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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. Priority: 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. Essential: 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). Architecture: 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. Source: The name of the source package that this binary package came from, if different than the name of the package itself. Depends: List of packages that are required for this package to provide a non-trivial amount of functionality. The package maintenance software will not allow a package to be installed if the pack ages listed in its Depends field arent installed (at least not without using the force options), and will run the postinst scripts of packages listed in Depends: fields before those of the packages which depend on them, and run prerm scripts before. Pre-Depends: List of packages that must be installed and configured before this one can be installed. This is usually used in the case where this package requires another package for running its pre inst script. Recommends: Lists packages that would be found together with this one in all but unusual installations. The package maintenance software will warn the user if they install a package without those listed in its Recommends field. Suggests: Lists packages that are related to this one and can perhaps enhance its usefulness, but without which installing this pack age is perfectly reasonable. The syntax of Depends, Pre-Depends, Recommends and Suggests fields is a list of groups of alternative packages. Each group is a list of pack ages separated by vertical bar (or pipe) symbols, |. The groups are separated by commas. Commas are to be read as AND, and pipes as OR, with pipes binding more tightly. Each package name is optionally fol lowed by a version number specification in parentheses. A version number may start with a >>, in which case any later version will match, and may specify or omit the Debian packaging revision (sep arated by a hyphen). Accepted version relationships are ">>" for greater than, "<<" for less than, ">=" for greater than or equal to, "<=" for less than or equal to, and "=" for equal to. Conflicts: Lists packages that conflict with this one, for example by con taining files with the same names. The package maintenance soft ware will not allow conflicting packages to be installed at the same time. Two conflicting packages should each include a Con flicts line mentioning the other. Replaces: List of packages files from which this one replaces. This is used for allowing this package to overwrite the files of another package and is usually used with the Conflicts field to force removal of the other package, if this one also has the same files as the conflicted package. Provides: This is a list of virtual packages that this one provides. Usu ally this is used in the case of several packages all providing the same service. For example, sendmail and exim can serve as a mail server, so they provide a common package (mail-transport- agent) on which other packages can depend. This will allow sendmail or exim to serve as a valid option to satisfy the dependency. This prevents the packages that depend on a mail server from having to know the package names for all of them, and using | to separate the list. The syntax of Conflicts, Replaces and Provides is a list of package names, separated by commas (and optional whitespace). In the Conflicts field, the comma should be read as OR. An optional version can also be given with the same syntax as above for the Conflicts and Replaces fields. EXAMPLE Package: grep Essential: yes Priority: required Section: base Maintainer: Wichert Akkerman Architecture: sparc Version: 2.4-1 Pre-Depends: libc6 (>= 2.0.105) Provides: rgrep Conflicts: rgrep Description: GNU grep, egrep and fgrep. The GNU family of grep utilities may be the "fastest grep in the west". GNU grep is based on a fast lazy-state deterministic matcher (about twice as fast as stock Unix egrep) hybridized with a Boyer-Moore-Gosper search for a fixed string that eliminates impossible text from being considered by the full regexp matcher without necessarily having to look at every character. The result is typically many times faster than Unix grep or egrep. (Regular expressions containing backreferencing will run more slowly, however). SEE ALSO deb(5), dpkg(1), dpkg-deb(1). Debian Project 2006-02-28 deb-control(5)

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