Debian package management

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apt-cache -- query the APT cache[edit]

apt-get -- APT package handling utility -- command-line interface[edit]

APT: resynchronising the package index files from their sources[edit]

$ sudo apt-get update

APT: installing ...[edit]

$ sudo apt-get install PACKAGE

# do not *really* install the PACKAGE,
# just download it to the default cache directory:
$ sudo apt-get install --download-only PACKAGE

# do not *really* install the PACKAGE,
# just download it to the cache directory being specified (instead of /var/cache/apt/archives/):
$ sudo apt-get install --download-only --option dir::cache=$HOME/tmp PACKAGE

APT: installing the newest versions of all packages currently installed on the system from the sources enumerated in /etc/apt/sources.list[edit]

$ sudo apt-get upgrade
$ sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

APT: removing ...[edit]

$ sudo apt-get remove PACKAGE
$ sudo apt-get autoremove PACKAGE

apt-rdepends - performs ... dependency listings (also a reverse one)[edit]

$ apt-rdepends --reverse PACKAGE

In case of an optional resp. alternate dependency that's not shown (clearly).

which (installed?) package includes a certain FILE (utility, ...)?[edit]

$ apt-file search PATTERN

which files does a certain PACKAGE include?[edit]

$ apt-file list PACKAGE

dpkg, dpkg-query, dpkg-deb[edit]


installing a Debian package[edit]

$ sudo dpkg --install PACKAGE.deb

removing a Debian package[edit]

$ sudo dpkg --remove PACKAGE

verifying a Debian package[edit]

$ sudo dpkg --verify PACKAGE

dpkg-deb -- Debian package archive (.deb) manipulation tool[edit]

dpkg-deb packs, unpacks and provides information about Debian archives.

Use dpkg to install and remove packages from your system.

which files are included? will be created from this package file?[edit]

$ dpkg-deb --contents PACKAGE.deb

what's the official package name?[edit]

$ dpkg-deb --info PACKAGE.deb

what is the content of the ctrl-tarfile you can extract from PACKAGE.deb?[edit]

$ dpkg-deb --ctrl-tarfile PACKAGE.deb | tar tvf  -
drwxr-xr-x root/root         0 2018-08-27 17:39 ./
-rw-r--r-- root/root     21773 2018-08-27 17:39 ./md5sums
-rw-r--r-- root/root       229 2018-08-27 17:39 ./control
-rw-r--r-- root/root      1071 2018-08-27 17:36 ./conffiles
-rwxr-xr-x root/root      1228 2018-08-27 17:39 ./postinst
  • PACKAGE.deb contains a tarball (ctrl-tarfile).
  • the tarball contains ... .

what conffiles does PACKAGE.deb contain?[edit]

$ dpkg-deb --ctrl-tarfile PACKAGE.deb | tar xf  - --to-stdout ./conffiles
  • PACKAGE.deb contains a tarball (ctrl-tarfile),
  • the tarball contains ./conffiles,
  • ./conffiles is only a list of what is to be treated as conffiles, it does not contain the conffiles themselves, they are an ordinary part of PACKAGE.deb


which packages are installed (together with a couple of details)?[edit]

$ dpkg-query --list

is there an installed package, that sounds like XYZ?[edit]

$ dpkg-query --list | fgrep XYZ

details of an installed package (that you know the name of, e.g. PACKAGE)[edit]

$ dpkg-query --list PACKAGE

all details of specified package[edit]

$ dpkg-query --status PACKAGE

what's the content of an installed package (e.g. PACKAGE)[edit]

$ dpkg-query --listfiles PACKAGE

what conffiles does an installed package (e.g. PACKAGE) include[edit]

$ dpkg-query --showformat='${Conffiles}\n' --show PACKAGE
$ dpkg-query --showformat='${Conffiles}\n' --show PACKAGE | perl -pe 's/^ \s* (.*?) \s* \w+ $/$1/x'
backup all the conffiles of an installed package (e.g. PACKAGE), each one for itself[edit]
$ sudo ~jochen.hayek/bin/ $( dpkg-query --showformat='${Conffiles}\n' --show PACKAGE | perl -pe 's/^ \s* (.*?) \s* \w+ $/$1/x' )
backup all the conffiles of an installed package (e.g. PACKAGE) to a single tarball[edit]
$ sudo tar cvf ~/tmp/PACKAGE.conffiles-$(date '+%Y%m%d%H%M%S').tar --directory / $( dpkg-query --showformat='${Conffiles}\n' --show PACKAGE | perl -pe 's/^ \s* (.*?) \s* \w+ $/$1/x' )

which installed package includes a certain FILE (utility, ...)?[edit]

$ dpkg-query --search FILE

dpkg-source -- Debian source package (.dsc) manipulation tool[edit]

$ dpkg-source --extract ....dsc

needs a:

  • *.dsc
  • *.debian.tar.*
  • *.orig.tar.*

rpm2deb -- converting packages from ... to ...[edit]

alien --to-deb ...[edit]

this command line creates a Debian package from an RPM package (using that e-mail address for the (local Debian) package maintainer).
CAVEAT: won't actually work, because creating a Debian package requires running this as root

$ env EMAIL='' alien --to-deb --keep-version ...

some command line parameters can only get passed to "alien" as environment variables.

fakeroot ...[edit]

you do not have root priviliges, but you need to pretend to have them for achieving certain goals like creating a Debian package:

$ fakeroot ...

special issues[edit]

fiddling with the tree before creating the .deb[edit]

$ env EMAIL='' alien --to-deb --keep-version ...
$ cd ...
# here you want to change a few bits 
$ sudo chown ...
$ fakeroot debian/rules binary

open questions[edit]

  • how to deal with dependencies specified within the RPM package?

history of this article[edit]

This blog article got created 1st, but then the content got moved here to the wiki: