autoreconf from tarballs produces beta

Daniel Kahn Gillmor dkg at
Thu Nov 6 20:54:06 CET 2014

hi GnuPG folks--

As i review the gnupg 2.1.0 packaging in preparation for an upload to
debian, i notice that using autoreconf against the source as distributed
in tarball form invariably results in a package that thinks it's a
"beta" package, which produces the "THIS IS A DEVELOPMENT VERSION"
warning string.

This beta indication comes from the test for the presence of .git in
./, which sets beta=yes if there is no .git directory.

One common debian packaging practice is to use autoreconf during the
build to take advantage of any improvements or fixes in the debian
autotools chain that may not have been present on the system that
created the tarball.  (though i understand that there are autotools
versioning constraints for gnupg, and we're sticking with the 1.11
autotools version for now)

I plan to apply the following simple patch to so that debian
package doesn't present itself as a beta:

diff --git a/ b/
index 7effd56..5e8ca15 100755
--- a/
+++ b/
@@ -228,8 +228,8 @@ if [ "$myhost" = "find-version" ]; then
       rvd=$((0x$(echo ${rev} | head -c 4)))
-      beta=yes
-      tmp="-unknown"
+      beta=no
+      tmp=""

I don't know whether that's something that you want applied upstream as
well or not (or if you want people building from the tarball to by
default create versions that announce themselves as development versions
if they run autoreconf).

Anyway, i wanted to pass this on so that you're aware of the issue.  If
you see a problem with us doing that in debian, please let me know.


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