dpkg(1) — Linux manual page


dpkg(1)                        dpkg suite                        dpkg(1)

NAME         top

       dpkg - package manager for Debian

SYNOPSIS         top

       dpkg [option...] action

WARNING         top

       This manual is intended for users wishing to understand dpkg's
       command line options and package states in more detail than that
       provided by dpkg --help.

       It should not be used by package maintainers wishing to
       understand how dpkg will install their packages.  The
       descriptions of what dpkg does when installing and removing
       packages are particularly inadequate.

DESCRIPTION         top

       dpkg is a medium-level tool to install, build, remove and manage
       Debian packages.  The primary and more user-friendly front-end
       for dpkg as a CLI (command-line interface) is apt(8) and as a TUI
       (terminal user interface) is aptitude(8).  dpkg itself is
       controlled entirely via command line parameters, which consist of
       exactly one action and zero or more options.  The action-
       parameter tells dpkg what to do and options control the behavior
       of the action in some way.

       dpkg can also be used as a front-end to dpkg-deb(1) and
       dpkg-query(1).  The list of supported actions can be found later
       on in the ACTIONS section.  If any such action is encountered
       dpkg just runs dpkg-deb or dpkg-query with the parameters given
       to it, but no specific options are currently passed to them, to
       use any such option the back-ends need to be called directly.


       dpkg maintains some usable information about available packages.
       The information is divided in three classes: states, selection
       states and flags.  These values are intended to be changed mainly
       with dselect.

   Package states
           The package is not installed on your system.

           Only the configuration files or the postrm script and the
           data it needs to remove of the package exist on the system.

           The installation of the package has been started, but not
           completed for some reason.

           The package is unpacked, but not configured.

           The package is unpacked and configuration has been started,
           but not yet completed for some reason.

           The package awaits trigger processing by another package.

           The package has been triggered.

           The package is correctly unpacked and configured.

   Package selection states
           The package is selected for installation.

           A package marked to be on hold is kept on the same version,
           that is, no automatic new installs, upgrades or removals will
           be performed on them, unless these actions are requested
           explicitly, or are permitted to be done automatically with
           the --force-hold option.

           The package is selected for deinstallation (i.e. we want to
           remove all files, except configuration files).

           The package is selected to be purged (i.e. we want to remove
           everything from system directories, even configuration

           The package selection is unknown.  A package that is also in
           a not-installed state, and with an ok flag will be forgotten
           in the next database store.

   Package flags
       ok  A package marked ok is in a known state, but might need
           further processing.

           A package marked reinstreq is broken and requires
           reinstallation.  These packages cannot be removed, unless
           forced with option --force-remove-reinstreq.

ACTIONS         top

       -i, --install package-file...
           Install the package.  If --recursive or -R option is
           specified, package-file must refer to a directory instead.

           Installation consists of the following steps:

           1.  Extract the control files of the new package.

           2.  If another version of the same package was installed
               before the new installation, execute prerm script of the
               old package.

           3.  Run preinst script, if provided by the package.

           4.  Unpack the new files, and at the same time back up the
               old files, so that if something goes wrong, they can be

           5.  If another version of the same package was installed
               before the new installation, execute the postrm script of
               the old package.  Note that this script is executed after
               the preinst script of the new package, because new files
               are written at the same time old files are removed.

           6.  Configure the package.  See --configure for detailed
               information about how this is done.

       --unpack package-file...
           Unpack the package, but don't configure it.  If --recursive
           or -R option is specified, package-file must refer to a
           directory instead.

           Will process triggers for Pre-Depends unless --no-triggers
           has been specified.

       --configure package...|-a|--pending
           Configure a package which has been unpacked but not yet
           configured.  If -a or --pending is given instead of package,
           all unpacked but unconfigured packages are configured.

           To reconfigure a package which has already been configured,
           try the dpkg-reconfigure(8) command instead (which is part of
           the debconf project).

           Configuring consists of the following steps:

           1.  Unpack the conffiles, and at the same time back up the
               old conffiles, so that they can be restored if something
               goes wrong.

           2.  Run postinst script, if provided by the package.

           Will process triggers unless --no-triggers has been

       --triggers-only package...|-a|--pending
           Processes only triggers (since dpkg 1.14.17).  All pending
           triggers will be processed.  If package names are supplied
           only those packages' triggers will be processed, exactly once
           each where necessary.  Use of this option may leave packages
           in the improper triggers-awaited and triggers-pending states.
           This can be fixed later by running: dpkg --configure

       -r, --remove package...|-a|--pending
           Remove an installed package.  This removes everything except
           conffiles and other data cleaned up by the postrm script,
           which may avoid having to reconfigure the package if it is
           reinstalled later (conffiles are configuration files that are
           listed in the DEBIAN/conffiles control file).  If there is no
           DEBIAN/conffiles control file nor DEBIAN/postrm script, this
           command is equivalent to calling --purge.  If -a or --pending
           is given instead of a package name, then all packages
           unpacked, but marked to be removed in file
           /usr/local/var/lib/dpkg/status, are removed.

