dpkg(1)                                                           dpkg suite                                                           dpkg(1)


       dpkg - package manager for Debian


       dpkg [option...] action


       This  manual  is  intended  for  users  wishing  to  understand dpkg's command line options and package states in more detail than that
       provided by dpkg --help.

       It should not be used by package maintainers wishing to understand how dpkg will install their packages. The descriptions of what  dpkg
       does when installing and removing packages are particularly inadequate.


       dpkg  is  a  tool  to  install,  build,  remove  and  manage  Debian packages. The primary and more user-friendly front-end for dpkg is
       aptitude(1). dpkg itself is controlled entirely via command line parameters, which consist of exactly  one  action  and  zero  or  more
       options. The action-parameter tells dpkg what to do and options control the behavior of the action in some way.

       dpkg  can  also  be  used  as  a front-end to dpkg-deb(1) and dpkg-query(1). The list of supported actions can be found later on in the
       ACTIONS section. If any such action is encountered dpkg just runs dpkg-deb or dpkg-query with  the  parameters  given  to  it,  but  no
       specific options are currently passed to them, to use any such option the back-ends need to be called directly.


       dpkg  maintains some usable information about available packages. The information is divided in three classes: states, selection states
       and flags. These values are intended to be changed mainly with dselect.

              The package is not installed on your system.

              Only the configuration files of the package exist on the system.

              The installation of the package has been started, but not completed for some reason.

              The package is unpacked, but not configured.

              The package is unpacked and configuration has been started, but not yet completed for some reason.

              The package awaits trigger processing by another package.

              The package has been triggered.

              The package is unpacked and configured OK.

              The package is selected for installation.

       hold   A package marked to be on hold is not handled by dpkg, unless forced to do that with option --force-hold.

              The package is selected for deinstallation (i.e. we want to remove all files, except configuration files).

       purge  The package is selected to be purged (i.e. we want to remove everything from system directories, even configuration files).

              A package marked reinst-required is broken and requires reinstallation. These packages cannot be  removed,  unless  forced  with
              option --force-remove-reinstreq.


       -i, --install package-file...
              Install the package. If --recursive or -R option is specified, package-file must refer to a directory instead.

              Installation consists of the following steps:

              1. Extract the control files of the new package.

              2. If another version of the same package was installed before the new installation, execute prerm script of the old package.

              3. Run preinst script, if provided by the package.

              4. Unpack the new files, and at the same time back up the old files, so that if something goes wrong, they can be restored.

              5.  If  another  version  of  the  same  package was installed before the new installation, execute the postrm script of the old
              package. Note that this script is executed after the preinst script of the new package, because new files  are  written  at  the
              same time old files are removed.

              6. Configure the package. See --configure for detailed information about how this is done.

       --unpack package-file...
              Unpack  the  package,  but  don't configure it. If --recursive or -R option is specified, package-file must refer to a directory

       --configure package...|-a|--pending
              Configure a package which has been unpacked but not yet configured.  If -a  or  --pending  is  given  instead  of  package,  all
              unpacked but unconfigured packages are configured.

              To reconfigure a package which has already been configured, try the dpkg-reconfigure(8) command instead.

              Configuring consists of the following steps:

              1. Unpack the conffiles, and at the same time back up the old conffiles, so that they can be restored if something goes wrong.

              2. Run postinst script, if provided by the package.

       --triggers-only package...|-a|--pending
              Processes  only  triggers.  All  pending triggers will be processed. If package names are supplied only those packages' triggers
              will be processed, exactly once each where necessary. Use of this option may leave packages in the improper triggers-awaited and
              triggers-pending states. This can be fixed later by running: dpkg --configure --pending.

       -r, --remove, -P, --purge package...|-a|--pending
              Remove an installed package. -r or --remove remove everything except conffiles. This may avoid having to reconfigure the package
              if it is reinstalled later. (Conffiles are configuration files that are listed in the  DEBIAN/conffiles  control  file).  -P  or
              --purge  removes  everything,  including  conffiles.  If  -a  or --pending is given instead of a package name, then all packages
              unpacked, but marked to be removed or purged in file /var/lib/dpkg/status, are  removed  or  purged,  respectively.  Note:  some
              configuration  files might be unknown to dpkg because they are created and handled separately through the configuration scripts.
              In that case, dpkg won't remove them by itself, but the package's postrm script (which is called by dpkg), has to take  care  of
              their  removal  during  purge.  Of  course, this only applies to files in system directories, not configuration files written to
              individual users' home directories.

              Removing of a package consists of the following steps:

              1. Run prerm script

              2. Remove the installed files

              3. Run postrm script

       --update-avail, --merge-avail Packages-file
              Update dpkg's and dselect's idea of which packages are available. With action --merge-avail, old information  is  combined  with
              information  from  Packages-file.  With action --update-avail, old information is replaced with the information in the Packages-
              file. The Packages-file distributed with Debian is simply named Packages.  dpkg  keeps  its  record  of  available  packages  in

              A simpler one-shot command to retrieve and update the available file is dselect update. Note that this file is mostly useless if
              you don't use dselect but an APT-based frontend: APT has its own system to keep track of available packages.

