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Re: Help needed making a collection of fonts into a .deb

Matt Chisholm <matt@theory.org> writes:

> Hello everyone. I'd like to make a Debian package out of about
> thirty fonts of mine. I read the "Debian New Maintainers' Guide" at
> http://www.debian.org/doc/maint-guide/, but I am still pretty
> unclear about how to proceed as that document is tailored for making
> Debian packages out of programs.

Yes, this is the common case. Compiling is of course not necessary for

> Since there will be no compiling for my fonts, it seems that I won't
> be running dh_make, or editing any makefiles. However, these seem to
> be fairly critical steps.

I recommend that you still use dh_make. Just remove the $(MAKE) calls
from there. Your build target will be empty. Your install target will
copy all the fonts directly to the package directory instead of
calling "$(MAKE) install"[1]

All the dh_* commands in have a manpage. Read these to determine if
the specific command is of use in your scenario, or can be deleted.
Example. dh_installinit cares for an /etc/init.d/ script, you can
remove that.

If you have trouble understanding an aspect, you can always ask back here.

> Also, there appears to be a program called dh_installxfonts with
> fairly minimal documentation. I assume that this program will be
> important to me at some point, but I have no idea when. 

I understand that this prepares postinst and postrm fragments that
will care for the proper (un)registration of your fonts when the
package is (de)installed.

> I would guess that I have to perform at least these steps:
> 	* collect my fonts into a directory, or maybe a tarball


> 	* make "control", "copyright", and "changelog" files

Yup. Or use dh_make and edit the results.

> 	* somehow specify that these fonts should go in
> 	  /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/mattsfonts/

Yup. E.g.
  install -m644 $(myfonts) $(pkgdir)/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/mattsfonts
somewhere in the install target.

> 	* somehow specify that mkfontdir should be run, possibly in a
> 	  "postinst" script

-> dh_installxfonts

> 	* somehow collapse the whole thing into a .deb

-> most of the other dh_* commands

> A good person to help me might be the maintainer of freefont and
> sharefont, Christoph Lameter. Unfortunately, the email address given
> in the info about those packages is incorrect/out of date
> (clameter@waterf.org).

clameter@debian.org may work better. BTW, have you actually checked
the freefont source package? It seems rather straight forward and is
debhelper based ... to me it looks like a good example. Again,
everything unclear from that can be brought up here.

> All of the fonts are my own creations, and I've released them under
> the GPL, so there will be no licensing troubles.

As an aside, does the GPL cut it for fonts? What exactly is the source
code here? Anyway, thanks for freeing your fonts!

[1]  Well, if you want the font tarball to be useable outside of
Debian, you may still want to provide it with a Makefile that
installed the fonts to a convenient location. debian/rules could then
use this, too.


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