Switch to SpeakEasy.net DSL

The Modular Manual Browser

Home Page
Manual: (Debian-5.0)
Apropos / Subsearch:
optional field

deb-control(5)                      Debian                      deb-control(5)

       deb-control - Debian packages' master control file format


       Each  Debian package contains the master `control' file, which contains
       a number of fields, or comments when the line  starts  with  '#'.  Each
       field begins with a tag, such as Package or Version (case insensitive),
       followed by a colon, and the body of the field.  Fields  are  delimited
       only by field tags. In other words, field text may be multiple lines in
       length, but the installation tools will generally join lines when  pro-
       cessing  the  body  of the field (except in the case of the Description
       field, see below).

       Package: <package name>
              The value of this field determines the package name, and is used
              to generate file names by most installation tools.

       Version: <version string>
              Typically,  this  is  the  original  package's version number in
              whatever form the program's author uses. It may also  include  a
              Debian revision number (for non-native packages). The exact for-
              mat and sorting algorithm are described in deb-version(5).

       Maintainer: <fullname email>
              Should be in the format `Joe Bloggs <jbloggsATfoo.com>',  and  is
              typically  the person who created the package, as opposed to the
              author of the software that was packaged.

       Description: <short description>
               <long description>
              The format for the package description is a short brief  summary
              on the first line (after the "Description" field). The following
              lines should be used as a  longer,  more  detailed  description.
              Each  line  of the long description must be preceded by a space,
              and blank lines in the long description must  contain  a  single
              '.' following the preceding space.

       Section: <section>
              This  is a general field that gives the package a category based
              on the software that  it  installs.  Some  common  sections  are
              `utils', `net', `mail', `text', `x11' etc.

       Priority: <priority>
              Sets the importance of this package in relation to the system as
              a  whole.   Common  priorities   are   `required',   `standard',
              `optional', `extra' etc.

       In  Debian,  the  Section  and  Priority  fields  have a defined set of
       accepted values based on the Policy Manual.  A list of these values can
       be obtained from the latest version of the debian-policy package.

       Essential: <yes|no>
              This  field  is usually only needed when the answer is `yes'. It
              denotes a package that is required for proper operation  of  the
              system.  Dpkg  or  any other installation tool will not allow an
              Essential package to be removed (at least not without using  one
              of the force options).

       Architecture: <arch|all>
              The  architecture  specifies which type of hardware this package
              was compiled  for.  Common  architectures  are  `i386',  `m68k',
              `sparc',  `alpha',  `powerpc'  etc.  Note that the all option is
              meant for packages that are architecture independent. Some exam-
              ples of this are shell and Perl scripts, and documentation.

       Origin: <name>
              The name of the distribution this package is originating from.

       Bugs: <url>
              The url of the bug tracking system for this package. The current
              used   format   is   <&lt;bts_type>&gt;://<&lt;bts_address>&gt;,    like    deb-

       Homepage: <url>
              The upstream project home page URL.

       Tag: <tag list>
              List  of  tags  describing  the  qualities  of  the package. The
              description and list of supported tags can be found in the  deb-
              tags package.

       Source: <source name>
              The  name  of  the  source package that this binary package came
              from, if different than the name of the package itself.

       Depends: <package list>
              List of packages that are required for this package to provide a
              non-trivial  amount  of  functionality.  The package maintenance
              software will not allow a package to be installed if  the  pack-
              ages  listed in its Depends field aren't installed (at least not
              without using the  force  options).   In  an  installation,  the
              postinst  scripts  of packages listed in Depends: fields are run
              before those of the packages which depend on them. On the  oppo-
              site,  in a removal, the prerm script of a package is run before
              those of the packages listed in its Depends: field.

       Pre-Depends: <package list>
              List of packages that must be installed  and  configured  before
              this  one  can  be  installed.  This is usually used in the case
              where this package requires another package for running its pre-
              inst script.

       Recommends: <package list>
              Lists packages that would be found together with this one in all
              but unusual installations. The package maintenance software will
              warn  the user if they install a package without those listed in
              its Recommends field.

       Suggests: <package list>
              Lists packages that are related to  this  one  and  can  perhaps
              enhance  its usefulness, but without which installing this pack-
              age is perfectly reasonable.

       The syntax of Depends, Pre-Depends, Recommends and Suggests fields is a
       list  of  groups of alternative packages. Each group is a list of pack-
       ages separated by vertical bar (or `pipe') symbols, `|'. The groups are
       separated by commas. Commas are to be read as `AND', and pipes as `OR',
       with pipes binding more tightly. Each package name is  optionally  fol-
       lowed by a version number specification in parentheses.

       A version number may start with a `>>', in which case any later version
       will match, and may specify or omit the Debian packaging revision (sep-
       arated  by  a  hyphen).  Accepted  version  relationships  are ">>" for
       greater than, "<<" for less than, ">=" for greater than  or  equal  to,
       "<=" for less than or equal to, and "=" for equal to.

       Breaks: <package list>
              Lists  packages  that  this  one breaks, for example by exposing
              bugs when the named packages rely on this one. The package main-
              tenance  software  will  not allow broken packages to be config-
              ured; generally the resolution is to upgrade the packages  named
              in a Breaks field.

       Conflicts: <package list>
              Lists  packages that conflict with this one, for example by con-
              taining files with the same names. The package maintenance soft-
              ware  will not allow conflicting packages to be installed at the
              same time. Two conflicting packages should each include  a  Con-
              flicts line mentioning the other.

       Replaces: <package list>
              List  of  packages  files  from which this one replaces. This is
              used for allowing this package to overwrite the files of another
              package  and  is  usually used with the Conflicts field to force
              removal of the other package, if this  one  also  has  the  same
              files as the conflicted package.

       Provides: <package list>
              This  is a list of virtual packages that this one provides. Usu-
              ally this is used in the case of several packages all  providing
              the same service.  For example, sendmail and exim can serve as a
              mail server, so they provide a common package  (`mail-transport-
              agent')  on  which  other  packages  can depend. This will allow
              sendmail or exim to serve as  a  valid  option  to  satisfy  the
              dependency.  This  prevents  the  packages that depend on a mail
              server from having to know the package names for  all  of  them,
              and using `|' to separate the list.

       The  syntax  of  Conflicts,  Replaces and Provides is a list of package
       names, separated by commas (and optional whitespace).  In the Conflicts
       field,  the  comma should be read as `OR'. An optional version can also
       be given with the same syntax as above for the Conflicts  and  Replaces

       # Comment
       Package: grep
       Essential: yes
       Priority: required
       Section: base
       Maintainer: Wichert Akkerman <wakkermaATdebian.org>
       Architecture: sparc
       Version: 2.4-1
       Pre-Depends: libc6 (>= 2.0.105)
       Provides: rgrep
       Conflicts: rgrep
       Description: GNU grep, egrep and fgrep.
        The GNU family of grep utilities may be the "fastest grep in the west".
        GNU grep is based on a fast lazy-state deterministic matcher (about
        twice as fast as stock Unix egrep) hybridized with a Boyer-Moore-Gosper
        search for a fixed string that eliminates impossible text from being
        considered by the full regexp matcher without necessarily having to
        look at every character. The result is typically many times faster
        than Unix grep or egrep. (Regular expressions containing backreferencing
        will run more slowly, however).

       deb(5), deb-version(5), debtags(1), dpkg(1), dpkg-deb(1).

Debian Project                    2007-10-08                    deb-control(5)