table of contents

what is caspar?

caspar offers Makefile snippets for common tasks, like installing configuration files and other stuff you've got under version control, or typesetting LaTeX, POD, DocBook XML and DocBook SGML documents.

Take a look at the caspar and caspar-typesetting manpages for more details about caspar. Take a look at the documentation area for even more gory details.

Read the NEWS file to find out about status of latest release. The README file might be interesting too.

caspar has a page on freshmeat and is registered at the FSF/UNESCO Free Software Directory.

caspar is not casper

caspAr is not caspEr. casper is an initramfs generator suited for booting a Debian Live system, and for running a "live" preinstalled system from read-only media. See the casper Debian package page and the casper Ubuntu package page for more information about caspEr.


You can browse the download area, including an unpacked package.

If you want to install caspar on your system, you can download the tar ball, or you might prefer the .tar.bz2 compressed one. However, you're likely better of installing a prebuild package:


If you're running a Debian system, you can install the caspar Debian package. Caspar is distributed with the Debian unstable release since late july 2004, the Debian "etch" release ships version 20060618-1 (caspar is shipped with the Debian "sarge" release too). You can see if there are any bugs in the caspar package reported. If you find a bug, please report it. If you're interested in tracking development of this package, you might like to subscribe to the caspar Debian package, using the Debian Package Tracking System: send an email with body "subscribe caspar" to

If you'd like to install the latest caspar on your stable Debian system, you can very likely just fetch the package from unstable and install that one: there are very few (and only harmless) dependencies.

Caspar is shipped with Ubuntu Linux, via the Universe component since the Hoary release (April 2005). Ubuntu Feisty (April 2007) comes with caspar 20060618-1.

If you're on an RPM based system, you can use the caspar RPM (or rebuild it for your particular system using the source RPM package).

Caspar is shipped with Nexenta GNU/OpenSolaris.

If you're on a non-Debian-based Solaris system, fetch a Solaris package from the Solaris package area. I supply Solaris Source Packages too, available from the same place (look for .diff.gz files). These are helpful if you'd like to adjust the Solaris binary package. See the CSBS page for more information. Beware: these packages are very likely out of date! Mail me if you'd like to use a fresh RPM or Solaris package, I'm happy too build one if there's demand.


caspar git is hosted on (since 2009-12). You can fetch a copy by running

    git clone

There's also a readonly checkout available (updated daily); using this one you can e.g. take a look at the current NEWS file.

Since sept 2018, the caspar git repo is mirrored at NB: This mirror is not guaranteed to be up to date.

(From 2003-12-17 till 2009-12-13, caspar was maintained using CVS on Debian's Alioth).

Joost van Baal-Ilić
last updated: dec 2020