Note: These instructions are only for creating packages for personal use. This method won't work for creating packages intended for submission to repositories. For submitting to repositories, see Ubuntu packaging guide. If you are looking for a simple guide on how to create a Debian/Ubuntu package you could read (Second part) or try stdeb tool for converting Python source packages to Debian.

Here is a simple example on creating a Debian Package, but it will not be in agreement with the Debian/Ubuntu Policy. You should read that if you want to publish your program in the Debian/Ubuntu repositories. In this example I will use a game called Twisted Zombie which was developed for PyWeek 5.

First step

The first thing you should know is the folder structure of the Debian Package before you create it. This folder contains three files that are very important, control, twisted-zombie and twisted-zombie.desktop.


twisted-zombie is the folder of the application itself, pixmaps contains an icon, application contains a desktop file that indicates some options to GNOME, and bin contains a script to execute this game from a console.

control file

In the control file, we will put a short description, long description, package name, package version, etc. Just like the output of the apt-cache show package command. The control file contains:

Package: twisted-zombie
Version: 1.0
Section: games
Maintainer: Manuel Kaufmann <>
Architecture: all
Depends: python, python-pygame
Description: Twisted Zombie game
 Twisted Zombie is a game developed for PyWeek 5
 in seven days by programmers of Santa Fé Argentina. 

If you wish, you can put more information about the package. In this page you can find all what you need for this: Binary package control files

twisted-zombie file

In this file we will put what command should be executed when we type twisted-zombie in a console. It's simple, it only contains the python command with the path of the main .py file. Make sure that it is executable (chmod a+x python /usr/share/twisted-zombie/

twisted-zombie.desktop file

In this file we put some options about our application, to tell GNOME -or other desktop- to put our application in the menu, specifying which icon to use, what command to execute, etc...

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Twisted Zombie
Comment=Game developed for PyWeek 5
GenericName=Twisted Zombie Game
Exec=python /usr/share/twisted-zombie/

Config your application

If you use external files, you should include the following lines in the .py that uses those files:

import os

Build and install our package

In this step we will build our package. For this, we use the following command in the folder that contain our application:

$ dpkg --build twisted-zombie/ twisted-zombie-1.0_all.deb

And to finish:

$ dpkg -i twisted-zombie-1.0_all.deb

Done, we have installed our game in our machine. Now, open a terminal, and type twisted-zombie or go to the Application Menu -> Games -> Twisted Zombie Game and play it.

Categories: CategoryPythonRecipes

PythonRecipes/DebianPackage (last edited 2011-04-10 19:33:56 by tomdavies04)