[debhelper-devel] Bug#783165: debhelper: dh_installdocs --link-doc does not install copyright if doc directory is already present

Sven Joachim svenjoac at gmx.de
Sat Jul 16 07:45:14 UTC 2016

On 2015-04-23 10:52 +0200, Ferenc Wágner wrote:

> Package: debhelper
> Version: 9.20120909
> Severity: normal
> Hi,
> man dh_installdocs says:
>   --link-doc=package
>       [...] This has no effect when [...] the documentation directory to
>       be created already exists when dh_installdocs is run. [...]
> Based on this I expected dh_installdocs to install (eg.) debian/copyright
> into an already existing documentation directory.  This does not seem to
> happen, I had to add debian/copyright to debian/package.docs.  Is the bug
> in debhelper or in my interpretation of the manual?

When code and documentation disagree, usually both are wrong. ;-)
Indeed, contrary to the documentation dh_installdocs does not install
debian/copyright and some other standard files like debian/TODO or
debian/README, if the --link-doc option is given.  This has been the
behavior since the --link-doc option was added in debhelper 7.4.2.

I'm not sure what to do here.  Not installing these files does not seem
quite correct, but on the other hand it is almost certainly a packaging
error to use the --link-doc option if the documentation directory
already exists.  This can happen if you run dh_installchangelogs before
dh_installdocs, for instance.

At least in the current situation lintian will detect such mistakes and
trigger the no-copyright-file error (which does not seem to happen for
any packages in the archive), so the packager can correct them.


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