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 tool to install, build, remove and manage Debian
       packages. The primary and more user-friendly front-end for dpkg
       is aptitude(1). 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 of the package exist on the

              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.

       hold   A package marked to be on hold is not handled by dpkg,
              unless forced to do that with option --force-hold.

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

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

              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.

       --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

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

              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.

       --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 --pending.

       -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

              Removing of a package consists of the following steps:

              1. Run prerm script

              2. Remove the installed files

              3. Run postrm script

       -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 directories.

              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.

       -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.

              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 expect.

       -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 packages.

       -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

              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).

              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 is:

                     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

                     Supports multiple Conflicts and Replaces (since

                     Supports multi-arch fields and semantics (since
                     dpkg 1.16.2).

                     Supports versioned Provides (since dpkg 1.17.11).

       --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

                     Validates the given trigger name (since dpkg

                     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.

       dpkg-deb actions
              See dpkg-deb(1) for more information about the following

              -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
              -f, --field  archive [control-field...]
                  Display control field(s) of a package.
              --ctrl-tarfile archive
                  Output the control tar-file contained in a Debian package.
              --fsys-tarfile archive
                  Output the filesystem tar-file contained by a Debian package.
              -I, --info archive [control-file...]
                  Show information about a package.

       dpkg-query actions
              See dpkg-query(1) for more information about the following

              -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-cache 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 50.

       -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 e.g. 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

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

              all: Turns on (or off) all force options.

              downgrade(*): Install a package, even if newer version of
              it is already installed.

              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-any: Configure also any unpacked but
              unconfigured packages on which the current package

              hold: Process packages even when marked “hold”.

              remove-reinstreq: 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-essential: Remove, even if the package is
              considered essential. Essential packages contain mostly
              very basic Unix commands. Removing them might cause the
              whole system to stop working, so use with caution.

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

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

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

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

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

              confnew: 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.

              confold: 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.

              confdef: 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 been given, in which case it will
              use that to decide the final action.

              confask: 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: Overwrite one package's file with another's

              overwrite-dir: Overwrite one package's directory with
              another's file.

              overwrite-diverted: Overwrite a diverted file with an
              undiverted version.

              statoverride-add: Overwrite an existing stat override when
              adding it (since dpkg 1.19.5).

              statoverride-remove: Ignore a missing stat override when
              removing it (since dpkg 1.19.5).

              security-mac(*): 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 SELinux.

              unsafe-io: 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.

              script-chrootless: 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.

              architecture: Process even packages with wrong or no

              bad-version: Process even packages with wrong versions
              (since dpkg 1.16.1).

              bad-path: PATH is missing important programs, so problems
              are likely.

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

              bad-verify: 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

              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».

              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

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

              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, purge, add-architecture and
              remove-architecture dpkg actions (since dpkg 1.15.4;
              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. Note: front-
              ends might call dpkg several times per invocation, which
              might run the hooks more times than expected.

              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, 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

              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 decision.

              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 1.17.2).

              The only currently supported output format is rpm, which
              consists of a line for every path that failed any check.
              The lines start with 9 characters to report each specific
              check result, a ‘?’ implies the check could not be done
              (lack of support, file permissions, etc), ‘.’ implies the
              check passed, and an alphanumeric character implies a
              specific check failed; the md5sum verification failure
              (the file contents have changed) is denoted with a ‘5’ on
              the third character.  The line is followed by a space and
              an attribute character (currently ‘c’ for conffiles),
              another space and the pathname.

       --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

              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,

              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.

              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
                     For actions where action is one of install,
                     upgrade, configure, trigproc, disappear, remove or

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

              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
       PATH   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.

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

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

       SHELL  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, 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.

              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 disabled.

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

   Internal environment
       LESS   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 1.14.17).

              Defined by dpkg on the maintainer script environment to
              the (non-arch-qualified) package name being handled (since
              dpkg 1.14.17).

              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

              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 --log).

       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 /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

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 elvis vim | less

       To search the listing of packages yourself:
            less /usr/local/var/lib/dpkg/available

       To remove an installed elvis package:
            dpkg -r elvis

       To install a package, you first need to find it in an archive or
       CDROM. The available file shows that the vim package is in
       section editors:
            cd /media/cdrom/pool/main/v/vim
            dpkg -i vim_4.5-3.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
       for more details), for example:
            apt-cache dumpavail | dpkg --merge-avail
       or with dpkg 1.17.6 and earlier:
            apt-cache dumpavail >"$avail"
            dpkg --merge-avail "$avail"
            rm "$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 debsums.

SEE ALSO         top

       aptitude(1), apt(1), 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
       ⟨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(1)

Pages that refer to this page: dpkg-architecture(1)dpkg-deb(1)dpkg-divert(1)dpkg-name(1)dpkg-query(1)dpkg-scanpackages(1)dpkg-split(1)dpkg-statoverride(1)dpkg-trigger(1)dselect(1)deb-conffiles(5)deb-control(5)deb-postinst(5)deb-postrm(5)deb-preinst(5)deb-prerm(5)deb-substvars(5)deb-triggers(5)dpkg.cfg(5)deb-version(7)