       -A, --record-avail package-file...
              Update dpkg and dselect's idea of which packages are available with information from the package package-file. If --recursive or
              -R option is specified, package-file must refer to a directory instead.

              Now obsolete and a no-op as dpkg will automatically forget uninstalled unavailable packages.

              Erase the existing information about what packages are available.

        -C, --audit
              Searches for packages that have been installed only partially on your system. dpkg will suggest what to do with them to get them

       --get-selections [package-name-pattern...]
              Get list of package selections, and write it to stdout. Without a pattern, non-installed packages (i.e. those  which  have  been
              previously purged) will not be shown.

              Set  package  selections  using  file  read from stdin. This file should be in the format 'package state', where state is one of
              install, hold, deinstall or purge. Blank lines and comment lines beginning with '#' are also permitted.

              Set the requested state of every  non-essential  package  to  deinstall.   This  is  intended  to  be  used  immediately  before
              --set-selections, to deinstall any packages not in list given to --set-selections.

              Searches for packages selected for installation, but which for some reason still haven't been installed.

              Print architecture of packages dpkg installs (for example, "i386").

       --foreign-architecture architecture
              Add  architecture to the list of architectures for which packages can be installed without using --force-architecture, in
              addition to the architecture dpkg is built for (i.e.: the output of --print-architecture).

              Print a space-separated list of the extra architectures dpkg is configured to allow packages to be installed for.

       --compare-versions ver1 op ver2
              Compare version numbers, where op is a binary operator. dpkg returns success (zero result) if the specified condition  is
              satisfied,  and  failure (nonzero result) otherwise. There are two groups of operators, which differ in how they treat an
              empty ver1 or ver2. These treat an empty version as earlier than any version: lt le eq ne ge gt.  These  treat  an  empty
              version  as  later than any version: lt-nl le-nl ge-nl gt-nl. These are provided only for compatibility with control file
              syntax: < << <= = >= >> >.

       --command-fd n
              Accept a series of commands on input file descriptor n. Note: additional options set on the  command  line,  and  through
              this file descriptor, are not reset for subsequent commands executed during the same run.

       --help Display a brief help message.

              Give help about the --force-thing options.

       -Dh, --debug=help
              Give help about debugging options.

              Display dpkg version information.

       dpkg-deb actions
              See dpkg-deb(1) for more information about the following actions.

              -b, --build directory [archive|directory]
                  Build a deb package.
              -c, --contents archive
                  List contents of a deb package.
              -e, --control filename [directory]
                  Extract control-information from a package.
              -x, --extract archive directory
                  Extract the files contained by package.
              -X, --vextract archive directory
                  Extract and display the filenames contained by a
              -f, --field  archive [control-field...]
                  Display control field(s) of a package.
              --fsys-tarfile archive
                  Display the filesystem tar-file contained by a
                  Debian package.
              -I, --info archive [control-file...]
                  Show information about a package.

       dpkg-query actions
              See dpkg-query(1) for more information about the following actions.

              -l, --list package-name-pattern...
                  List packages matching given pattern.
              -s, --status package-name...
                  Report status of specified package.
              -L, --listfiles package-name...
                  List files installed to your system from package-name.
              -S, --search filename-search-pattern...
                  Search for a filename from installed packages.
              -p, --print-avail package-name...
                  Display details about package-name, as found in
                  /var/lib/dpkg/available. Users of APT-based frontends
                  should use apt-cache show package-name instead.


       All  options can be specified both on the command line and in the dpkg configuration file /etc/dpkg/dpkg.cfg or the files on the
       configuration directory /etc/dpkg/dpkg.cfg.d/. Each line in the configuration file is either an option (exactly the same as  the
       command line option but without leading dashes) or a comment (if it starts with a #).

              Change after how many errors dpkg will abort. The default is 50.

       -B, --auto-deconfigure
              When  a  package  is  removed,  there  is  a  possibility that another installed package depended on the removed package.
              Specifying this option will cause automatic deconfiguration of the package which depended on the removed package.

       -Doctal, --debug=octal
              Switch debugging on. octal is formed by bitwise-orring desired values together from  the  list  below  (note  that  these
              values may change in future releases). -Dh or --debug=help display these debugging values.

                  Number   Description
                       1   Generally helpful progress information
                       2   Invocation and status of maintainer scripts
                      10   Output for each file processed
                     100   Lots of output for each file processed
                      20   Output for each configuration file
                     200   Lots of output for each configuration file
                      40   Dependencies and conflicts
                     400   Lots of dependencies/conflicts output
                   10000   Trigger activation and processing
                   20000   Lots of output regarding triggers
                   40000   Silly amounts of output regarding triggers
                    1000   Lots of drivel about e.g. the dpkg/info dir
                    2000   Insane amounts of drivel

       --force-things, --no-force-things, --refuse-things

              Force  or  refuse (no-force and refuse mean the same thing) to do some things. things is a comma separated list of things
              specified below. --force-help displays a message describing them.  Things marked with (*) are forced by default.