           Removing of a package consists of the following steps:

           1.  Run prerm script.

           2.  Remove the installed files.

           3.  Run postrm script.

           Will process triggers unless --no-triggers has been

       -P, --purge package...|-a|--pending
           Purge an installed or already removed package.  This removes
           everything, including conffiles, and anything else cleaned up
           from postrm.  If -a or --pending is given instead of a
           package name, then all packages unpacked or removed, but
           marked to be purged in file /usr/local/var/lib/dpkg/status,
           are purged.

           Note: Some configuration files might be unknown to dpkg
           because they are created and handled separately through the
           configuration scripts.  In that case, dpkg won't remove them
           by itself, but the package's postrm script (which is called
           by dpkg), has to take care of their removal during purge.  Of
           course, this only applies to files in system directories, not
           configuration files written to individual users' home

           Purging of a package consists of the following steps:

           1.  Remove the package, if not already removed.  See --remove
               for detailed information about how this is done.

           2.  Run postrm script.

           Will process triggers unless --no-triggers has been

       -V, --verify [package-name...]
           Verifies the integrity of package-name or all packages if
           omitted, by comparing information from the files installed by
           a package with the files metadata information stored in the
           dpkg database (since dpkg 1.17.2).  The origin of the files
           metadata information in the database is the binary packages
           themselves.  That metadata gets collected at package unpack
           time during the installation process.

           Currently the only functional check performed is an md5sum
           verification of the file contents against the stored value in
           the files database.  It will only get checked if the database
           contains the file md5sum.  To check for any missing metadata
           in the database, the --audit command can be used.  This is
           only an integrity check and should not be considered as any
           kind of security verification.

           The output format is selectable with the --verify-format
           option, which by default uses the rpm format, but that might
           change in the future, and as such, programs parsing this
           command output should be explicit about the format they

       -C, --audit [package-name...]
           Performs database sanity and consistency checks for package-
           name or all packages if omitted (per package checks since
           dpkg 1.17.10).  For example, searches for packages that have
           been installed only partially on your system or that have
           missing, wrong or obsolete control data or files.  dpkg will
           suggest what to do with them to get them fixed.

       --update-avail [Packages-file]
       --merge-avail [Packages-file]
           Update dpkg's and dselect's idea of which packages are
           available.  With action --merge-avail, old information is
           combined with information from Packages-file.  With action
           --update-avail, old information is replaced with the
           information in the Packages-file.  The Packages-file
           distributed with Debian is simply named «Packages».  If the
           Packages-file argument is missing or named «-» then it will
           be read from standard input (since dpkg 1.17.7).  dpkg keeps
           its record of available packages in

           A simpler one-shot command to retrieve and update the
           available file is dselect update.  Note that this file is
           mostly useless if you don't use dselect but an APT-based
           frontend: APT has its own system to keep track of available

       -A, --record-avail package-file...
           Update dpkg and dselect's idea of which packages are
           available with information from the package package-file.  If
           --recursive or -R option is specified, package-file must
           refer to a directory instead.

           Now obsolete and a no-op as dpkg will automatically forget
           uninstalled unavailable packages (since dpkg 1.15.4), but
           only those that do not contain user information such as
           package selections.

           Erase the existing information about what packages are

       --get-selections [package-name-pattern...]
           Get list of package selections, and write it to stdout.
           Without a pattern, non-installed packages (i.e. those which
           have been previously purged) will not be shown.

           Set package selections using file read from stdin.  This file
           should be in the format “package state”, where state is one
           of install, hold, deinstall or purge.  Blank lines and
           comment lines beginning with ‘#’ are also permitted.

           The available file needs to be up-to-date for this command to
           be useful, otherwise unknown packages will be ignored with a
           warning.  See the --update-avail and --merge-avail commands
           for more information.

           Set the requested state of every non-essential package to
           deinstall (since dpkg 1.13.18).  This is intended to be used
           immediately before --set-selections, to deinstall any
           packages not in list given to --set-selections.

           Searches for packages selected for installation, but which
           for some reason still haven't been installed.

