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Re: Packaging proprietary software

Well, you basically have three ways (that I know of):
1. checkinstall - In my opinion as an amateur packager, it is by far the easiest solution. Maybe others disagree, I'd suggest it for trivial binary packages.

2. a dirty way of doing it, creating your own package using the "ar" command (a .deb package is basically an .ar archive): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ar_%28Unix%29

freemind is a java application:
* http://packages.qa.debian.org/f/freemind.html
* http://ftp.debian.org/debian/pool/main/f/freemind/freemind_0.9.0+dfsg-1_all.deb

You can find some other packages written in java by tracking down the java maintainers:

3. read and find out how to create a package using debhelper and a debian "source" package.
I'm not sure if dh_make (a command that helps you create a new debian source package from scratch) and debhelper commands will help you with java (I suppose they do :) ), but for a binary source code all you need is to point to the files using the debian/install file.

I helped someone once to package binary package (it was a windows binary, it was easier for them to make it work through wine) and make it available to the ubuntu linux community:
https://launchpad.net/~ts.sch.gr/+archive/ppa (Note that the program is GPL'ed in case someone is wondering, I forget where the actual source code is though, should be somewhere here: http://alkisg.mysch.gr/ )

dget -ux http://ppa.launchpad.net/ts.sch.gr/ppa/ubuntu/pool/main/g/glossa/glossa_0.9.4.0-2.dsc
cd glossa-*
ls debian/

As I mentioned previously, the trivial thing to do is to change the debian/changelog, the debian/control and debian/install to match your software and files accordingly.

debuild -S -sa
ls ../

and voila! You have a debian source package (.dsc, .diff.gz and .orig.tar.gz), which you can build with the help of pbuilder (or pbuilder-dist in ubuntu)

Either way, you need to know the basic structure of either a debian source package or a debian binary package, the new maintainer guide will help you a lot with that: http://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/maint-guide/

I hope this answer is more acceptable. :)

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