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dpkg-deb(1)                       dpkg suite                       dpkg-deb(1)



NAME
       dpkg-deb - Debian package archive (.deb) manipulation tool

SYNOPSIS
       dpkg-deb [options] command

DESCRIPTION
       dpkg-deb packs, unpacks and provides information about Debian archives.

       Use dpkg to install and remove packages from your system.

       You  can also invoke dpkg-deb by calling dpkg with whatever options you
       want to pass to dpkg-deb. dpkg will spot that you wanted  dpkg-deb  and
       run it for you.

COMMANDS
       -b, --build directory [archive|directory]
              Creates  a  debian  archive  from  the filesystem tree stored in
              directory. directory must have a DEBIAN subdirectory, which con-
              tains  the  control  information  files such as the control file
              itself. This directory will not appear in the  binary  package's
              filesystem  archive,  but instead the files in it will be put in
              the binary package's control information area.

              Unless you specify --nocheck, dpkg-deb will read  DEBIAN/control
              and parse it. It will check it for syntax errors and other prob-
              lems, and display the name of the binary  package  being  built.
              dpkg-deb  will  also  check  the  permissions  of the maintainer
              scripts and other files found in the DEBIAN control  information
              directory.

              If  no archive is specified then dpkg-deb will write the package
              into the file directory.deb.

              If the archive to be created already exists it will be overwrit-
              ten.

              If  the  second argument is a directory then dpkg-deb will write
              to the file package_version_arch.deb, or package_version.deb  if
              no  Architecture  field  is present in the package control file.
              When a target directory is specified, rather than  a  file,  the
              --nocheck  option  may not be used (since dpkg-deb needs to read
              and parse the package control file to determine  which  filename
              to use).

       -I, --info archive [control-file-name...]
              Provides information about a binary package archive.

              If no control-file-names are specified then it will print a sum-
              mary of the contents of the package as well as its control file.

              If any control-file-names are specified then dpkg-deb will print
              them  in the order they were specified; if any of the components
              weren't present it will print an error message to  stderr  about
              each one and exit with status 2.

       -W, --show archive
              Provides  information about a binary package archive in the for-
              mat specified by the --showformat argument. The  default  format
              displays  the  package's name and version on one line, separated
              by a tabulator.

       -f, --field archive [control-field-name...]
              Extracts control file information from a binary package archive.

              If no control-file-fields are specified then it will  print  the
              whole control file.

              If any are specified then dpkg-deb will print their contents, in
              the order in which they appear in the control file. If more than
              one  control-file-field  is specified then dpkg-deb will precede
              each with its field name (and a colon and space).

              No errors are reported for fields requested but not found.

       -c, --contents archive
              Lists the contents of the filesystem tree archive portion of the
              package  archive.  It is currently produced in the format gener-
              ated by tar's verbose listing.

       -x, --extract archive directory
              Extracts the filesystem tree from a  package  archive  into  the
              specified directory.

              Note  that  extracting  a package to the root directory will not
              result in a correct installation! Use dpkg to install packages.

              directory (but not its parents) will be created if necessary.

       -X, --vextract archive directory
              Is like --extract  (-x)  but  prints  a  listing  of  the  files
              extracted as it goes.

       --fsys-tarfile archive
              Extracts  the  filesystem  tree  data  from a binary package and
              sends it to standard output in tar format. Together with  tar(1)
              this can be used to extract a particular file from a package ar-
              chive.

       -e, --control archive [directory]
              Extracts the control information files from  a  package  archive
              into the specified directory.

              If  no  directory is specified then a subdirectory DEBIAN in the
              current directory is used.

              The target directory (but not its parents) will  be  created  if
              necessary.

       -h, --help
              Show the usage message and exit.

       --version
              Show the version and exit.

       --license, --licence
              Show the copyright licensing terms and exit.

OPTIONS
       --showformat=format
              This  option  is used to specify the format of the output --show
              will produce. The format is a string that  will  be  output  for
              each package listed.

              The  string  may  reference any status field using the "${field-
              name}" form, a list of the valid fields can be  easily  produced
              using -I on the same package. A complete explanation of the for-
              matting options (including escape sequences and  field  tabbing)
              can  be  found  in the explanation of the --showformat option in
              dpkg-query(1).

              The default for this field is "${Package}\t${Version}\n".

       -zcompress_level
              Specify which compression level to pass to the compressor  back-
              end program, when building a package.

       -Zcompress_type
              Specify  which  compression type to use when building a package.
              Allowed values are gzip,  bzip2,  lzma,  and  none  (default  is
              gzip).

       --new  Ensures that dpkg-deb builds a `new' format archive. This is the
              default.

       --old  Forces dpkg-deb to build an `old' format archive. This  old  ar-
              chive  format  is  less easily parsed by non-Debian tools and is
              now obsolete; its only use  is  when  building  packages  to  be
              parsed  by versions of dpkg older than 0.93.76 (September 1995),
              which was released as i386 a.out only.

       --nocheck
              Inhibits dpkg-deb --build's usual checks on  the  proposed  con-
              tents of an archive. You can build any archive you want, no mat-
              ter how broken, this way.

       -D, --debug
              Enables debugging output. This is not very interesting.

BUGS
       dpkg-deb -I package1.deb package2.deb does the wrong thing.

       There is no authentication on .deb files; in fact, there isn't  even  a
       straightforward checksum.

       Do  not  attempt to use just dpkg-deb to install software! You must use
       dpkg proper to ensure that all the files are correctly placed  and  the
       package's scripts run and its status and contents recorded.

SEE ALSO
       deb(5), deb-control(5), dpkg(1), dselect(1).

AUTHOR
       Copyright (C) 1995-1996 Ian Jackson

       This  is free software; see the GNU General Public Licence version 2 or
       later for copying conditions. There is NO WARRANTY.



Debian Project                    2007-09-08                       dpkg-deb(1)