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

dpkg(1) 				    dpkg suite					  dpkg(1)

       dpkg - package manager for Debian

       dpkg [options] action

       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.

       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).  The following are dpkg-deb  actions,
       and if they are encountered, dpkg just runs dpkg-deb with the parameters given to it:
	   -b, --build,
	   -c, --contents,
	   -I, --info,
	   -f, --field,
	   -e, --control,
	   -x, --extract,
	   -X, --vextract, and
       Please refer to dpkg-deb(1) for information about these actions.

       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.

	      The package is not installed on your system.

	      Only the configuration files of the package exist on the system.

	      The  installation  of the package has been started, but not completed for some rea-

	      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 unpacked and configured OK.

	      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).

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

       -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	installa-
	      tion, 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 restored.

	      5. If another version of the same package was installed before  the  new	installa-
	      tion,  execute  the postrm script of the old package. Note that this script is exe-
	      cuted 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  speci-
	      fied, 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-reconfig-
	      ure(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. 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 trig-
	      gers-awaited and triggers-pending states. This can be fixed later by running:  dpkg
	      --configure --pending.

       -r, --remove, -P, --purge package...|-a|--pending
	      Remove  an  installed  package.  -r or --remove remove everything except conffiles.
	      This may avoid having to reconfigure the package if it is reinstalled later. (Conf-
	      files  are  configuration  files	that  are  listed in the DEBIAN/conffiles control
	      file). -P or --purge removes everything, including conffiles. If -a or --pending is
	      given  instead  of  a  package  name,  then all packages unpacked, but marked to be
	      removed or purged in file /var/lib/dpkg/status,  are  removed  or  purged,  respec-
	      tively.  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 individ-
	      ual users' home directories.

	      Removing of a package consists of the following steps:

	      1. Run prerm script

	      2. Remove the installed files

	      3. Run postrm script

       --update-avail, --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.
	      dpkg keeps its record of available packages in /var/lib/dpkg/available.

	      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, pack-
	      age_file must refer to a directory instead.

	      Now obsolete and a no-op as dpkg will automatically forget uninstalled  unavailable

	      Erase the existing information about what packages are available.

	-C, --audit
	      Searches	for packages that have been installed only partially on your system. dpkg
	      will suggest what to do with them to get them working.

       --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

	      Set package selections using file read from stdin. This file should be in the  for-
	      mat  '<package>  <state>', where state is one of install, hold, deinstall or purge.
	      Blank lines and comment lines beginning with '#' are also permitted.

	      Set the requested state of every	non-essential  package	to  deinstall.	 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.

	      Print architecture of packages dpkg installs (for example, "i386").

       --foreign-architecture architecture
	      Add  architecture  to the list of architectures for which packages can be installed
	      without using --force-architecture, in addition to the architecture dpkg	is  built
	      for (i.e.: the output of --print-architecture).

	      Print a space-separated list of the extra architectures dpkg is configured to allow
	      packages to be installed for.

       --compare-versions ver1 op ver2
	      Compare version numbers, where op is a binary operator. dpkg returns success  (zero
	      result)  if the specified condition is satisfied, and failure (nonzero result) oth-
	      erwise. 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: < << <=
	      = >= >> >.

       --command-fd <n>
	      Accept a series of commands on input file descriptor <n>. Note: additional  options
	      set on the command line, and through this file descriptor, are not reset for subse-
	      quent commands executed during the same run.

       --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 actions.

	      -b, --build directory [archive|directory]
		  Build a deb package.
	      -c, --contents archive
		  List contents of a deb package.
	      -e, --control filename [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.
	      --fsys-tarfile archive
		  Display 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 actions.

	      -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
		  /var/lib/dpkg/available. Users of APT-based frontends
		  should use apt-cache show package-name instead.

       All options can be specified both on the command line and in the dpkg  configuration  file
       /etc/dpkg/dpkg.cfg or the files on the configuration directory /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 dashes) 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 decon-
	      figuration of the package which depended on the removed package.

       -Doctal, --debug=octal
	      Switch debugging on. octal is formed by bitwise-orring 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

       --force-things, --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  mes-
	      sage 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.

