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Version: 02/05/2010 (ubuntu - 24/10/10)

Section: 1 (Commandes utilisateur)


piuparts - .deb installation, upgrade, and removal testing suite


piuparts [-apvV] [-d distro] [-i filename] [-I regexp] [-l logfile] [-m url] [--bindmount dir] [package] [changes_file]


piuparts tests that Debian packages handle installation, upgrading, and removal correctly. It does this by creating a minimal Debian installation in a chroot, and installing, upgrading, and removing packages in that environment, and comparing the state of the directory tree before and after. piuparts reports any files that have been added, removed, or modified during this process.

piuparts is meant as a quality assurance tool for people who create Debian packages to test them before they upload them to the Debian package archive.

By default, piuparts can do three different tests:

1. A simple install-purge test within one Debian distribution (chosen with the -d option, unstable by default). It sets up the chroot with the desired distribution, then installs and purges the packages, and reports problems.
2. A simple install-upgrade-purge test within one Debian distribution. This test is like the install-purge test, but install the packages first via apt-get and then from the package files given on the command line. If the command line has package names (option -a used), or the packages are not known to apt-get (new packages), this test is skipped, otherwise it is performed automatically.
3. An upgrade test between Debian releases. This test is enabled by using the -d option multiple times and disables the other two tests. It sets up the chroot with the first distribution named, then upgrades it to each successive one, and then remembers the directory tree state at the end. After this, it starts over with the chroot of the first distribution, installs the desired packages (via apt-get), and does the successive upgrading (via apt-get dist-upgrade). Then, if package files (and not just package names) were given on the command line, it installs them. Finally, it reports problems against the state of the directory tree at the last distribution compared with the state without the packages having been installed. This test can be quite slow to execute.
Note that this does not work with experimental, because apt-get does not automatically upgrade to packages in experimental. To test a particular package or group of packages in experimental, use the second test.

Command line arguments are the paths to package files (e.g., piuparts_1.0-1_all.deb), paths to changes files (e.g., piuparts_1.0-1_i386.changes), or names of packages, if the --apt option is given.

When processing changes files, by default, all packages in a changes file will be processed together with all individual packages given on the command line. Then each package given on the command line is processed in a single group. If the --single-changes-list is used, the packages in all changes files are processed together along with any individual packages that were given on the command line.

piuparts outputs to the standard output some log messages to show what is going on. If a log file is used, the messages go there as well.

piuparts needs to be run as root.


Options must come before the other command line arguments.

-a, --apt

The package arguments on the command line are to be treated as package names and installed via apt-get instead of being names of package files, to be installed via dpkg -i.

-b tarball, --basetgz=tarball

Use tarball as the contents of the initial chroot, instead of building a new one with debootstrap.
The tarball can be created with the -s option, or you can use one that pbuilder has created (see -p). If you create one manually, make sure the root of the chroot is the root of the tarball.


Bind-mount a directory inside the chroot.

-d name, --distribution=name

Which Debian distribution to use: a code name (for example lenny, squeeze or sid) or experimental. The default is sid (=unstable).

-D flavor, --defaults flavor

Use default settings suitable for a particular flavor of Debian: either debian or ubuntu.


Do not verify signatures from the Release files when running debootstrap.


Make dpkg use --force-confdev, which lets dpkg always choose the default action when a modified conffile is found. This options will make piuparts ignore errors it was designed to report and therefore should only be used to hide problems in depending packages. This option shall normally not be used. (See #466118.)

-i filename, --ignore=filename

Add a filename to the list of filenames to be ignored when comparing changes before and after installation. By default, piuparts ignores files that always change during a package installation and uninstallation, such as dpkg status files. The filename should be relative to the root of the chroot (e.g., var/lib/dpkg/status). This option can be used as many times as necessary.

-I regexp, --ignore-regexp=regexp

Add a regular expression pattern to the list of patterns for filenames to be ignored when comparing changes before and after installation. This option can be used as many times as necessary.

-k, --keep-tmpdir

Don't remove the temporary directory for the chroot when the program ends.

-K, --keyring=filename

Use FILE as the keyring to use with debootstrap when creating chroots.


Don't modify the chroot's etc/apt/sources.list (only makes sense with --basetgz).