           Note: This command makes use of both the available file and
           the package selections.

           Print a single package which is the target of one or more
           relevant pre-dependencies and has itself no unsatisfied pre-

           If such a package is present, output it as a Packages file
           entry, which can be massaged as appropriate.

           Note: This command makes use of both the available file and
           the package selections.

           Returns 0 when a package is printed, 1 when no suitable
           package is available and 2 on error.

       --add-architecture architecture
           Add architecture to the list of architectures for which
           packages can be installed without using --force-architecture
           (since dpkg 1.16.2).  The architecture dpkg is built for
           (i.e. the output of --print-architecture) is always part of
           that list.

       --remove-architecture architecture
           Remove architecture from the list of architectures for which
           packages can be installed without using --force-architecture
           (since dpkg 1.16.2).  If the architecture is currently in use
           in the database then the operation will be refused, except if
           --force-architecture is specified.  The architecture dpkg is
           built for (i.e. the output of --print-architecture) can never
           be removed from that list.

           Print architecture of packages dpkg installs (for example,

           Print a newline-separated list of the extra architectures
           dpkg is configured to allow packages to be installed for
           (since dpkg 1.16.2).

           Give help about the --assert-feature options (since dpkg

           Asserts that dpkg supports the requested feature.  Returns 0
           if the feature is fully supported, 1 if the feature is known
           but dpkg cannot provide support for it yet, and 2 if the
           feature is unknown.  The current list of assertable features

               Supports the Pre-Depends field (since dpkg 1.1.0).

               Supports epochs in version strings (since dpkg

               Supports long filenames in deb(5) archives (since dpkg

               Supports multiple Conflicts and Replaces (since dpkg

               Supports multi-arch fields and semantics (since dpkg

               Supports versioned Provides (since dpkg 1.17.11).

               Supports the Protected field (since dpkg 1.20.1).

       --validate-thing string
           Validate that the thing string has a correct syntax (since
           dpkg 1.18.16).  Returns 0 if the string is valid, 1 if the
           string is invalid but might be accepted in lax contexts, and
           2 if the string is invalid.  The current list of validatable
           things is:

               Validates the given package name (since dpkg 1.18.16).

               Validates the given trigger name (since dpkg 1.18.16).

               Validates the given architecture name (since dpkg

               Validates the given version (since dpkg 1.18.16).

       --compare-versions ver1 op ver2
           Compare version numbers, where op is a binary operator.  dpkg
           returns true (0) if the specified condition is satisfied, and
           false (1) otherwise.  There are two groups of operators,
           which differ in how they treat an empty ver1 or ver2.  These
           treat an empty version as earlier than any version: lt le eq
           ne ge gt.  These treat an empty version as later than any
           version: lt-nl le-nl ge-nl gt-nl.  These are provided only
           for compatibility with control file syntax: < << <= = >= >>
           >.  The < and > operators are obsolete and should not be
           used, due to confusing semantics.  To illustrate: 0.1 < 0.1
           evaluates to true.

       -?, --help
           Display a brief help message.

           Give help about the --force-thing options.

       -Dh, --debug=help
           Give help about debugging options.

           Display dpkg version information.

           When used with --robot, the output will be the program
           version number in a dotted numerical format, with no newline.

       dpkg-deb actions
           See dpkg-deb(1) for more information about the following
           actions, and other actions and options not exposed by the
           dpkg front-end.

           -b, --build directory [archive|directory]
               Build a deb package.

           -c, --contents archive
               List contents of a deb package.

           -e, --control archive [directory]
               Extract control-information from a package.

           -x, --extract archive directory
               Extract the files contained by package.

           -X, --vextract archive directory
               Extract and display the filenames contained by a package.

           -f, --field  archive [control-field...]
               Display control field(s) of a package.

           --ctrl-tarfile archive
               Output the control tar-file contained in a Debian

           --fsys-tarfile archive
               Output the filesystem tar-file contained by a Debian

           -I, --info archive [control-file...]
               Show information about a package.

       dpkg-query actions
           See dpkg-query(1) for more information about the following
           actions, and other actions and options not exposed by the
           dpkg front-end.

           -l, --list package-name-pattern...
               List packages matching given pattern.

           -s, --status package-name...
               Report status of specified package.

           -L, --listfiles package-name...
               List files installed to your system from package-name.

           -S, --search filename-search-pattern...
               Search for a filename from installed packages.

           -p, --print-avail package-name...
               Display details about package-name, as found in
               /usr/local/var/lib/dpkg/available.  Users of APT-based
               frontends should use apt show package-name instead.

