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Linux 2.6 - man page for dpkg-deb (linux section 1)

dpkg-deb(1)				    dpkg suite				      dpkg-deb(1)

       dpkg-deb - Debian package archive (.deb) manipulation tool

       dpkg-deb [options] command

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

       Use dpkg to install and remove packages from your system.

       You  can  also  invoke  dpkg-deb by calling dpkg with whatever options you want to pass to
       dpkg-deb. dpkg will spot that you wanted dpkg-deb and run it for you.

       -b, --build directory [archive|directory]
	      Creates a debian archive from the filesystem tree stored	in  directory.	directory
	      must  have a DEBIAN subdirectory, which contains the control information files such
	      as the control file itself. This directory will not appear in the binary	package's
	      filesystem archive, but instead the files in it will be put in the binary package's
	      control information area.

	      Unless you specify --nocheck, dpkg-deb will read DEBIAN/control and  parse  it.  It
	      will  check  it  for  syntax errors and other problems, and display the name of the
	      binary package being built.  dpkg-deb will also check the permissions of the  main-
	      tainer scripts and other files found in the DEBIAN control information directory.

	      If  no  archive  is  specified  then  dpkg-deb will write the package into the file

	      If the archive to be created already exists it will be overwritten.

	      If the second argument is a directory then dpkg-deb will write to  the  file  pack-
	      age_version_arch.deb, or package_version.deb if no Architecture field is present in
	      the package control file. When a target directory is specified, rather than a file,
	      the  --nocheck  option  may not be used (since dpkg-deb needs to read and parse the
	      package control file to determine which filename to use).

       -I, --info archive [control-file-name...]
	      Provides information about a binary package archive.

	      If no control-file-names are specified then it will print a summary of the contents
	      of the package as well as its control file.

	      If  any control-file-names are specified then dpkg-deb will print them in the order
	      they were specified; if any of the components weren't  present  it  will	print  an
	      error message to stderr about each one and exit with status 2.

       -W, --show archive
	      Provides	information about a binary package archive in the format specified by the
	      --showformat argument. The default format displays the package's name  and  version
	      on one line, separated by a tabulator.

       -f, --field archive [control-field-name...]
	      Extracts control file information from a binary package archive.

	      If no control-file-fields are specified then it will print the whole control file.

	      If any are specified then dpkg-deb will print their contents, in the order in which
	      they appear in the control file. If more than one control-file-field  is	specified
	      then dpkg-deb will precede each with its field name (and a colon and space).

	      No errors are reported for fields requested but not found.

       -c, --contents archive
	      Lists  the  contents of the filesystem tree archive portion of the package archive.
	      It is currently produced in the format generated by tar's verbose listing.

       -x, --extract archive directory
	      Extracts the filesystem tree from a package archive into the specified directory.

	      Note that extracting a package to the root directory will not result in  a  correct
	      installation! Use dpkg to install packages.

	      directory  (but  not its parents) will be created if necessary, and its permissions
	      modified to match the contents of the package.

       -X, --vextract archive directory
	      Is like --extract (-x) but prints a listing of the files extracted as it goes.

       --fsys-tarfile archive
	      Extracts the filesystem tree data from a binary package and sends  it  to  standard
	      output in tar format. Together with tar(1) this can be used to extract a particular
	      file from a package archive.

       -e, --control archive [directory]
	      Extracts the control information files from a package archive  into  the	specified

	      If no directory is specified then a subdirectory DEBIAN in the current directory is

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

       -h, --help
	      Show the usage message and exit.

	      Show the version and exit.

	      This option is used to specify the format of the output --show  will  produce.  The
	      format is a string that will be output for each package listed.

	      The string may reference any status field using the "${field-name}" form, a list of
	      the valid fields can be easily produced using -I on the same  package.  A  complete
	      explanation  of  the  formatting options (including escape sequences and field tab-
	      bing) can be found in the explanation of the --showformat option in dpkg-query(1).

	      The default for this field is "${Package}\t${Version}\n".

	      Specify which compression level to pass to the  compressor  backend  program,  when
	      building a package.

	      Specify  which  compression type to use when building a package. Allowed values are
	      gzip, xz, bzip2, lzma, and none (default is gzip).

       --new  Ensures that dpkg-deb builds a `new' format archive. This is the default.

       --old  Forces dpkg-deb to build an `old' format archive. This old archive format  is  less
	      easily  parsed by non-Debian tools and is now obsolete; its only use is when build-
	      ing packages to be parsed by versions of dpkg older than 0.93.76 (September  1995),
	      which was released as i386 a.out only.

	      Inhibits	dpkg-deb  --build's  usual checks on the proposed contents of an archive.
	      You can build any archive you want, no matter how broken, this way.

       -D, --debug
	      Enables debugging output. This is not very interesting.

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

       dpkg-deb -I package1.deb package2.deb does the wrong thing.

       There  is  no  authentication  on  .deb files; in fact, there isn't even a straightforward
       checksum.  (Higher level tools like APT support	authenticating	.deb  packages	retrieved
       from  a given repository, and most packages nowadays provide an md5sum control file gener-
       ated by debian/rules. Though this is not directly supported by the lower level tools.)

       Do not attempt to use just dpkg-deb to install software!  You  must  use  dpkg  proper  to
       ensure  that all the files are correctly placed and the package's scripts run and its sta-
       tus and contents recorded.

       deb(5), deb-control(5), dpkg(1), dselect(1).

       Copyright (C) 1995-1996 Ian Jackson

       This is free software; see the GNU General Public Licence version 2 or later  for  copying
       conditions. There is NO WARRANTY.

Debian Project				    2010-03-07				      dpkg-deb(1)

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