I have several versions of Ubuntu installed, including 14.04 and 10.04. When I build packages using equivs-build on 14.04, it generates .debs that contain .xz-compressed data. The version of dpkg on 10.04 cannot understand or install these packages, and so I see errors like this:

dpkg-deb: file `/var/cache/apt/archives/mypackage.deb' contains ununderstood data member data.tar.xz

This answer gives an approach for building Debian packages in general, but it doesn't appear equivs-build gives that level of control; unless I've missed an obvious option?

  • Did you try the options proposed in this question: askubuntu.com/questions/396088/… ? using dpkg-buildpackage -Zgz could help you getting a deb file to use with 10.04. – Sylvain Pineau Feb 3 '15 at 15:34
  • Sorry, forgot to add a link to that answer, I had seen it, yes. It doesn't help in my case because I'm using equivs; I don't have a complete Debian package structure so can't run the 'standard' Debian packaging tools. – Andrew Ferrier Feb 3 '15 at 16:49
  • You may try setting environment variable from debuild

  • If equivs doesn't use debuild when building only binary package (default). Go with full build, as its manpage stated

    equivs-build -f ..
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I am building bebian too and I found out how to manage the equivs-contol / -build.

how to include the BINARIES:

  • I st --> copy all the files in the working directory as they are. Example myPackage-meta.
  • 2 nd --> open the configuration file generate with equivs-control and modify the option "Files:", remove the hash and be careful of the indentation.


Files: binary-qt /usr/local/bin/ second-binary-daemon /usr/local/bin/

before "second-binary-daemon" you need a space only and use this indentation for the further files.

And so on.

  • 3 rd --> save the config file and execute equivs-build


for the configuration file and the rough instructions, you need to discover the details, I give you the manual link: Sintax of the equivs-build

Hope will be useful! Brake a leg!

PS: You need to compile the binary first.

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  • 1
    Thank you, but I don't think that's relevant to my question. I'm trying to understand how I can backport my packages to older versions of Ubuntu because of the differences in package compression. – Andrew Ferrier Apr 2 at 11:15
  • Should be run the distribution in a virtual machine and use equivs on it. I remind Ubuntu 10.04 is very light. Keep in mind Ubuntu had done a lot of improvements and the versions sometimes are very different. – NwalmeThule Apr 6 at 12:06

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