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Revision 76 as of 2016-05-01 09:26:59
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Comment: Trying to tidy up packaging namespace
Revision 77 as of 2017-04-23 01:27:38
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Editor: PaulWise
Comment: use Debian manpages
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For a keyword search in the package descriptions, use [[http://manpage.debian.net/|apt-cache]]. For a keyword search in the package descriptions, use DebianMan:apt-cache.

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A Debian Package is a file that ends in .deb and contains software for your Debian system.

A .deb is also known as a binary package. This means that the program inside the package is ready to run on your system.

There are also source packages.

You can select a default action like "install package (dpkg in a terminal)".

A Debian package is smart enough to know how to add itself to your system, remove itself, and even configure itself to your needs.

Every package comes with its own DebianPackageDocumentation.

What's in a name? Every package has a name, and there are certain rules for what can and can't be in it. See also PackageInstallTips.

The MIME type is


Finding packages

if you want to install a package but you don't know how to find its name : look for it at http://www.debian.org/distrib/packages (or http://packages.debian.org/<name> if you know the package name).

Remember to select the Debian release that you are running (eg. DebianStable, DebianTesting or DebianUnstable). The packages vary significantly between releases.

For a keyword search in the package descriptions, use apt-cache.

If you look specifically for alternatives to some Windows programs see WindowsEquivalent.

If you wonder where a package you've got installed on your system has gone, when it becomes "obsolete" and unavailable, see http://ftp-master.debian.org/removals.txt to find out about removed packages.


Unfortunately some packages are broken. If apt-get or aptitude fail to upgrade your system, first try updating aptitude, then Apt, then dpkg.

If you think your package is just plain broken please submit a Debian bug (see reportbug)!

How to extract the content of a package

Do not attempt to use just dpkg-deb or the other commands in this page 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 status and contents recorded.

 dpkg-deb -x file.deb dir

Virtual Package

www.debian.org/doc/debian-policy/ - Debian Policy Manual's Virtual packages

Sometimes, there are several packages which offer more-or-less the same functionality. In this case, it's useful to define a virtual package whose name describes that common functionality...

See also


  • ToDo: This page needs cleanup