Split mode

Split mode is quite a specialised mode. It is for people who are both the upstream author and maintainer of a package. It allows you to maintain both in a single branch, but have a separation during the build, and not have to create the upstream tarball by hand.

Some people like this way of working, but it does make it harder for someone else to take over maintenance of the package at a later date.

This mode should not be used by those who are not the upstream author of a package, and who are not making the upstream tarball releases.

This mode is a mixture of most of the other modes. You have the upstream code and the packaging in the same branch like normal mode and native mode, but the only packaging changes can be in the debian/ directory, like merge mode.

Setting up the package

Before creating the package it may be beneficial to set up a shared repository for the package. Shared in this context means shared between your branches, rather than shared between users in a public location, the latter can be done later. To set up a repository then you should run (for a package named scruff)

$ bzr init-repo ~/packages/scruff/
$ cd ~/packages/scruff/

and then do all of your work in that directory.

Creating a New Package

To create a new package using split mode you need to create a branch to hold all of the work. If it is a completely new project and there is no code yet then you can run

$ bzr init scruff/
$ cd scruff/

if you already have some code, then you can rename the directory containing that code to ~/packages/scruff/scruff and then run

$ cd scruff/
$ bzr init
$ bzr add

which will create a branch and add all of your current code to it.

The next step is to tell bzr-builddeb that it is a split mode package. To do this create the configuration file .bzr-builddeb/default.conf in the branch. This contains the options that are default for building the package. The file starts with a [BUILDDEB] header to identify the options that the plugin should use, and the option that you need to set is split. The following commands will set up the configuration files for you:

$ echo -e '[BUILDDEB]\nsplit = True' > .bzr-builddeb/default.conf
$ bzr add .bzr-builddeb/default.conf

When you are happy with the code you can commit, and then build the package. bzr-builddeb will see that it is a split mode package and create the upstream tarball out of the branch after removing the debian/ directory. The debian/ directory will then form the .diff.gz.

Importing History

It is not currently possible to import history from source packages in split mode. Hopefully this will be possible at some point in the future.

New upstream version

Creating a new upstream version of the package is easy in split mode. It is merely a case of updating the debian/changelog. The dch tool from devscripts can help you here. To create the 0.2-1 version of the package you can run

$ dch -v 0.2-1

and enter a message about the new version. Then when you next build the package it will have the correct version number.