This list (probably non-exhaustive) tries to track software that handles .deb files directly, and their level of support for the deb format.

Some of these should ideally be switched to use one of the existing libraries or modules that implement deb support, so that whenever there's a change in the format we don't need to hunt and modify a ton of packages. Others handle .deb files directly only as a fallback whenever dpkg-deb is not available, which makes them somewhat more resilient to format changes.

The current support is much better than it used to be, but there is still much software to fix, and part of the blame goes to dpkg for not providing better interfaces for others to use, hopefully that will be remedied soon. Here's a list of interfaces to start with, that might help:

Support table

Sorted somewhat by position on the stack and/or order of importance. Missing support information includes: R/W, tar formats, validation.

Software

fallback raw

ar/tar LFS

ar member slash

ar _ members

ar extra members

control.tar

control.tar.xz

data.tar

data.tar.xz

data.tar.bz2

data.tar.lzma

ar + tar + compressor

<!>

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

dpkg

{*}

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

udpkg

<!>

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

<!>

<!>

busybox

<!>

{X}

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

debsig-verify

<!>

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

debsigs

<!>

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

dpkg-sig

<!>

{i}

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

debdelta 747695

<!>

(./)

(./)

{i}

{i}

{X}

{X}

{i}

(./)

(./)

(./)

alien

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

debootstrap

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

/!\ {1}

cdebootstrap 756419

<!>

{X}

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

<!>

crosshurd

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

apt

<!>

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

apt-zip 718376

<!>

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

{X}

{X}

<!>

<!>

python-apt

<!>

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

python-debian 761298

<!>

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

{X}

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

<!>

ruby-debian 718389

<!>

(./)

{X}

(./)

(./)

{X}

{X}

{X}

{X}

<!>

<!>

deb-gview 718386 742887 742892

<!>

{X}

(./)

{X}

(./)

{X}

{X}

(./)

(./)

<!>

<!>

lintian 718331

<!>

(./)

(./)

/!\ 1

/!\ 1

/!\ 1

/!\ 1

/!\ 1

(./)

(./)

(./)

dak

<!>

(./)

{i}

{X}

{X}

{X}

{X}

{X}

(./)

(./)

<!>

reprepro

<!>

{X}

(./)

(./)

(./)

{X}

{X}

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

emacs-goodies-el 718388

<!>

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

{X}

{X}

{X}

(./)

(./)

<!>

vim-scripts 756417

<!>

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

{X}

{X}

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

zeroinstall-injector

<!>

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

fossology

{i}

{i}

{i}

{i}

{i}

{X}

{X}

{i}

{X}

{i}

{i}

dedup.debian.net

<!>

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

(./)

Debian Archive

<!>

{i}

{i}

<!>

<!>

{X}

{X}

{X}

(./)

(./)

<!>

Ubuntu Archive

<!>

{X}

(./)

<!>

<!>

{X}

{X}

{X}

(./)

(./)

(./)

Legend

  1. Implemented but will emit an autoreject tag until dak is ready (1 2 3 4 5)