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deb(5)                              Debian                              deb(5)

       deb - Debian binary package format


       The  .deb format is the Debian binary package file format. It is under-
       stood by dpkg 0.93.76 and later, and is generated  by  default  by  all
       versions of dpkg since 1.2.0 and all i386/ELF versions since 1.1.1elf.

       The format described here is used since Debian 0.93; details of the old
       format are described in deb-old(5).

       The file is an ar archive with a magic number of !<&lt;arch>&gt;.

       The first member is named debian-binary and contains a series of lines,
       separated  by  newlines. Currently only one line is present, the format
       version number, 2.0 at the time this manual page was written.  Programs
       which  read new-format archives should be prepared for the minor number
       to be increased and new lines to be present, and should ignore these if
       this is the case.

       If  the  major number has changed, an incompatible change has been made
       and the program should stop. If it has not, then the program should  be
       able  to  safely continue, unless it encounters an unexpected member in
       the archive (except at the end), as described below.

       The second required member is named control.tar.gz.  It  is  a  gzipped
       tar  archive containing the package control information, as a series of
       plain files, of which the file control is mandatory  and  contains  the
       core control information. The control tarball may optionally contain an
       entry for `.', the current directory.

       The third, last required member is named data.tar.gz.  It contains  the
       filesystem archive as a gzipped tar archive.

       These  members  must occur in this exact order. Current implementations
       should ignore any additional members after data.tar.gz.   Further  mem-
       bers  may  be  defined  in the future, and (if possible) will be placed
       after these three. Any additional members that may need to be  inserted
       before  data.tar.gz  and  which  should be safely ignored by older pro-
       grams, will have names starting with an underscore, `_'.

       Those new members which won't be able to  be  safely  ignored  will  be
       inserted  before  data.tar.gz  with names starting with something other
       than underscores, or will (more likely) cause the major version  number
       to be increased.

       deb-old(5), dpkg-deb(1), deb-control(5).

Debian Project                    2006-02-28                            deb(5)