OPTIONS         top

       All options can be specified both on the command line and in the
       dpkg configuration file /usr/local/etc/dpkg/dpkg.cfg or fragment
       files (with names matching this shell pattern '[0-9a-zA-Z_-]*')
       on the configuration directory /usr/local/etc/dpkg/dpkg.cfg.d/.
       Each line in the configuration file is either an option (exactly
       the same as the command line option but without leading hyphens)
       or a comment (if it starts with a ‘#’).

           Change after how many errors dpkg will abort.  The default is

       -B, --auto-deconfigure
           When a package is removed, there is a possibility that
           another installed package depended on the removed package.
           Specifying this option will cause automatic deconfiguration
           of the package which depended on the removed package.

       -Doctal, --debug=octal
           Switch debugging on.  octal is formed by bitwise-ORing
           desired values together from the list below (note that these
           values may change in future releases).  -Dh or --debug=help
           display these debugging values.

               Number   Description
                    1   Generally helpful progress information
                    2   Invocation and status of maintainer scripts
                   10   Output for each file processed
                  100   Lots of output for each file processed
                   20   Output for each configuration file
                  200   Lots of output for each configuration file
                   40   Dependencies and conflicts
                  400   Lots of dependencies/conflicts output
                10000   Trigger activation and processing
                20000   Lots of output regarding triggers
                40000   Silly amounts of output regarding triggers
                 1000   Lots of drivel about for example the dpkg/info dir
                 2000   Insane amounts of drivel

       --no-force-things, --refuse-things
           Force or refuse (no-force and refuse mean the same thing) to
           do some things.  things is a comma separated list of things
           specified below.  --force-help displays a message describing
           them.  Things marked with (*) are forced by default.

           Warning: These options are mostly intended to be used by
           experts only.  Using them without fully understanding their
           effects may break your whole system.

             Turns on (or off) all force options.

             Install a package, even if newer version of it is already

             Warning: At present dpkg does not do any dependency
             checking on downgrades and therefore will not warn you if
             the downgrade breaks the dependency of some other package.
             This can have serious side effects, downgrading essential
             system components can even make your whole system unusable.
             Use with care.

             Configure also any unpacked but unconfigured packages on
             which the current package depends.

             Allow automatic installs, upgrades or removals of packages
             even when marked to be on “hold”.  Note: When these actions
             are requested explicitly, the “hold” package selection
             state always gets ignored.

             Remove a package, even if it's broken and marked to require
             reinstallation.  This may, for example, cause parts of the
             package to remain on the system, which will then be
             forgotten by dpkg.

             Remove, even if the package is considered protected (since
             dpkg 1.20.1).  Protected packages contain mostly important
             system boot infrastructure or are used for custom system-
             local meta-packages.  Removing them might cause the whole
             system to be unable to boot or lose required functionality
             to operate, so use with caution.

             Remove, even if the package is considered essential.
             Essential packages contain mostly very basic Unix commands,
             required for the packaging system, for the operation of the
             system in general or during boot (although the latter
             should be converted to protected packages instead).
             Removing them might cause the whole system to stop working,
             so use with caution.

             Turn all dependency problems into warnings.  This affects
             the Pre-Depends and Depends fields.

             Don't care about versions when checking dependencies.  This
             affects the Pre-Depends and Depends fields.

             Install, even if this would break another package (since
             dpkg 1.14.6).  This affects the Breaks field.

             Install, even if it conflicts with another package.  This
             is dangerous, for it will usually cause overwriting of some
             files.  This affects the Conflicts field.

             Always install the missing conffile without prompting.
             This is dangerous, since it means not preserving a change
             (removing) made to the file.

             If a conffile has been modified and the version in the
             package did change, always install the new version without
             prompting, unless the --force-confdef is also specified, in
             which case the default action is preferred.

             If a conffile has been modified and the version in the
             package did change, always keep the old version without
             prompting, unless the --force-confdef is also specified, in
             which case the default action is preferred.

             If a conffile has been modified and the version in the
             package did change, always choose the default action
             without prompting.  If there is no default action it will
             stop to ask the user unless --force-confnew or
             --force-confold is also given, in which case it will use
             that to decide the final action.

             If a conffile has been modified always offer to replace it
             with the version in the package, even if the version in the
             package did not change (since dpkg 1.15.8).  If any of
             --force-confnew, --force-confold, or --force-confdef is
             also given, it will be used to decide the final action.

             Overwrite one package's file with another's file.

             Overwrite one package's directory with another's file.

             Overwrite a diverted file with an undiverted version.

