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Policy released

Debian Policy has been released. The next time you upload your packages, please review them against the upgrading checklist in the debian-policy package and see if they require changes for the new version of Policy.

Please note that the preference for Breaks over Conflicts for most
purposes is not an urgent transition nor something that needs to be
considered a goal for the next release. Breaks is preferred because it
provides more freedom to the package manager, but Conflicts, while
stronger, is still generally correct. If Conflicts isn’t actively causing
problems, switching to Breaks is not urgent.

Here are the changes in the new version:

4.4, 5.6.15
The required format for the date in a changelog entry and in the
Date control field is now precisely specified.

A control paragraph must not contain more than one instance of a
particular field name.

5.4, 5.5, 5.6.24
Document and recommend the `Checksums-Sha1′ and
`Checksums-Sha256′ fields in `*.dsc’ and `*.changes’ files.

5.5, 5.6.16
The `Format’ field of `.changes’ files is now 1.8. The `Format’
field syntax for source package `.dsc’ files allows a subtype in
parentheses, and it is used for a different purpose than the
`Format’ field for `.changes’ files.

The syntax of the `Maintainer’ field is now must rather than

The comma separating entries in `Uploaders’ is now must rather
than should.

5.6.8, 7.1, 11.1.1
Architecture wildcards may be used in addition to specific
architectures in `debian/control’ and `*.dsc’ Architecture
fields, and in architecture restrictions in build relationships.

Maintainer scripts are no longer guaranteed to run with a
controlling terminal and must be able to fall back to
noninteractive behavior (debconf handles this). Maintainer
scripts may abort if there is no controlling terminal and no
reasonable default for a high-priority question, but should avoid
this if possible.

7.3, 7.6.1
`Breaks’ should be used with `Replaces’ for moving files between

`Breaks’ should normally be used instead of `Conflicts’ for
transient issues and moving files between packages. New
documentation of when each should be used.

Use `Conflicts’ with `Provides’ if only one provider of a virtual
facility can ge installed at a time.

All shared library development files are no longer required to be
in the `-dev’ package, only be available when the `-dev’ package
is installed. This allows the `-dev’ package to be split as long
as it depends on the additional packages.

The UID range of user accounts is extended to 1000-59999.

9.3.2, 10.4
`init.d’ scripts are a possible exception from the normal
requirement to use `set -e’ in each shell script.

The UCB BSD license was removed from the list of licenses that
should be referenced from `/usr/share/common-licenses/BSD’. It
should instead be included directly in `debian/copyright’,
although it will still be in common-licenses for the time being.

Add `SETTITLE’ (which has been supported for some time). Like
`TITLE’ but takes a template instead of a string to allow

`perl-base’ now provides `perlapi-‘ instead of a package
based solely on the Perl version. Perl packages must now depend
on `perlapi-$Config{debian_abi}’, falling back on
`$Config{version}’ if `$Config{debian_abi}’ is not set.

Packages using `Makefile.PL’ should use `DESTDIR’ rather than
`PREFIX’ to install into the package staging area. `PREFIX’ only
worked due to a Debian-local patch.

— Russ Allbery (

One Response to “Policy released” »

  1. Pingback by Tweets that mention Policy released | - Your one stop for news about Debian -- — June 29, 2010 @ 12:17 am

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Youhei SASAKI, Debian Project. Debian Project said: ( Policy released […]

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