dh_testroot - ensure that a package is built with necessary level of root permissions


dh_testroot [debhelper options]


dh_testroot is used to determine if the target is being run with suffient access to root(-like) features.

The definition of sufficient access depends on whether the builder (the tool invoking the debian/rules target) supports the Rules-Requires-Root (R³) field. If the builder supports R³, then it will set the environment variable DEB_RULES_REQUIRES_ROOT and dh_testroot will validate that the builder followed the minimum requirements for the given value of DEB_RULES_REQUIRES_ROOT .

If the builder does not support Rules-Requires-Root, then it will not set the DEB_RULES_REQUIRES_ROOT environment variable. This will in turn make dh_testroot (and the rest of debhelper) fall back to assuming that (fake)root is implied.

The following is a summary of how dh_testroot behaves based on the DEB_RULES_REQUIRES_ROOT environment variable (leading and trailing whitespace in the variable is ignored).


If unset, or set to "binary-targets", then dh_testroot asserts that it is run as root or under fakeroot(1).


If set to "no", then dh_testroot returns successfully (without performing any additional checks).


If set to any other value than the above, then dh_testroot asserts that it is either run as root (or under fakeroot(1)) or the builder has provided the DEB_GAIN_ROOT_CMD environment variable (e.g. via dpkg-buildpackage -r).

Please note that dh_testroot does not read the Rules-Requires-Root field. Which implies that dh_testroot may produce incorrect result if the builder lies in DEB_RULES_REQUIRES_ROOT . On the flip side, it also enables things like testing for what will happen when DEB_RULES_REQUIRES_ROOT is set to a given value.



This program is a part of debhelper.


Joey Hess <joeyh [AT]>