git problems

Adrian Knoth adi at
Wed Nov 4 08:49:25 UTC 2009

On Tue, Nov 03, 2009 at 08:11:24PM +0100, Thorsten Alteholz wrote:

> Hi,


> I have some problems with git.

Hmm, could also be a problem with the build system.

>   dpkg-source: error: cannot represent change to
>         hydrogen-0.9.4/macos/Hydrogen.icns: binary file contents changed

This usually means that at the time of creating the diff.gz, your file
has changed and the changes cannot be represented as a diff, because it
is binary.

> Where do these errors come from?

That's the right question. Either because you're working on a non-clean
directory (something like "fakeroot debian/rules clean", "git reset
--hard" and "git clean" should help, but make sure to commit any changes
you did to debian/, first).

The second possible cause is a strange build process, autoconf stuff, a
broken Makefile or something else, which changes the file upon "make

When I was facing the very same issue, I was able to get rid of the mess
by using cdbs. It's so convenient working with cdbs, especially when you
need to make sure that "git status" does not show any difference after
"fakeroot debian/rules clean".


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