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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  architec-
	      ture 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) 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 com-
	      patibility 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 subsequent 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 com-
       ment (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 pack-

       -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  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

	      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  essen-
	      tial  system  components	can even make your whole system unusable. Use with

	      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 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.

	      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 dan-
	      gerous, 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
	      version  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, unfortu-
	      nately 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.

	      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 anything.

	      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 speci-
	      fied 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
	      information   about  status  of  installed  or  uninstalled  packages,  etc.
	      (Defaults to /var/lib/dpkg)

	      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 running 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 exam-
	      ple,  when  a package is removed, it will be marked selected for deinstalla-

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

	      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 preserved, with the ones from the configuration files  tak-
	      ing  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 pre-
	      viously excluded paths matching the specified patterns during install.

	      Warning: take into account that depending on the excluded  paths	you  might
	      completely 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 comple-
	      mentations. 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 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
	      command's standard input. 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
	      /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  --config-
	      ure --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 infor-
       mation about them:







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

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

       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.
	      Currently only used by -l.

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

	      Defined by dpkg on the shell spawned on the conffile prompt to  examine  the
	      situation. Contains the path to the old conffile.

	      Defined  by  dpkg on the shell spawned on the conffile prompt to examine the
	      situation. Contains the path to the new conffile.

	      Defined by dpkg on the maintainer script environment to the version  of  the
	      currently running dpkg instance.

	      Defined  by  dpkg  on  the maintainer script environment to the package name
	      being handled.

	      Defined by dpkg on the maintainer script environment to the architecture the
	      package got built for.

	      Defined  by  dpkg  on  the  maintainer script environment to the name of the
	      script running (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 "avail-
       able" 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 dse-

       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-con-
       trol(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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