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NAME    [Toc]    [Back]

       deb - Debian binary package format

SYNOPSIS    [Toc]    [Back]


DESCRIPTION    [Toc]    [Back]

       The  .deb format is the Debian binary package file format. It is understood
 by dpkg 0.93.76 and later, and is generated  by  default  by  all
       versions  of dpkg since 1.2.0 and all i386/ELF versions since 1.1.1elf.

       The format described here is used since Debian 0.93; details of the old
       format are described in deb-old(5).

FORMAT    [Toc]    [Back]

       The file is an ar archive with a magic number of !<arch>.

       The first member is named debian-binary and contains a series of lines,
       separated by newlines.  Currently only one line is present, the	format
       version number, 2.0 at the time this manual page was written.  Programs
       which read new-format archives should be prepared for the minor	number
       to be increased and new lines to be present, and should ignore these if
       this is the case.

       If the major number has changed, an incompatible change has  been  made
       and  the program should stop. If it has not, then the program should be
       able to safely continue, unless it encounters an unexpected  member  in
       the archive (except at the end), as described below.

       The  second  required member is named control.tar.gz .  It is a gzipped
       tar archive containing the package control information, as a series  of
       plain  files,  of  which the file control is mandatory and contains the
       core control information.  Please see the Debian Packaging Manual, sec-
       tion  2.2  for details of these files.  The control tarball may optionally
 contain an entry for `.', the current directory.

       The third, last required member is named data.tar.gz .  It contains the
       filesystem archive as a gzipped tar archive.

       These  members must occur in this exact order.  Current implementations
       should ignore any additional members after data.tar.gz.	 Further  members
  may  be  defined  in the future, and (if possible) will be placed
       after these three. Any additional members that may need to be  inserted
       before  data.tar.gz  and  which	should be safely ignored by older programs,
 will have names starting with an underscore, `_'.

       Those new members which won't be able to  be  safely  ignored  will  be
       inserted  before  data.tar.gz  with names starting with something other
       than underscores, or will (more likely) cause the major version	number
       to be increased.

SEE ALSO    [Toc]    [Back]

       deb-old(5), dpkg-deb(1), deb-control(5), Debian Packaging Manual.

Debian Project			 January 2000				DEB(5)
[ Back ]
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