             Overwrite an existing stat override when adding it (since
             dpkg 1.19.5).

             Ignore a missing stat override when removing it (since dpkg

             Use platform-specific Mandatory Access Controls (MAC) based
             security when installing files into the filesystem (since
             dpkg 1.19.5).  On Linux systems the implementation uses

             Do not perform safe I/O operations when unpacking (since
             dpkg  Currently this implies not performing file
             system syncs before file renames, which is known to cause
             substantial performance degradation on some file systems,
             unfortunately the ones that require the safe I/O on the
             first place due to their unreliable behaviour causing zero-
             length files on abrupt system crashes.

             Note: For ext4, the main offender, consider using instead
             the mount option nodelalloc, which will fix both the
             performance degradation and the data safety issues, the
             latter by making the file system not produce zero-length
             files on abrupt system crashes with any software not doing
             syncs before atomic renames.

             Warning: Using this option might improve performance at the
             cost of losing data, use with care.

             Run maintainer scripts without chroot(2)ing into instdir
             even if the package does not support this mode of operation
             (since dpkg 1.18.5).

             Warning: This can destroy your host system, use with
             extreme care.

             Process even packages with wrong or no architecture.

             Process even packages with wrong versions (since dpkg

             PATH is missing important programs, so problems are likely.

             Try to (de)install things even when not root.

             Install a package even if it fails authenticity check.

           Ignore dependency-checking for specified packages (actually,
           checking is performed, but only warnings about conflicts are
           given, nothing else).  This affects the Pre-Depends, Depends
           and Breaks fields.

       --no-act, --dry-run, --simulate
           Do everything which is supposed to be done, but don't write
           any changes.  This is used to see what would happen with the
           specified action, without actually modifying anything.

           Be sure to give --no-act before the action-parameter, or you
           might end up with undesirable results (e.g. dpkg --purge foo
           --no-act will first purge package “foo” and then try to purge
           package ”--no-act”, even though you probably expected it to
           actually do nothing).

       -R, --recursive
           Recursively handle all regular files matching pattern *.deb
           found at specified directories and all of its subdirectories.
           This can be used with -i, -A, --install, --unpack and
           --record-avail actions.

       -G  Don't install a package if a newer version of the same
           package is already installed.  This is an alias of

           Set the administrative directory to directory.  This
           directory contains many files that give information about
           status of installed or uninstalled packages, etc.  Defaults
           to «/usr/local/var/lib/dpkg» if DPKG_ADMINDIR has not been

           Set the installation directory, which refers to the directory
           where packages are to be installed.  instdir is also the
           directory passed to chroot(2) before running package's
           installation scripts, which means that the scripts see
           instdir as a root directory.  Defaults to «/».

           Set the root directory to directory, which sets the
           installation directory to «dir» and the administrative
           directory to «dir/usr/local/var/lib/dpkg».

       -O, --selected-only
           Only process the packages that are selected for installation.
           The actual marking is done with dselect or by dpkg, when it
           handles packages.  For example, when a package is removed, it
           will be marked selected for deinstallation.

       -E, --skip-same-version
           Don't install the package if the same version and
           architecture of the package is already installed.

           Since dpkg 1.21.10, the architecture is also taken into
           account, which makes it possible to cross-grade packages or
           install additional co-installable instances with the same
           version, but different architecture.

           Set an invoke hook command to be run via “sh -c” before or
           after the dpkg run for the unpack, configure, install,
           triggers-only, remove and purge actions (since dpkg 1.15.4),
           and add-architecture and remove-architecture actions (since
           dpkg 1.17.19).  This option can be specified multiple times.
           The order the options are specified is preserved, with the
           ones from the configuration files taking precedence.  The
           environment variable DPKG_HOOK_ACTION is set for the hooks to
           the current dpkg action.

           The invoke hooks are not executed when --no-act is specified,
           or when running as non-root without --force-not-root.

           Note: Front-ends might call dpkg several times per
           invocation, which might run the hooks more times than

           Set glob-pattern as a path filter, either by excluding or re-
           including previously excluded paths matching the specified
           patterns during install (since dpkg 1.15.8).

           Warning: Take into account that depending on the excluded
           paths you might completely break your system, use with

           The glob patterns use the same wildcards used in the shell,
           were ‘*’ matches any sequence of characters, including the
           empty string and also ‘/’.  For example, «/usr/*/READ*»
           matches «/usr/share/doc/package/README».  As usual, ‘?’
           matches any single character (again, including ‘/’).  And ‘[’
           starts a character class, which can contain a list of
           characters, ranges and complementations.  See glob(7) for
           detailed information about globbing.  Note: The current
           implementation might re-include more directories and symlinks
           than needed, in particular when there is a more specific re-
           inclusion, to be on the safe side and avoid possible unpack
           failures; future work might fix this.

