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 http://www.debian-administration.org/articles/336 (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.
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.
DEBIAN/ control usr/ bin/ twisted-zombie share/ applications/ twisted-zombie.desktop pixmaps/ twisted-zombie-icon.png twisted-zombie/ data/ lib/ COPYING README.txt create-upload.py pyweek-upload.py run_game.py
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.
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 <email@example.com> 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
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 run_game.py): python /usr/share/twisted-zombie/run_game.py
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] Encoding=UTF-8 Name=Twisted Zombie Version=1.0 Comment=Game developed for PyWeek 5 GenericName=Twisted Zombie Game Terminal=false Icon=twisted-zombie-icon.png Type=Application Exec=python /usr/share/twisted-zombie/run_game.py Categories=Game;
Config your application
If you use external files, you should include the following lines in the .py that uses those files:
import os os.chdir('/usr/share/twisted-zombie')
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.