dpkg-deb(1) — Linux manual page


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

NAME         top

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

SYNOPSIS         top

       dpkg-deb [option...] command

DESCRIPTION         top

       dpkg-deb packs, unpacks and provides information about Debian

       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.

       For most commands taking an input archive argument, the archive
       can be read from standard input if the archive name is given as a
       single minus character («-»); otherwise lack of support will be
       documented in their respective command description.

COMMANDS         top

       -b, --build binary-directory [archive|directory]
              Creates a debian archive from the filesystem tree stored
              in binary-directory. binary-directory must have a DEBIAN
              subdirectory, which contains 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 the file for
              syntax errors and other problems, 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 binary-directory.deb.

              If the archive to be created already exists it will be

              If the second argument is a directory then dpkg-deb will
              write to the file directory/package_version_arch.deb.
              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 summary 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
              format 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

              If no control-field-names 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-field-name 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 generated 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

              directory (but not its parents) will be created if
              necessary, and its permissions modified to match the
              contents of the package.

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

       -R, --raw-extract archive directory
              Extracts the filesystem tree from a package archive into a
              specified directory, and the control information files
              into a DEBIAN subdirectory of the specified directory
              (since dpkg 1.16.1).

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

              The input archive is not (currently) processed
              sequentially, so reading it from standard input («-») is
              not supported.

       --ctrl-tarfile archive
              Extracts the control data from a binary package and sends
              it to standard output in tar format (since dpkg 1.17.14).
              Together with tar(1) this can be used to extract a
              particular control file from a package archive.  The input
              archive will always be processed sequentially.

       --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 archive.  The input archive will always be
              processed sequentially.

       -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.

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

              Show the version and exit.

OPTIONS         top

              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 formatting 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”.

              Specify which compression level to use on the compressor
              backend, when building a package (default is 9 for gzip, 6
              for xz).  The accepted values are 0-9 with: 0 being mapped
              to compressor none for gzip.  Before dpkg 1.16.2 level 0
              was equivalent to compressor none for all compressors.

              Specify which compression strategy to use on the
              compressor backend, when building a package (since dpkg
              1.16.2). Allowed values are none (since dpkg 1.16.4),
              filtered, huffman, rle and fixed for gzip (since dpkg
              1.17.0) and extreme for xz.

              Specify which compression type to use when building a
              package.  Allowed values are gzip, xz (since dpkg 1.15.6),
              and none (default is xz).

              Specify that the same compression parameters should be
              used for all archive members (i.e. control.tar and
              data.tar; since dpkg 1.17.6).  Otherwise only the data.tar
              member will use those parameters. The only supported
              compression types allowed to be uniformly used are none,
              gzip and xz.  The --no-uniform-compression option disables
              uniform compression (since dpkg 1.19.0).  Uniform
              compression is the default (since dpkg 1.19.0).

              Set the owner and group for each entry in the filesystem
              tree data to root with id 0 (since dpkg 1.19.0).

              Note: This option can be useful for rootless builds (see
              rootless-builds.txt), but should not be used when the
              entries have an owner or group that is not root.  Support
              for these will be added later in the form of a meta

              Set the archive format version used when building (since
              dpkg 1.17.0).  Allowed values are 2.0 for the new format,
              and 0.939000 for the old one (default is 2.0).

              The old archive 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

              Inhibits dpkg-deb --build's usual checks on the proposed
              contents of an archive. You can build any archive you
              want, no matter how broken, this way.

       -v, --verbose
              Enables verbose output (since dpkg 1.16.1).  This
              currently only affects --extract making it behave like

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

EXIT STATUS         top

       0      The requested action was successfully performed.

       2      Fatal or unrecoverable error due to invalid command-line
              usage, or interactions with the system, such as accesses
              to the database, memory allocations, etc.

ENVIRONMENT         top

              Sets the color mode (since dpkg 1.18.5).  The currently
              accepted values are: auto (default), always and never.

       TMPDIR If set, dpkg-deb will use it as the directory in which to
              create temporary files and directories.

              If set, it will be used as the timestamp (as seconds since
              the epoch) in the deb(5)'s ar(5) container and used to
              clamp the mtime in the tar(5) file entries.

NOTES         top

       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

BUGS         top

       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.  (Higher level tools like APT
       support authenticating .deb packages retrieved from a given
       repository, and most packages nowadays provide an md5sum control
       file generated by debian/rules. Though this is not directly
       supported by the lower level tools.)

SEE ALSO         top

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

COLOPHON         top

       This page is part of the dpkg (Debian Package Manager) project.
       Information about the project can be found at 
       ⟨https://wiki.debian.org/Teams/Dpkg/⟩.  If you have a bug report
       for this manual page, see
       ⟨http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/pkgreport.cgi?src=dpkg⟩.  This
       page was obtained from the project's upstream Git repository
       ⟨https://salsa.debian.org/dpkg-team/dpkg.git⟩ on 2021-08-27.  (At
       that time, the date of the most recent commit that was found in
       the repository was 2021-06-17.)  If you discover any rendering
       problems in this HTML version of the page, or you believe there
       is a better or more up-to-date source for the page, or you have
       corrections or improvements to the information in this COLOPHON
       (which is not part of the original manual page), send a mail to

1.19.6-2-g6e42d5               2019-03-25                    dpkg-deb(1)

Pages that refer to this page: dh_builddeb(1)dpkg(1)dpkg-name(1)dpkg-split(1)deb(5)deb-conffiles(5)deb-control(5)deb-old(5)deb-src-rules(5)