Glossary of important term defined in Debian Policy



Debian Glossary

The following glossary is written by topics. To search a specific term, use the search function of your browser.

From package to archive


Package has a lot of different meaning. essentially:


Sometime package is used without any additional attribute, usually it refers to binary package, or sometime attribute it is not important, e.g. a package maintainer should maintain both source and binary version of own packages.

Additionally, sometime we see the Debian attribute (Debian package Policy:1.1, Policy:5.6.12). On documentation specific to Debian it is not really need, but it should be used when discussing different package types.


Source Package

source package (Policy:4). It contains upstream sources ... see dpkg-sources(1)

Two types:

Binary Package

binary package (Policy:3)


Section Policy:2.4


Priority classifies (Policy:2.5, Policy:5.6.6, Policy:4.3) package importance both on source and binary packages:


Could describe also:

Architecture specification string

Architecture specification string (Policy:5.6.8, Policy:11.1): one of the strings provided by dpkg-architecture -L

Sometime simply architecture (name) (Policy:5.1, Policy:7.1)