List the files added to the chroot after the installation of the package and after the installation of the package dependencies.


Use the specified lvm-volume as source for the chroot, instead of building a new one with debootstrap. This creates a snapshot of the given LVM volume and mounts it to the chroot path.


Use the specified snapshot-size as snapshot size when creating a new LVM snapshot (default: 1G)

-l filename, --log-file=filename

Write log file to filename in addition to the standard output.

-m url, --mirror=url

Which Debian mirror to use. The default is the first mirror named in /etc/apt/sources.list or if none is found. This option may be used multiple times to use multiple mirrors. Only the first mirror is used with debootstrap.
The components that are used for a mirror can also be set with this option: a space separated list within the same argument (so you need to quote the entire argument in the shell). If no components are given explicitly, the usual Debian components are used (main, contrib, and non-free). For the mirrors read from /etc/apt/sources.list, the components are read from the same place.
Note that file: addresses works if the directories are made accessible from within the chroot with --bindmount.

-n, --no-ignores

Forget all built-in and other ignores that have been set so far. Any -i or -I arguments that come after this one will be obeyed, but none of the ones that come before.

-N, --no-symlinks

Don't check for broken symlinks.


Skip testing upgrade from an existing version in the archive.

-p, --pbuilder

Use /var/cache/pbuilder/base.tgz as the base tarball. This is a shorthand so that you don't need to use -b for it.


Be pedantic when checking if a purged package leaves files behind. If this option is not set, files left in /tmp are ignored.")

-s filename, --save=filename

Save the chroot, after it has been set up, as a tarball into filename. It can then be used with -b.


Directory where are placed the custom scripts. For more information about this, read custom-scripts.txt


When processing changes files, piuparts will process the packages in each individual changes file seperately. This option will set piuparts to scan the packages of all changes files together along with any individual package files that may have been given on the command line.


Allow skip minimize chroot step. This is useful when you want to test several packages with piuparts. You can prepare a tarball already minimized and skip this step in all the tests. This is the default now.


Minimize the chroot with debfoster. This used to be the default until #539142 was fixed.


Skip testing the output from the cron files left in the system after remove a package.

-t directory, --tmpdir=directory

Use directory as the place where temporary files and directories are created. The default is the environment variable TMPDIR, or /tmp if not set.

-v, --verbose

This option no longer has any meaning, but it is still accepted for backwards compatibility.

-V, --version

Write out the version number of the program.

-W, --warn-symlinks

Check for broken symlinks, but warn only if found.


Print a warning rather than failing if files are left behind, modified, or removed by a package that was not given on the command-line.
This way, you can basically isolate the purge test to your own packages. If a package that is brought in as a dependency doesn't purge cleanly, the test will not fail because of it (but a warning message will be printed).
Behavior with multple packages given on the command-line could be problematic, particularly if the dependency tree of one package in the list includes another in the list. Therefore, it is recommended to use this option with one package at a time.


Assume that you have just built a new version of your Debian package, to be uploaded to Debian unstable. It is in ../foo_1.0-2_i386.deb and you would like to know whether it installs and uninstalls properly. Here's what you would do:

 piuparts ../foo_1.0-2_i386.deb

If the package exists in the Debian archive already, the above command also tests that it upgrades properly.

To do the same test, but using a particular mirror, and only the main component, you would do this:

 piuparts -m 'http://gytha/debian main' ../foo_1.0-2_i386.deb

If you want to do the same as above but for your changes files, pass in your changes files when running piuparts, and piuparts will process each package in the changes files as though you had passed all those packages on the command line to piuparts yourself. For example:

 piuparts ../foo_1.0-2_i386.changes
 piuparts -m 'http://gytha/debian main' ../foo_1.0-2_i386.changes

If you want to test that a package installs properly in the stable (currently lenny) Debian release, then can be upgraded to the testing (currently squeeze) and unstable (sid) versions, and then uninstalled without problems, you would give the following command:

 piuparts -a -d lenny -d squeeze -d sid foo


TMPDIR Location for temporary files and directories. If not set, use /tmp. See also the -t (--tmpdir) option.


Outputs of commands run by piuparts are limited to the last megabyte. To change this limit, the source code needs to be edited.


pbuilder(1), debootstrap(8)


Lars Wirzenius ( and others



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