           This can be used to remove all paths except some particular
           ones; a typical case is:


           to remove all documentation files except the copyright files.

           These two options can be specified multiple times, and
           interleaved with each other.  Both are processed in the given
           order, with the last rule that matches a file name making the

           The filters are applied when unpacking the binary packages,
           and as such only have knowledge of the type of object
           currently being filtered (e.g. a normal file or a directory)
           and have not visibility of what objects will come next.
           Because these filters have side effects (in contrast to
           find(1) filters), excluding an exact pathname that happens to
           be a directory object like /usr/share/doc will not have the
           desired result, and only that pathname will be excluded
           (which could be automatically reincluded if the code sees the
           need).  Any subsequent files contained within that directory
           will fail to unpack.

           Hint: make sure the globs are not expanded by your shell.

       --verify-format format-name
           Sets the output format for the --verify command (since dpkg

           The only currently supported output format is rpm, which
           consists of a line for every path that failed any check.
           These lines have the following format:

            missing   [c] pathname [(error-message)]
            ?M5?????? [c] pathname

           The first 9 characters are used to report the checks result,
           either a literal missing when the file is not present or its
           metadata cannot be fetched, or one of the following special
           characters that report the result for each check:

           ‘?’ Implies the check could not be done (lack of support,
               file permissions, etc).

           ‘.’ Implies the check passed.

               Implies a specific check failed.  The following positions
               and alphanumeric characters are currently supported:

               1 ‘?’
                   These checks are currently not supported, will always
                   be ‘?’.

               2 ‘M’
                   The file mode check failed (since dpkg 1.21.0).
                   Because pathname metadata is currently not tracked,
                   this check can only be partially emulated via a very
                   simple heuristic for pathnames that have a known
                   digest, which implies they should be regular files,
                   where the check will fail if the pathname is not a
                   regular file on the filesystem.  This check will
                   currently never succeed as it does not have enough
                   information available.

               3 ‘5’
                   The digest check failed, which means the file
                   contents have changed.  This is only an integrity
                   check and should not be considered as any kind of
                   security verification.

               4-9 ‘?’
                   These checks are currently not supported, will always
                   be ‘?’.

           The line is followed by a space and an attribute character.
           The following attribute character is supported:

           ‘c’ The pathname is a conffile.

           Finally followed by another space and the pathname.

           In case the entry was of the missing type, and the file was
           not actually present on the filesystem, then the line is
           followed by a space and the error message enclosed within

       --status-fd n
           Send machine-readable package status and progress information
           to file descriptor n.  This option can be specified multiple
           times.  The information is generally one record per line, in
           one of the following forms:

           status: package: status
               Package status changed; status is as in the status file.

           status: package : error : extended-error-message
               An error occurred.  Any possible newlines in extended-
               error-message will be converted to spaces before output.

           status: file : conffile-prompt : 'real-old' 'real-new'
           useredited distedited
               User is being asked a conffile question.

           processing: stage: package
               Sent just before a processing stage starts.  stage is one
               of upgrade, install (both sent before unpacking),
               configure, trigproc, disappear, remove, purge.

           Send machine-readable package status and progress information
           to the shell command's standard input, to be run via “sh -c”
           (since dpkg 1.16.0).  This option can be specified multiple
           times.  The output format used is the same as in --status-fd.

           The status loggers are not executed when --no-act is
           specified, or when running as non-root without

           Log status change updates and actions to filename, instead of
           the default /usr/local/var/log/dpkg.log.  If this option is
           given multiple times, the last filename is used.  Log
           messages are of the form:

           YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS startup type command
               For each dpkg invocation where type is archives (with a
               command of unpack or install) or packages (with a command
               of configure, triggers-only, remove or purge).

           YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS status state pkg installed-version
               For status change updates.

           YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS action pkg installed-version available-
               For actions where action is one of install, upgrade,
               configure, trigproc, disappear, remove or purge.

           YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS conffile filename decision
               For conffile changes where decision is either install or

           Use a machine-readable output format.  This provides an
           interface for programs that need to parse the output of some
           of the commands that do not otherwise emit a machine-readable
           output format.  No localization will be used, and the output
           will be modified to make it easier to parse.

           The only currently supported command is --version.

           Disables the use of any pager when showing information (since
           dpkg 1.19.2).

