Debian package.

sudo checkinstall -D --install=no --nodoc

It will ask you to fill in various metadata such as name and author, and then it will create a package you can install!

To install,

sudo dpkg -i filename.deb

You can later remove it with apt.

sudo apt remove package_name

If the application does not use make install, then you can add extra arguments to denote its equivalent

sudo checkinstall -D --install=no --nodoc ./customInstallScript

Arguments to checkinstall

Flag Description
-D Create a Debian package
-R Create a RPM package
-S Create a Slackware package
--install=no Don’t install package
--nodoc Do not include documentation filesq
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