May 29, 2012

ldebdiff: what local change did I make to a package?

When fixing or modifying a package I at times change the installed files directly. However, once the changes are okay and it is time to prepare a diff, having to keep track and manually diff'ing the installed files is time consuming.

That's when ldebdiff does its thing: it runs diff against the original files of a given package and the ones installed on a system.
For example:

$ ldebdiff acpi-fakekey
--- unpacked/etc/init.d/acpi-fakekey    2012-04-05 05:14:21.000000000 -0500
+++ /etc/init.d/acpi-fakekey    2012-04-12 12:10:55.000000000 -0500
@@ -4,8 +4,8 @@
 # Provides:          acpi-fakekey
-# Required-Start:    $local_fs $remote_fs
-# Required-Stop:     $local_fs $remote_fs
+# Required-Start:    $remote_fs
+# Required-Stop:     $remote_fs
 # Default-Start:     2 3 4 5
 # Default-Stop:      
 # Short-Description: Start acpi_fakekey daemon
($remote_fs implies $local_fs)


  1. That sounds quite useful: I've indeed the same habit :)

    How about turning ldebdiff into a patch for debdiff, activated by a --local option or similar? Otherwise I fear very little people will find it in the future.

    Thanks for the idea and the tool!

    1. Hi zack!

      More than a year ago, it was discussed with the devscripts maintainers that it fits better in debian-goodies, as it is not specific to package development.
      However, it hasn't been included in debian-goodies, and the move of debian-goodies under the devscripts umbrella has not happened either...