           Do not try to verify package signatures.

           Do not run any triggers in this run (since dpkg 1.14.17), but
           activations will still be recorded.  If used with --configure
           package or --triggers-only package then the named package
           postinst will still be run even if only a triggers run is
           needed.  Use of this option may leave packages in the
           improper triggers-awaited and triggers-pending states.  This
           can be fixed later by running: dpkg --configure --pending.

           Cancels a previous --no-triggers (since dpkg 1.14.17).

EXIT STATUS         top

       0   The requested action was successfully performed.  Or a check
           or assertion command returned true.

       1   A check or assertion command returned false.

       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

   External environment
           This variable is expected to be defined in the environment
           and point to the system paths where several required programs
           are to be found.  If it's not set or the programs are not
           found, dpkg will abort.

           If set, dpkg will use it as the directory from which to read
           the user specific configuration file.

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

           The program dpkg will execute when starting a new interactive
           shell, or when spawning a command via a shell.

           The program dpkg will execute when running a pager, which
           will be executed with «$SHELL -c», for example when
           displaying the conffile differences.  If SHELL is not set,
           «sh» will be used instead.  The DPKG_PAGER overrides the
           PAGER environment variable (since dpkg 1.19.2).

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

           If set, it will be used to decide whether to activate Native
           Language Support, also known as internationalization (or
           i18n) support (since dpkg 1.22.7).  The accepted values are:
           0 and 1 (default).

           Sets the debug mask (since dpkg 1.21.10) from an octal value.
           The currently accepted flags are described in the --debug

           Sets the force flags (since dpkg 1.19.5).  When this variable
           is present, no built-in force defaults will be applied.  If
           the variable is present but empty, all force flags will be

           If set and the --admindir or --root options have not been
           specified, it will be used as the dpkg administrative
           directory (since dpkg 1.20.0).

           Set by a package manager frontend to notify dpkg that it
           should not acquire the frontend lock (since dpkg 1.19.1).

   Internal environment
           Defined by dpkg to “-FRSXMQ”, if not already set, when
           spawning a pager (since dpkg 1.19.2).  To change the default
           behavior, this variable can be preset to some other value
           including an empty string, or the PAGER or DPKG_PAGER
           variables can be set to disable specific options with «-+»,
           for example DPKG_PAGER="less -+F".

           Defined by dpkg on the maintainer script environment to
           indicate which installation to act on (since dpkg 1.18.5).
           The value is intended to be prepended to any path maintainer
           scripts operate on.  During normal operation, this variable
           is empty.  When installing packages into a different instdir,
           dpkg normally invokes maintainer scripts using chroot(2) and
           leaves this variable empty, but if --force-script-chrootless
           is specified then the chroot(2) call is skipped and instdir
           is non-empty.

           Defined by dpkg on the maintainer script environment to
           indicate the dpkg administrative directory to use (since dpkg
           1.16.0).  This variable is always set to the current
           --admindir value.

           Defined by dpkg on the subprocesses environment to all the
           currently enabled force option names separated by commas
           (since dpkg 1.19.5).

           Defined by dpkg on the shell spawned on the conffile prompt
           to examine the situation (since dpkg 1.15.6).  Current valid
           value: conffile-prompt.

           Defined by dpkg on the shell spawned on the conffile prompt
           to examine the situation (since dpkg 1.15.6).  Contains the
           path to the old conffile.

           Defined by dpkg on the shell spawned on the conffile prompt
           to examine the situation (since dpkg 1.15.6).  Contains the
           path to the new conffile.

           Defined by dpkg on the shell spawned when executing a hook
           action (since dpkg 1.15.4).  Contains the current dpkg

           Defined by dpkg on the maintainer script environment to the
           version of the currently running dpkg instance (since dpkg

           Defined by dpkg on the maintainer script environment to the
           (non-arch-qualified) package name being handled (since dpkg

           Defined by dpkg on the maintainer script environment to the
           package reference count, i.e. the number of package instances
           with a state greater than not-installed (since dpkg 1.17.2).

           Defined by dpkg on the maintainer script environment to the
           architecture the package got built for (since dpkg 1.15.4).

           Defined by dpkg on the maintainer script environment to the
           name of the script running, one of preinst, postinst, prerm
           or postrm (since dpkg 1.15.7).

           Defined by dpkg on the maintainer script environment to a
           value (‘0’ or ‘1’) noting whether debugging has been
           requested (with the --debug option) for the maintainer
           scripts (since dpkg 1.18.4).

FILES         top

           Configuration fragment files (since dpkg 1.15.4).

