Flutter Debian


A simple command-line application to help you easily bundle your flutter app build into a debian package ready for production.


Overview of our debian packaging 📦

This plugin is a tool that builds debian package based on the instructions listed in a debian.yaml file. To get a basic understanding and its core concepts, take a look at the debian documentation. Additional links and information are listed at the bottom of this page.

Flutter debian.yaml example

Place the YMAL file in your Flutter project under <project root>/debian/debian.yaml. (And remember the YMAL files are sensitive to white space!) For example:

  command: mega_cool_app
  arch: x64
  parent: /usr/local/lib
  nonInteractive: false

  Package: mega-cool-app
  Version: 1.0.0
  Architecture: amd64
  Priority: optional
  Description: Mega Cool App that does everything!
#  exec_out_dir: debian/packages

The following sections explain the various pieces of the YAML file.

Flutter app

This section of the debain.yaml file defines the application that will be packaged into a debian.

  command: mega_cool_app
  arch: x64
  parent: /usr/local/lib
  nonInteractive: false


Points to the binary at your project's linux release bundle, and runs when debian package is invoked.


the build architecture of your app.


A comma-separated list of field codes for the Exec key in the desktop file.

Example: execFieldCodes: f,u,i Supported codes: f, F, u, U, i, c, k

Further information is available in the FreeDesktop spec.


the app will be installed in a subdirectory (like mega_cool_app) in this directory.


When true, no prompt for confirmation is displayed during package installation.

default: /opt


parent: /usr/local/lib

the target directory is: /usr/local/lib/mega_cool_app

Package maintainer scripts

If the debian/scripts directory exists, executable files named preinst, postinst, prerm and postrm in debian/scripts will be copied to the package, as debian package maintainer scripts.

Note that any preinst script with overwrite the one generated by default by this tool, effectively disabling the interactive confirmation prompt shown before installation (as if nonInteractive: true was used).

Additional files:

If a directory debian/skeleton exists that files will be copied into the package.

This can be used for default configuration files.

Example: The file debian/skeleton/etc/megacool/main.conf will be installed as /etc/megacool/main.conf


This is what describes to the apt package manager or what ever piece of software you are using to install your app what it's all about.


List the libraries your project depends on and they will be installed by the apt package manager before your app in installed on the system. For example:
the pub.dev package flutter_secure_storage linux version depends on

libsecret-1-0 and libjsoncpp1

NB: more than one Depends are separated by " , " .

Desktop file and icon 🖥️

Desktop entry files are used to add an application to the desktop menu. These files specify the name and icon of your application, the categories it belongs to, related search keywords and more. These files have the extension .desktop and follow the XDG Desktop Entry Specification.

Flutter mega-cool-app.desktop example

Place the .desktop file in your Flutter project under <project root>/debian/gui/mega-cool-app.desktop.

Notice: icon and .desktop file name must be the same as your app name in yaml file!

For example:

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Mega Cool App
GenericName=Mega Cool App
Comment=A Mega Cool App that does everything

Place your icon with .png extension in your Flutter project under <project root>/debian/gui/mega-cool-app.png.

Build the debian package 📦

Once the gui/ folder and debian.yaml file are complete. Run flutter_to_debian as follows from the root directory of the project.

first build your project

$ flutter build linux

install flutter_to_debian if not done yet.

$ dart pub global activate flutter_to_debian

Run flutter_to_debian as follows.

$ flutter_to_debian

Locate and install your .deb app's package 📦

From the root directory of the project, Find it at.

$ cd debian/packages && ls


$ sudo dpkg -i [package_name].deb

Dependency Finder

The command flutter_to_debian can be used to find the dependencies of an amount of library files.

Call flutter_to_debian help to see this description:

Usage: flutter_to_debian [<mode> [<options>] ]
    Print this usage.
    Creates a folder and template files for the Debian package.
    Build a Debian package file *.deb. This is the default mode.
  dependencies [<opts>] [<file1> [ <file2>...]]
    Detects the dependencies of a amount of library files.
    <fileX> can be a file or a directory.
     That packages will be excluded from detection
     Excludes that library files from detection. <pattern> is a regular expr.
  Creates the Debian package described in ./debian/debian.yaml
flutter_to_debian dependencies
  Detects the dependencies of the files in ./build/linux/x64/release/bundle/lib
  and uses the information of debian/debian.yaml
flutter_to_debian dependencies --excl-lib=-dev|^my_lib release/libs
  Detects the dependencies of the files in release/libs without the excluded
  specified by "-dev|^my_lib":
  The file release/libs/our_lib-dev.2.so and release/libs/my_lib-dev.2.so
  will be excluded from detection.
flutter_to_debian dependencies --excluded-packages=lintian,my-project prod/libs
  Detects the dependencies of the files in prod/libs
  The packages lintian and my-project will be excluded from processing.
Note: modes and options can be abbreviated: --ex-pack means --excluded-packages

Contributions 🤝

Please all PR's and found issues are highly welcome at flutter_to_debian

Additional resources

You can learn more from the following links:

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