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I'm building binary only package:

dpkg-buildpackage -b -us -uc

The build actually runs successfully, but I have deleted previous version of the package and now dpkg-genchanges complains:

dpkg-deb: building package `zzz' in `../zzz_01-4_amd64.deb'.
 dpkg-genchanges -b >../zzz_01-4_amd64.changes
dpkg-genchanges: binary-only upload - not including any source code
dpkg-genchanges: error: cannot fstat file ../zzz_01-1_amd64.deb: No such file or directory
dpkg-buildpackage: error: dpkg-genchanges gave error exit status 2

Is there any way to skip this step? I really do not need it, as I'm building deb package for local use and previous versions are unnecessary.

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What lines did you see in debian/files after dpkg-buildpackage? It should be something like:

hello_2.8-2_i386.deb devel optional

This file is created and updated by dpkg-deb and dpkg-genchanges read it to get files to be listed in the .changes file.

dpkg-deb just appends a new line to debian/files if it already exists, so it's essential to make sure it gets removed in the beginning of binary build in debian/rules. dh_clean would be help for that.

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