           Configuration file with default options.

           Default log file (see /usr/local/etc/dpkg/dpkg.cfg and option

       The other files listed below are in their default directories,
       see option --admindir to see how to change locations of these

           List of available packages.

           Statuses of available packages.  This file contains
           information about whether a package is marked for removing or
           not, whether it is installed or not, etc.  See section
           "INFORMATION ABOUT PACKAGES" for more info.

           The status file is backed up daily in /usr/local/var/backups.
           It can be useful if it's lost or corrupted due to filesystems

       The format and contents of a binary package are described in

   Filesystem filenames
       During unpacking and configuration dpkg uses various filenames
       for backup and rollback purposes.  The following is a simplified
       explanation of how these filenames get used during package

           During unpack, dpkg extracts new filesystem objects into
           pathname.dpkg-new (except for existing directories or
           symlinks to directories which get skipped), once that is done
           and after having performed backups of the old objects, the
           objects get renamed to pathname.

           During unpack, dpkg makes backups of the old filesystem
           objects into pathname.dpkg-tmp after extracting the new
           objects.  These backups are performed as either a rename for
           directories (but only if they switch file type), a new
           symlink copy for symlinks, or a hard link for any other
           filesystem object, except for conffiles which get no backups
           because they are processed at a later stage.

           In case of needing to rollback, these backups get used to
           restore the previous contents of the objects.  These get
           removed automatically after the installation is complete.

           During configuration, when installing a new version, dpkg can
           make a backup of the previous modified conffile into

           During configuration, when keeping the old version, dpkg can
           make a backup of the new unmodified conffile into

SECURITY         top

       Any operation that needs write access to the database or the
       filesystem is considered a privileged operation that might allow
       root escalation.  These operations must never be delegated to an
       untrusted user or be done on untrusted packages, as that might
       allow root access to the system.

       Some operations (such as package verification) might need root
       privileges to be able to access files on the filesystem that
       would otherwise be inaccessible due to restricted permissions,
       but should otherwise work normally and produce appropriate
       messages in those cases.

       Query operations should never require root, and delegating their
       execution to unprivileged users via some gain-root command can
       have security implications (such as privilege escalation), for
       example when a pager is automatically invoked by the tool.

       See also the SECURITY section of the dpkg-deb(1) and
       dpkg-split(1) manual pages.

BUGS         top

       --no-act usually gives less information than might be helpful.

EXAMPLES         top

       To list installed packages related to the editor vi(1) (note that
       dpkg-query does not load the available file anymore by default,
       and the dpkg-query --load-avail option should be used instead for

        dpkg -l '*vi*'

       To see the entries in /usr/local/var/lib/dpkg/available of two

        dpkg --print-avail vim neovim | less

       To search the listing of packages yourself:

        dpkg --print-avail | less

       To remove an installed neovim package:

        dpkg -r neovim

       To install a package, you first need to find it in an archive or
       media disc.  When using an archive based on a pool structure,
       knowing the archive area and the name of the package is enough to
       infer the pathname:

        dpkg -i /media/bdrom/pool/main/v/vim/vim_9.0.2018-1_amd64.deb

       To make a local copy of the package selection states:

        dpkg --get-selections >myselections

       You might transfer this file to another computer, and after
       having updated the available file there with your package manager
       frontend of choice (see
       <https://wiki.debian.org/Teams/Dpkg/FAQ#set-selections> for more
       details), for example:

        apt-cache dumpavail | dpkg --merge-avail

       you can install it with:

        dpkg --clear-selections
        dpkg --set-selections <myselections

       Note that this will not actually install or remove anything, but
       just set the selection state on the requested packages.  You will
       need some other application to actually download and install the
       requested packages.  For example, run apt-get dselect-upgrade.

       Ordinarily, you will find that dselect(1) provides a more
       convenient way to modify the package selection states.


       Additional functionality can be gained by installing any of the
       following packages: apt, aptitude and debsig-verify.

SEE ALSO         top

       aptitude(8), apt(8), dselect(1), dpkg-deb(1), dpkg-query(1),
       deb(5), deb-control(5), dpkg.cfg(5), and dpkg-reconfigure(8).

AUTHORS         top

       See /usr/local/share/doc/dpkg/THANKS for the list of people who
       have contributed to dpkg.

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 ⟨git
       clone https://git.dpkg.org/git/dpkg/dpkg.git⟩ on 2024-06-14.  (At
       that time, the date of the most recent commit that was found in
       the repository was 2024-05-21.)  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

1.22.6-77-g86fe7               2024-03-10                        dpkg(1)

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