Boxer is a tool for system deployment and for composing blend, i.e designing how to have a distribution unfold onto boxes.

Boxer is used to maintain the Debian Pure Blends DebianParl and ?DebianDesign.

Goal of Boxer is to encourage reuse of customizations, and to ease (re)integration with Debian. Ideally override files and scripts are used only to speedup development, then integrated into official Debian packages, and the final product uses only package lists and debconf, a.k.a. a Debian Pure Blend!


Stable data & tool

Stable release of boxer, available in Jessie, is adequate for some compositions:

sudo apt-get install boxer

Newer tool

Newer release of boxer is recommended for new projects - even for composing stable target systems.

Add the following to your APT source list:

deb wheezy boxer

(replace "wheezy" to your suite name as needed).

Newest data

Newest dataset is usable also with Jessie boxer tool:

sudo apt-get install boxer git make shtool
git clone git://
make -C boxer-data


2. Create a boxer node, and have boxer compose an install profile:

cat <<EOF >mydata/myblend.yml
  - Desktop.xfce
  - Desktop.web
boxer compose --nodedir mydata myblend

3. Deploy your custom Debian system, in one of several ways:

Newer tool

Recommended - even for stable target system - is to compose on a development system.


We use Alioth with a mailinglist.

Code and default dataset is developed separately:

git clone git://
git clone git://

Code is released to CPAN and packaged in the Perl team:

git clone