	      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  compo-
	      nents can even make your whole system unusable. Use with care.

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

	      hold: Process packages even when marked "hold".

	      remove-reinstreq: Remove a package, even if it's broken and marked to require rein-
	      stallation. This may, for example, cause parts of the package to remain on the sys-
	      tem, 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.

	      depends-version: Don't care about versions when checking dependencies.

	      breaks: Install, even if this would break another package.

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

	      confmiss:  Always install a missing conffile. This is dangerous, since it means not
	      preserving a change (removing) made to the file.

	      confnew: If a conffile has been modified 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  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 always choose the default action. 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 ver-
	      sion in the package, even if the version in the package did not change. If  any  of
	      --force-confmiss,  --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 file.

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

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

	      unsafe-io: Do not perform  safe  I/O  operations	when  unpacking.  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 nodelal-
	      loc,  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.

	      architecture: Process even packages with wrong or no architecture.

	      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).

       --new, --old
	      Select new or old binary package format. This is a dpkg-deb(1) option.

	      Don't  read  or check contents of control file while building a package.	This is a
	      dpkg-deb(1) option.

       --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 --avail actions.

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

	      Change default administrative directory, which contains many files that give infor-
	      mation  about  status  of  installed  or	uninstalled  packages, etc.  (Defaults to

	      Change default installation directory which refers to the directory where  packages
	      are  to be installed. instdir is also the directory passed to chroot(2) before run-
	      ning package's installation scripts, which means that the scripts see instdir as	a
	      root directory.  (Defaults to /)

	      Changing root changes instdir to dir and admindir to dir/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 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 and purge dpkg actions.  This
	      option can be specified multiple times. The order the options are specified is pre-
	      served, with the ones from the configuration files taking precedence.  The environ-
	      ment  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.

	      Warning: take into account that depending on the	excluded  paths  you  might  com-
	      pletely break your system, use with caution.

	      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


	      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 decision.

       --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 com-
	      mand's standard input. This option can be specified multiple times. The output for-
	      mat used is the same as in --status-fd.

	      Log  status  change  updates  and  actions  to  filename,  instead  of  the default
	      /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 status <state> <pkg>
	      <installed-version>' for status change updates; `YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS <action> <pkg>
	      <installed-version>  <available-version>'  for  actions  where  <action>	is one of
	      install, upgrade, remove,  purge;  and  `YYYY-MM-DD  HH:MM:SS  conffile  <filename>
	      <decision>' for conffile changes where <decision> is either install or keep.

	      Do not try to verify package signatures.

	      Do  not run any triggers in this run (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.

	      Configuration file with default options.

	      Default log file (see /etc/dpkg/dpkg.cfg(5) and option --log).

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

	      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 troubles.

       The  following  files  are components of a binary package. See deb(5) for more information
       about them:







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

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

       PAGER  The program dpkg will execute when displaying the conffiles.

       SHELL  The program dpkg will execute when starting a new shell.

	      Sets the number of columns dpkg should use when  displaying  formatted  text.  Cur-
	      rently only used by -l.

	      Defined  by  dpkg on the shell spawned on the conffile prompt to examine the situa-
	      tion. Current valid value: conffile-prompt.

	      Defined by dpkg on the shell spawned on the conffile prompt to examine  the  situa-
	      tion. Contains the path to the old conffile.

	      Defined  by  dpkg on the shell spawned on the conffile prompt to examine the situa-
	      tion. Contains the path to the new conffile.

	      Defined by dpkg on the maintainer script environment to the  version  of	the  cur-
	      rently running dpkg instance.

	      Defined by dpkg on the maintainer script environment to the package name being han-

	      Defined by dpkg on the maintainer script environment to the architecture the  pack-
	      age got built for.

	      Defined by dpkg on the maintainer script environment to the name of the script run-
	      ning (preinst, postinst, prerm, postrm).

       To list packages related to the editor vi(1):
	    dpkg -l '*vi*'

       To see the entries in /var/lib/dpkg/available of two packages:
	    dpkg --print-avail elvis vim | less

       To search the listing of packages yourself:
	    less /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 install it there 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.

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

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

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

Debian Project				    2011-02-05					  dpkg(1)

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