Metapackages and Apt Repository

Building Metapackages

On the advice of John Stumpo, we have moved from equivs to debuild for package creation. A basic metapackage is very easy to create under this system, but we still aren’t really documenting them properly. All of our metapackages are in the source package /afs/; any file you might want to edit will be found in the debian subdirectory.

Creating Packages:

To create a new metapackage, just open the control file and add new Package, Architecture, Depends, and Description stanzas, plus others appropriate to the package.

Building Packages:

Running the script in the debian directory will build all packages and log the output to buildlog.txt. Your package will be built in the top metapackages directory. Do remember to update the version number in changelog, though, otherwise reprepro (see below) will be sad.

Once built, you could just run dpkg -i $PACKAGE.deb but you probably want to add your packages to our apt repository.

Apt Repository

To simplify the installation of the metapackages, we’ve created an apt repository, served out of a mirrors volume (and also available via the web): file:///afs/ .

The repository is currently maintained using Reprepro (see Debian wiki documentation at I set up the GPG keys on Magellan; they should be exported into please-do- not-read-… (I think I did this but I may have exported the wrong key). You can log into magellan and descend into the root of the debian repository and run reprepro commands (though you will need to use the -b flag). For example, to add a new package:

reprepro includedeb jessie /afs/$PACKAGE_NAME/*.deb

To add all metapackages in the jhuacm-metapackages directory, just run in /afs/ with your admin hat on. This will do the right thing. If you want to add a metapackage located somewhere else, copy the first command in that script and adjust accordingly.

The mirrors are served across the web at

Installing the Repository:

We provide a sources.list file for debian-jessie. You can install it using the following commands (ran as root):

wget -O - |apt-key add -

wget -P /etc/apt/sources.list.d

Then run an apt-get update.

For debian versions that aren’t jessie, just change “jessie” in jhuacm.list to whatever the right thing is.