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 * [http://www.debian.org/doc/developers-reference/ch-pkgs.en.html#s-porter-guidelines the Debian Developer's Reference, § Recompilation or binary-only NMU]  * [http://www.debian.org/doc/developers-reference/ch-pkgs.html#s-porter-guidelines the Debian Developer's Reference, § Recompilation or binary-only NMU]

The info in this thread could be the starting point for this page: http://lists.debian.org/debian-mentors/2006/09/msg00223.html

See also:

What are binNMUs?

A binNMU is a binary-only non-maintainer upload. This is necessary when the build for a specific architecture failed, or produced buggy packages, due to a problem in the build environment itself (not due to an error in the package source). Such problems include library transitions ([http://lists.debian.org/debian-release/2006/09/msg00003.html example]) or a misconfiguration on the package maintainer's machine used for preparing uploads ([http://lists.debian.org/debian-release/2006/09/msg00297.html example]). In a binNMU, the arch: any packages are rebuilt, but the arch: all packages are not.

Each of the arch: any packages receives a new version number which is the old version number with the suffix +b appended plus a version number for the binNMU (e.g. version 2.3.4-3 will become 2.3.4-3+b1). The binNMU version is incremented independently on each architecture ([http://lists.debian.org/debian-release/2006/10/msg00044.html example]). The only file in the source package which is modified by the binNMU is debian/changelog, which gets a new entry for the new version. (Historically, binNMU version numbers were created by bumping (or creating, if it did not already exist) the third-level number in the Debian revision, for instance 2.3.4-3 would instead have become 2.3.4-3.0.1. This numbering convention is no longer used.)

Where to request a binNMU?

To request a binNMU for official architectures (except hurd-i386) ask on the [http://lists.debian.org/debian-release/ debian-release mailing list]. For kfreebsd-i386, kfreebsd-amd64 and hurd-i386, ask ${arch}@debian-ports.org .

If you want to be kind to the RMs, you could use the following format in your e-mail, for each (package, binNMU tuple number):

[package]_[source-version], [reason], [binNMU number], [list of archs]

for instance:

package_0.1-1, Rebuild against newer libc6 fixes #123456, 1, i386 amd64 s390

If the package needs binNMUing on all the architectures for which it is available, please list them explicitly rather than simply using "all".

However, if you do not know the exact binNMU number (and you're too lazy to look it up using rmadison), just ask the regular way and someone else will construct the proper line for you.

Be careful if you use rmadison output to get the architectures list, because rmadison outputs a comma delimited list. Remove the commas to make a space separated list for the mail subject.

Note that bugs can't be closed in the reason of binNMUs, so please close the bugs that are fixed by a binNMU manually.

How to make packages binNMU safe?

Executive summary

  • only a potential problem for source packages that generate multiple binary packages
  • do not use the ${Source-Version} variable; this has been deprecated!

  • declaring dependency between 2 arch: any packages: ${binary:Version}

  • declaring dependency between an arch: any to an arch: all package: ${source:Version}

  • no way for a safe dependency between an arch: all to an arch: any package using these variables

    • however, if only a minimum version is needed, one may use for instance Depends: foo-binary (>= ${source:Version})

Note: The versioned Build-Depends on dpkg-dev (>= 1.13.19) is not needed anymore, since Etch, Lenny and Sid all have the necessary version.


For example, sometimes a package refers to the version of the source package in package relationship definitions. Consider a source package that still uses the deprecated ${Source-Version} variable:

 Source: foo
 Package: foo-bin
 Depends: foo-common (= ${Source-Version})
 Architecture: any
 Package: foo-common
 Architecture: all

The first upload creates the following versions:

  • Source package: foo 1.0-1

  • Architecture specific package: foo-bin 1.0-1 (Depends: foo-common 1.0-1)

  • Architecture independent package: foo-common 1.0-1

Now, suppose the foo-bin package is binNMU uploaded for an architecture. The ${Source-Version} variable is retrieved from debian/changelog, so after the binNMU the archive will contain the following versions:

  • Source package: foo 1.0-1

  • Architecture specific package: foo-bin 1.0-1+b1 (Depends: foo-common 1.0-1+b1)

  • Architecture independent package: foo-common 1.0-1

The foo-common package needs no new upload, because it was properly created before! However, there is no version 1.0-1+b1 of foo-common, so the dependencies are now broken, and foo-bin is uninstallable on the architecture where foo was binNMU'ed.

The solution is to use ${source:Version} instead of ${Source-Version}. This variable is also retrieved from the latest entry in the changelog, but any +b suffix is discarded. So, the following packages are created:

  • Source package: foo 1.0-1

  • Architecture specific package: foo-bin 1.0-1+b1 (Depends: foo-common 1.0-1)

  • Architecture independent package: foo-common 1.0-1

What are the binNMUs that have happened?

List of transitional NMU's done by release(?) team:

* http://ftp-master.debian.org/~vorlon/transition-binnmus.txt