In general Debian Policy allows static linking but they have various reasons.

This page aims to document the downsides and mitigations we have in place for those downsides as well as improving the situation in Debian around static linking.


It requires rebuilding the world when the libraries change.

It is harder to track than dynamic linking.



Various technology in Debian uses or is affected by static linking.

C libraries

C libraries support static linking and files are named *.a and can be unpacked with the ar tool from binutils.

Packages can declare they were built using code from other packages by using the Built-Using header and the Debian archive keeps around old sources, marking them with the Extra-Source-Only header.

Lintian detects binaries that have been statically linked.


All Haskell libraries are statically linked into the final binary.

The release team have a transition that tracks Haskell rebuilds.




Manual binNMUs can be done for packages that declare a Built-Using header.