gbp-dch(1) Generate the Debian changelog from git commit messages


gbp~dch [ --version ] [ --help ] [ --verbose ] [ --color=[auto|on|off] ] [ --color-scheme=COLOR_SCHEME ] [ --debian-branch=branch_name ] [ --debian-tag=tag-format ] [ --upstream-branch=branch_name ] [ --upstream-tag=tag-format ] [ --ignore-branch ] [ --snapshot | --release ] [ --auto | --since=commitish ] [ --new-version=version ] [ --bpo | --nmu | --qa | --team ] [ --distribution=name ] [ --force-distribution ] [ --urgency=level ] [ --[no-]full ] [ --[no-]meta ] [ --meta-closes=bug-close-tags ] [ --meta-closes-bugnum=bug-number-format ] [ --snapshot-number=expression ] [ --id-length=number ] [ --git-log=git-log-options ] [ --[no-]git-author ] [ --[no-]multimaint ] [ --[no-]multimaint-merge ] [ --spawn-editor=[always|snapshot|release] ] [ --commit-msg=msg-format ] [ --commit ] [ --customizations=customization-file ] [path1 path2]


gbp~dch reads git commit messages and generates the Debian changelog from it. If no arguments are given, gbp~dch starts from the commit corresponding to the last tagged Debian package version up to the current tip of the current branch. If the distribution of the topmost section in debian/changelog is UNRELEASED, the changelog entries will be inserted into this section. Otherwise, a new section will be created.

If --auto is given gbp~dch, tries to guess the last Git commit documented in the changelog - this only works in snapshot mode. Otherwise, --since can be used to tell gbp~dch at which point it should start in the Git history.

The additional path arguments can be used to restrict the repository paths gbp~dch looks at. Setting path to debian/ is a good choice if upstream uses Git and all Debian packaging changes are restricted to the debian/ subdir. In more sophisticated cases (like backports), you can use --git-log to restrict the generated changelog entries further, e.g. by using --git-log="--author=Foo Bar".

The above relies on the debian-branch option pointing to the current branch and upstream-branch pointing to the corresponding upstream branch in order to find the right merge points of these branches. Furthermore gbp~dch must be able to identify git tags from upstream and Debian version numbers. If you're not using the defaults check the upstream-tag and debian-tag options.


Print version of the program, i.e. version of the git-buildpackage suite
Verbose execution
Print help and exit
Whether to use colored output.
Colors to use in output (when color is enabled). The format for COLOR_SCHEME is '<debug>:<info>:<warning>:<error>'. Numerical values and color names are accepted, empty fields imply the default color. For example, --git-color-scheme='cyan:34::' would show debug messages in cyan, info messages in blue and other messages in default (i.e. warning and error messages in red).
The branch in the Git repository the Debian package is being developed on, default is master.
Branch to determine the upstream version from. Default is upstream.
use this tag format when looking for tags of upstream versions, default is upstream/%(version)s.
Don't check if the current branch matches debian-branch.
tag format used, when tagging debian versions, default is debian/%(version)s
Start reading commit messages at committish.
--auto, -a
Guess the last commit documented in the changelog from the snapshot banner (or from the last tag if no snapshot banner exists).
Parse meta tags like Closes:, Thanks: and Gbp-Dch:. See META TAGS below.
What meta tags to look for to generate bug-closing changelog entries. The default is 'Closes|LP' to support Debian and Launchpad.
What regular expression should be used to parse out the bug number. The default is '(?:bug|issue)?\#?\s?\d+'. Note: the regex should suppress all portions of the bug number that are not wanted using "(?:)", see Python regex manual for details.

Example: --meta-closes-bugnum="(?:bug)?\s*ex-\d+" would match all of the following:

                 Possible Txt  Match?    Result
                 ------------  ------    ------
                 bug EX-12345    Y       EX-12345
                 ex-01273        Y       ex-01273
                 bug ex-1ab      Y       ex-1
                 EX--12345       N
Include the full commit message in the changelog output.
--snapshot, -S
Create a snapshot release entry. This adds a snapshot release number and a warning banner to the changelog entry. The release version number is being auto incremented with every new snapshot release to avoid packages downgrades during snapshot testing.
Python expression that gets eval()ed to the new snapshot number.
--release, -R
Remove any snapshot release banners and version suffixes, set the current distribution to unstable, and open the changelog for final tweaking.
--new-version=version, -N version
Add a new changelog section with version newversion. Together with --snapshot, the snapshot number will be appended to newversion.
Create a Team upload changelog entry.
Increment the Debian release number for an upload to backports, and add a backport upload changelog comment.
Increment the Debian release number for a non-maintainer upload.
Increment the Debian release number for a Debian QA Team upload, and add a QA upload changelog comment.
Set the distribution field to name.
Force the distribution specified with --distribution to be used, even if it doesn't match the list of known distributions.
Set the urgency field to level.
Options passed on verbatim to git-log(1).
Include N digits of the commit id in the changelog entry. Default is to not include any commit ids at all.
Ignore commit lines matching regex when generating the changelog.
Use and from git-config(1) for changelog trailer.
Merge commits by maintainer.
Whether to spawn an editor: always, when doing snapshots or when doing a release.
use this format string for the commit message when committing the generated changelog file (when --commit is given). Default is Update changelog for %(version)s release
Commit the generated changelog.
Load Python code from customization-file. At the moment, the only useful thing the code can do is define a custom format_changelog_entry() function.


Snapshot mode can be used for quick test and install cycles without having to worry about version numbers or changelog entries.

When using --snapshot or -S, gbp~dch uses a pseudo header in the Debian changelog to remember the last git commit it added a changelog entry for. It also sets a version number ending in ~<snaspshotnumber>.gbp<commitid>. It automatically increments the snapshot number on subsequent invocations of gbp~dch -S so that later snapshots automatically have a higher version number. To leave snapshot mode, invoke gbp~dch with the --release option. This removes the pseudo header and unmangles the version number so the released version has a higher version number than the snapshots.


Additional to the above options, the formatting of the commit message in debian/changelog can be modified by special tags (called Meta Tags) given in the git commit message. Meta Tag processing can be activated via the --meta option. The tags must start at the first column of a commit message but can appear on any line. They are of the form Tagname: value. Valid Meta Tags are:

Gbp-Dch: action
Supported actions are: Ignore which will ignore this commit when generating debian/changelog, Short which will only use the description (the first line) of the commit message when generating the changelog entry (useful when --full is given), and Full which will use the full commit message when generating the changelog entry (useful when --full is not given).

In addition to Gbp-Dch, the deprecated Git-Dch is still supported.

Thanks: msg
Add a thanks message after the commit message.
Closes: bugnumber
Indicate in the debian/changelog that the bug was closed by this commit. See the --meta-closes on how to extend this for other bugtrackers.

The following git commit message:

      Document meta tags
      so one doesn't have to consult the manual
      Gbp-Dch: Short
      Closes: #636088
      Thanks: Raphaël Hertzog for the suggestion

Results in this debian/changelog entry:

      * Document meta tags.
        Thanks to Raphaël Hertzog for the suggestion (Closes: #636088)


Several gbp.conf files are parsed to set defaults for the above command-line arguments. See the gbp.conf(5)> manpage for details.


Guido Guenther <[email protected]>