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

              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

       -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

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

              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

       -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

       -?, --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 manifest.

              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 only.

              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 --vextract.

       -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 recorded.

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 2020-09-18.  (At
       that time, the date of the most recent commit that was found in the
       repository was 2020-07-08.)  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 man-pages@man7.org

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)