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       emgrip - converts a .deb to Emdebian Grip on-the-fly


        DEB_BUILD_OPTIONS='usegrip' emgrip [-v|--verbose] [-q|--quiet] [-o|--outdir DIRECTORY] FILENAME

       where FILENAME is a .dsc, a .changes or a .deb

        emgrip -?|-h|--help|--version


       Converts a .deb package to Emdebian Grip by unpacking, pruning
       particular classes of files (determined by DEB_BUILD_OPTIONS) and
       repacking with a shortened description and the em1 version suffix.

       When creating a public Emdebian Grip repository, it is strongly
       recommended to specify .changes or .dsc files to allow the generation
       of Emdebian TDebs from the source package as well as including the
       source package itself in the repository.

       If a file exists with the same name in the output directory, it will be

Copyright and Licence

        Copyright (C) 1997-2000  Roman Hodek <>
        Copyright (C) 2000-2002  Colin Watson <>
        Copyright (C) 2002-2004  David Schleef <>
        Copyright (C) 2004  Nikita Youshchenko <>
        Copyright (C) 2004  Raphael Bossek <>
        Copyright (C) 2007-2008  Neil Williams <>
        Copyright (C) 2005 Joey Hess <>

        This package is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
        it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
        the Free Software Foundation; either version 3 of the License, or
        (at your option) any later version.

        This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
        but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
        GNU General Public License for more details.

        You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
        along with this program.  If not, see <>.

Emdebian Grip

       The idea here is based on dpkg-cross:

        1. receive .deb or .changes as a command-line option
        2. parse DEB_BUILD_OPTIONS
        3. unpack the .deb as dpkg-cross does
        4. remove files as per DEB_BUILD_OPTIONS
        5. repack the .deb with an Emdebian version suffix.
        6. build new .deb and revise .changes so that the
            original source can be retained.
        7. Include the gripped packages into a local mirror
            to reduce the size of Packages.gz and the size of
            the mirror itself.

       As few dependencies as possible - this script should become a new
       package and have a new set of lintian checks to allow perl etc.


       Conversion of Debian TDebs to Emdebian TDebs needs to be done inside
       the source package so a .changes file is needed for this step. If the
       .changes file references a Debian TDeb, emgrip will run ’em_installtdeb
       -a $arch --no-sign’ inside the source package (where $arch is
       determined from the contents of the .changes file).

       Individual packages containing translation files will have the
       translation files removed and Debian TDebs are skipped.

       Future versions will also have to understand Dpkg Classes but until
       those are implemented, this uses brute force.

       Set the build options by placing a file in /etc/dpkg/origins/
       containing the build options in a field called "Grip-Build-Option" and
       call "emgrip" with the "--vendor" option or "DEB_VENDOR" environment

       dpkg-vendor fields used by emgrip with default values:

        Vendor: emdebian-grip
        Vendor-Name: Emdebian Grip
        Grip-Build-Option: usegrip
        Short-Desc-Suffix: gripped

       The "Short-Desc-Suffix" is wrapped in parentheses and appended to the
       short description [default is ’gripped’].


       If none of these options are set, emgrip does nothing.


       Remove all content in /usr/share/doc/*/ except the copyright file and
       compress the copyright file itself. Remove manpages and info pages
       (translated or not). Also remove doc-base files that describe the
       documentation that no longer exists.


       Remove even help files from all packages, including -doc packages.
       Includes removing /usr/share/gtk-doc/html and
       /usr/share/gnome/help/\$package Despite removing the help files,
       dependencies on help file utilities like scrollkeeper will remain, at
       least for Lenny.


       Remove the ’Essential: yes’ tag from DEBIAN/control - this is a brute
       force removal, no additional dependencies are to be generated (no
       patches) so care is needed here.


       Remove all files from /usr/share/lintian/overrides and
       /usr/share/linda/overrides - saves up to 1Mb.


       Combination flag that sets all DEB_BUILD_OPTIONS for Emdebian Grip -
       noessential, nohelp, nodocs, nolintian


       Currently being tested - the idea is to drop DEBIAN/symbols files but
       this could have unpredictable effects on packages built on a system
       lacking these symbols. The space saved by dropping these files might
       not be worth the cost, so ’usegrip’ does not yet activate ’nosymbols’.
       This might be suitable for Crush, maybe not Grip.


       Remove any file that is found to be a perl script text executable by
       ’file’ - used by Crush.


       Combination flag that adds nosymbols and noperl to usegrip.


       Drop all maintainer scripts from all packages irrespective of the type
       of script. Includes removing debconf templates and config scripts.
       md5sums files are also removed.


       Combination flag that adds noscripts to usecrush.

Field removal

       Functional control fields are retained but the question arises:
        Who defines functional?

       Well, for the current purposes of Emdebian Grip, functional includes
       only the following control fields:


       Recommends is explicitly rejected, as is Suggests - the expectation is
       that Emdebian Grip will disable Install-Recommends in apt anyway, so
       that Gripped packages can be mixed with Debian or locally-built

       Note also that ’Essential’ is not.

       Homepage, VCS* and all X- control fields are dropped.

       The net result is a (potentially) much cleaner dpkg database.

       The description is trimmed to four lines (or three if the fourth line
       is empty).


       Relatively simple, but a few checks are needed in case your list of
       possible packages includes packages already processed by dpkg-cross.

        set -e

        for deb in `ls /var/cache/apt/archives/*.deb`; do
           cross=`echo $deb | grep "\-.*-cross" || true`
           if [ ! -z "$cross" ]; then
               echo "skipping dpkg-cross package: $deb"
           DEB_BUILD_OPTIONS="nodocs nohelp usegrip" ./emgrip -o $DIR $deb

       With "dpkg-vendor" support, DEB_BUILD_OPTIONS can be replaced by
       setting the vendor.

       A similar script should be able to cope with obtaining .changes files
       to retain the source packages.

       Despite using dcut internally, emgrip isn’t set up to obtain the
       .changes files directly from, a wrapper
       script would be needed.

       An additional wrapper is likely to be needed to allow an Emdebian Grip
       repository to "catch-up" with the existing Debian mirrors, e.g. if the
       first upload to the Grip repository is a binary-only upload without a
       referenced .orig.tar.gz.

       emgrip does ensure that the .tar.gz is copied into the output directory
       and reprepro can locate the relevant files if the --ignore=missingfile
       option is passed. Sadly, this functionality is not preserved in the
       reprepro processincoming mode.

       To ease the process of gripping an existing mirror, the emdebian-grip
       package depends on ’reprepro’ to create a filtered Debian mirror that
       can be kept up to date, generates meta-data for Emdebian Grip, builds
       gripped packages in an ’incoming/’ directory and includes the packages
       into the final Emdebian Grip repository.

       Once a package has been "gripped", the binary packages could be removed
       from the filtered mirror - the source packages (particularly the
       .orig.tar.gz) are probably best retained in the filtered mirror.

Pruning empty directories

       A subroutine to prune directories has been tested in emgrip and it is
       possible to identify directories that were intentionally empty in the
       Debian package. However, aggressively removing directories that end up
       as empty after removal of unsupported scripts and files is likely to be
       a step too far. Some packages may expect a directory to exist merely
       because a file was originally packaged into that directory, so we need
       Dpkg Classes to tell the difference.

       emgrip therefore leaves empty directories in place.