installdeb-aspell(1) debhelper-like utility for


installdeb-aspell [debhelper options]


installdeb-aspell is a debhelper like program that is responsible for installing appropriate debhelper snippets in an aspell dictionary package, according to the Debian Spell Dictionaries and Tools Policy.

For more details, see

The actions executed by installdeb-aspell are the following:

  • Maintainer Scripts

    installdeb-aspell installs the necessary scraps of code in the postinst and postrm scripts.

  • Language info file

    installdeb-aspell also checks a file containing aspell dictionary information, called debian/info-aspell or debian/ If this file is successfully parsed, it is installed in the /var/lib/dictionaries-common/aspell directory.

  • Substvars substitutions

    This script will populate a substvars file, so Depends line in control file can contain ${aspell:Depends} to automatically care for dictionaries-common dependencies.

    This requires "Build-Depends" on at least dictionaries-common-dev 1.23.0 and is highly recommended.

  • Debconf files

    As opposed to installdeb-ispell and installdeb-wordlist, neither installdeb-aspell nor installdeb-hunspell do anything related to debconf files, since both aspell and hunspell rely on the environment variable "LANG" for default dictionary selection instead of using symlinks set after a debconf question on dictionary installation. For that reason if you need to add debconf stuff with debhelper to your aspell or hunspell dictionary package do it in the usual way and call dh_installdebconf(1) as for any other package.

  • Extra installdeb-aspell options in Language info file

    For benefit of aspell dictionaries using aspell-autobuildhash, installdeb-aspell script will look for 'auto-compat' and 'auto-contents' fields in $, containing base name(s) of your compat and, if needed, contents file(s). If 'auto-compat' entry is found two debhelper snippets are added, one to create/reset compatfile(s) in postinst and the other to remove files in a removal list (initially containing compat files) from postrm. If 'auto-contents' entry is found, contents file at debian/ will be parsed and its contents added to the removal list, otherwise a hash with the same basename of the compatfile is expected and added to the removal list. If you use a contents file and enable it in 'auto-contents' you usually will need only the same base name enabled in 'auto-compat'.

    If you are interested in a simple install of a pristine aspell dictionary with a minimal debian/rules please look at dh_aspell-simple(1). You will still need an aspell-info file, but compat/contents stuff will be guessed if not explicitly provided in the aspell-info file.

    /usr/lib/aspell/$dict.rws -> /var/lib/aspell/$dict.rws symlinks are no longer created automatically by this script. They are now created by new aspell-autobuildhash together with the relevant hashes. Make sure to depend on at least dictionaries-common 1.23 (See dictionaries-common.checklist).


The usual dephelper(1) options are accepted.


This program is not part of debhelper, although it is intended to be used in aspell dictionary packages using debhelper in its building.


Rafael Laboissiere, Agustin Martin