Section: dpkg utilities (1)
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dpkg-parsechangelog - parse Debian changelog files
reads and parses the changelog of an unpacked Debian source tree and
outputs the information in it to standard output in a machine-readable
Specifies the changelog file to read information from. A '-' can be
used to specify reading from standard input. The
Specifies the format of the changelog. By default the format is read
from a special line near the bottom of the changelog or failing that
defaults to the debian standard format. See also
Specify an additional directory to search for parser scripts.
This directory is searched before the default directories
which are currently
- -S, --show-field field
Specifies the name of the field to show (since dpkg 1.17.0).
The field name is not printed, only its value.
- -?, --help
Show the usage message and exit.
Show the version and exit.
The following options can be used to influence the output of
the changelog parser, e.g. the range of entries or the format
of the output. They need to be supported by the parser script
in question. See also NOTES
- --file file
Set the changelog filename to parse. Default is '-' (standard input).
- -l, --label file
Set the name of the changelog file to use in error messages, instead
of using the name from the --file option, or its default value.
- --format output-format
Set the output format. Currently supported values are
dpkg and rfc822.
dpkg is the classic output format (from before this
option existed) and the default. It consists of one paragraph
in Debian control format (see deb-control(5)). If more
than one entry is requested, then most fields are taken from the
most recent entry, except otherwise stated:
- Source: pkg-name
- Version: version
- Distribution: target-distribution
- Urgency: urgency
The highest urgency of all included entries is used, followed by the
concatenated (space-separated) comments from all the versions requested.
- Maintainer: author
- Date: date
- Closes: bug-number
The Closes fields of all included entries are merged.
- Changes: changelog-entries
The text of all changelog entries is concatenated. To make
this field a valid Debian control format multiline field
empty lines are replaced with a single full stop and all lines
is intended by one space character. The exact content depends
on the changelog format.
The Version, Distribution, Urgency, Maintainer and
Changes fields are mandatory.
There might be additional user-defined fields present.
The rfc822 format uses the same fields but outputs
a separate paragraph for each changelog entry so that all
metadata for each entry is preserved.
- --since version, -sversion, -vversion
include all changes later than version.
- --until version, -uversion
include all changes earlier than version.
- --from version, -fversion
include all changes equal or later than version.
- --to version, -tversion
include all changes up to or equal than version.
- --count number, -cnumber, -nnumber
include number entries from the top (or the tail
if number is lower than 0).
- --offset number, -onumber
change the starting point for --count, counted from the top
(or the tail if number is lower than 0).
include all changes. Note: other options have no effect when this is in
It is possible to use a different format to the standard one, by providing
a parser for that alternative format.
In order to have dpkg-parsechangelog run the new parser, a line must
be included within the last 40 lines of the changelog file, matching the Perl
regular expression: "\schangelog-format:\s+([0-9a-z]+)\W".
The part in parentheses should be the name of the format. For example:
@@@ changelog-format: otherformat @@@
Changelog format names are non-empty strings of alphanumerics.
If such a line exists then dpkg-parsechangelog will look for
the parser as /usr/lib/dpkg/parsechangelog/otherformat
or /usr/local/lib/dpkg/parsechangelog/otherformat; it is
an error for it not being present or not being an executable program.
The default changelog format is debian, and a parser for it is
provided by default.
The parser will be invoked with the changelog open on standard input at
the start of the file. It should read the file (it may seek if it wishes)
to determine the information required and return the parsed information
to standard output in the format specified by the --format option.
It should accept all Parser Options.
If the changelog format which is being parsed always or almost always
leaves a blank line between individual change notes, these blank lines
should be stripped out, so as to make the resulting output compact.
If the changelog format does not contain date or package name information
this information should be omitted from the output. The parser should not
attempt to synthesize it or find it from other sources.
If the changelog does not have the expected format the parser should exit
with a nonzero exit status, rather than trying to muddle through and
possibly generating incorrect output.
A changelog parser may not interact with the user at all.
All Parser Options
except for -v
are only supported
since dpkg 1.14.16. Third party parsers for
changelog formats other than debian
might not support
The changelog file, used to obtain version-dependent information about
the source package, such as the urgency and distribution of an upload,
the changes made since a particular release, and the source version
- Parser Options
- CHANGELOG FORMATS