debclean(1) clean up a sourcecode tree


debclean [options]


debclean walks through the directory tree starting at the directory tree in which it was invoked, and executes debian/rules clean for each Debian source directory encountered. These directories are recognised by containing a debian/changelog file for a package whose name matches that of the directory. Name matching is described below.

Also, if the --cleandebs option is given, then in every directory containing a Debian source tree, all files named *.deb, *.changes and *.build are removed. The .dsc, .diff.gz and the (.orig).tar.gz files are not touched so that the release can be reconstructed if necessary, and the .upload files are left so that debchange functions correctly. The --nocleandebs option prevents this extra cleaning behaviour and the --cleandebs option forces it. The default is not to clean these files.

debclean uses debuild(1) to clean the source tree.

Directory name checking

In common with several other scripts in the devscripts package, debclean will walk through the directory tree searching for debian/changelog files. As a safeguard against stray files causing potential problems, it will examine the name of the parent directory once it finds a debian/changelog file, and check that the directory name corresponds to the package name. Precisely how it does this is controlled by two configuration file variables DEVSCRIPTS_CHECK_DIRNAME_LEVEL and DEVSCRIPTS_CHECK_DIRNAME_REGEX, and their corresponding command-line options --check-dirname-level and --check-dirname-regex.

DEVSCRIPTS_CHECK_DIRNAME_LEVEL can take the following values:

Never check the directory name.
Only check the directory name if we have had to change directory in our search for debian/changelog. This is the default behaviour.
Always check the directory name.

The directory name is checked by testing whether the current directory name (as determined by pwd(1)) matches the regex given by the configuration file option DEVSCRIPTS_CHECK_DIRNAME_REGEX or by the command line option --check-dirname-regex regex. Here regex is a Perl regex (see perlre(3perl)), which will be anchored at the beginning and the end. If regex contains a '/', then it must match the full directory path. If not, then it must match the full directory name. If regex contains the string 'PACKAGE', this will be replaced by the source package name, as determined from the changelog. The default value for the regex is: 'PACKAGE(-.+)?', thus matching directory names such as PACKAGE and PACKAGE-version.


Also remove all .deb, .changes and .build files from the parent directory.
Do not remove the .deb, .changes and .build files from the parent directory; this is the default behaviour.
--check-dirname-level N
See the above section Directory name checking for an explanation of this option.
--check-dirname-regex regex
See the above section Directory name checking for an explanation of this option.
--no-conf, --noconf
Do not read any configuration files. This can only be used as the first option given on the command-line.
Do not run dpkg-checkbuilddeps to check build dependencies.
Display a help message and exit successfully.
Display version and copyright information and exit successfully.


The two configuration files /etc/devscripts.conf and ~/.devscripts are sourced in that order to set configuration variables. Command line options can be used to override configuration file settings. Environment variable settings are ignored for this purpose. The currently recognised variables are:
If this is set to yes, then it is the same as the --cleandebs command line parameter being used.
See the above section Directory name checking for an explanation of these variables. Note that these are package-wide configuration variables, and will therefore affect all devscripts scripts which check their value, as described in their respective manpages and in devscripts.conf(5).


Christoph Lameter <[email protected]>; modifications by Julian Gilbey <[email protected]>.