deb-control(5) Debian deb-control(5)
deb-control - Debian packages master control file format
Each Debian package contains the master control file, which contains
a number of fields. Each field begins with a tag, such as Package or
Version (case insensitive), followed by a colon, and the body of the
field. Fields are delimited only by field tags. In other words, field
text may be multiple lines in length, but the installation tools will
generally join lines when processing the body of the field (except in
the case of the Description field, see below).
The value of this field determines the package name, and is used
to generate file names by most installation tools.
Typically, this is the original packages version number in
whatever form the programs author uses. It may also include a
Debian revision number (for non-native packages). If both ver
sion and revision are supplied, they are separated by a hyphen,
-. For this reason, the original version may not have a hyphen
in its version number.
Should be in the format Joe Bloggs , and is
typically the person who created the package, as opposed to the
author of the software that was packaged.
The format for the package description is a short brief summary
on the first line (after the "Description" field). The following
lines should be used as a longer, more detailed description.
Each line of the long description must be preceded by a space,
and blank lines in the long description must contain a single
. following the preceding space.
This is a general field that gives the package a category based
on the software that it installs. Some common sections are
utils, net, mail, text, x11 etc.
Sets the importance of this package in relation to the system as
a whole. Common priorities are required, standard,
optional, extra etc.
In Debian, the Section and Priority fields have a defined set of
accepted values based on the Policy Manual. They are used to decide
how the packages are layed out in the archive. A list of these values
can be obtained from the latest version of the debian-policy package.
This field is usually only needed when the answer is yes. It
denotes a package that is required for proper operation of the
system. Dpkg or any other installation tool will not allow an
Essential package to be removed (at least not without using one
of the force options).
The architecture specifies which type of hardware this package
was compiled for. Common architectures are i386, m68k,
sparc, alpha, powerpc etc. Note that the all option is
meant for packages that are architecture independent. Some exam
ples of this are shell and Perl scripts, and documentation.