              Warning: These options are mostly intended to be used by experts only.  Using  them  without  fully  understanding  their
              effects may break your whole system.

              all: Turns on (or off) all force options.

              downgrade(*): Install a package, even if newer version of it is already installed.

              Warning:  At  present  dpkg  does  not  do  any  dependency checking on downgrades and therefore will not warn you if the
              downgrade breaks the dependency of some other package. This can have serious side effects, downgrading  essential  system
              components can even make your whole system unusable. Use with care.

              configure-any: Configure also any unpacked but unconfigured packages on which the current package depends.

              hold: Process packages even when marked "hold".

              remove-reinstreq:  Remove  a  package,  even  if it's broken and marked to require reinstallation. This may, for example,
              cause parts of the package to remain on the system, which will then be forgotten by dpkg.

              remove-essential: Remove, even if the package is considered essential. Essential packages contain mostly very basic  Unix
              commands. Removing them might cause the whole system to stop working, so use with caution.

              depends: Turn all dependency problems into warnings.

              depends-version: Don't care about versions when checking dependencies.

              breaks: Install, even if this would break another package.

              conflicts:  Install,  even if it conflicts with another package. This is dangerous, for it will usually cause overwriting
              of some files.

              confmiss: Always install a missing conffile. This is dangerous, since it means not preserving a change (removing) made to
              the file.

              confnew:  If a conffile has been modified always install the new version without prompting, unless the --force-confdef is
              also specified, in which case the default action is preferred.

              confold: If a conffile has been modified always keep the old version without prompting,  unless  the  --force-confdef  is
              also specified, in which case the default action is preferred.

              confdef:  If a conffile has been modified always choose the default action. If there is no default action it will stop to
              ask the user unless --force-confnew or --force-confold is also been given, in which case it will use that to  decide  the
              final action.

              confask:  If a conffile has been modified always offer to replace it with the version in the package, even if the version
              in the package did not change. If any of --force-confmiss, --force-confnew, --force-confold, or --force-confdef  is  also
              given, it will be used to decide the final action.

              overwrite: Overwrite one package's file with another's file.

              overwrite-dir Overwrite one package's directory with another's file.

              overwrite-diverted: Overwrite a diverted file with an undiverted version.

              unsafe-io:  Do  not  perform  safe I/O operations when unpacking. Currently this implies not performing file system syncs
              before file renames, which is known to cause substantial performance degradation on some file systems, unfortunately  the
              ones  that  require the safe I/O on the first place due to their unreliable behaviour causing zero-length files on abrupt
              system crashes.

              Note: For ext4, the main offender, consider  using  instead  the  mount  option  nodelalloc,  which  will  fix  both  the
              performance degradation and the data safety issues, the latter by making the file system not produce zero-length files on
              abrupt system crashes with any software not doing syncs before atomic renames.

              Warning: Using this option might improve performance at the cost of losing data, use with care.

              architecture: Process even packages with wrong or no architecture.

              bad-version: Process even packages with wrong versions.

              bad-path: PATH is missing important programs, so problems are likely.

              not-root: Try to (de)install things even when not root.

              bad-verify: Install a package even if it fails authenticity check.

              Ignore dependency-checking for specified packages (actually, checking is performed, but only warnings about conflicts are
              given, nothing else).

       --no-act, --dry-run, --simulate
              Do  everything  which is supposed to be done, but don't write any changes. This is used to see what would happen with the
              specified action, without actually modifying anything.

              Be sure to give --no-act before the action-parameter, or you might end up with undesirable results.  (e.g.  dpkg  --purge
              foo --no-act will first purge package foo and then try to purge package --no-act, even though you probably expected it to
              actually do nothing)

       -R, --recursive
              Recursively handle all regular files matching pattern *.deb found at specified directories and all of its subdirectories.
              This can be used with -i, -A, --install, --unpack and --avail actions.

       -G     Don't  install  a  package  if  a  newer  version  of  the  same  package  is  already  installed.  This  is  an alias of

              Change default administrative directory, which contains many files that give information about  status  of  installed  or
              uninstalled packages, etc.  (Defaults to /var/lib/dpkg)

              Change  default  installation directory which refers to the directory where packages are to be installed. instdir is also
              the directory passed to chroot(2) before running package's installation scripts, which means that the scripts see instdir
              as a root directory.  (Defaults to /)

              Changing root changes instdir to dir and admindir to dir/var/lib/dpkg.

       -O, --selected-only
              Only process the packages that are selected for installation. The actual marking is done with dselect or by dpkg, when it
              handles packages. For example, when a package is removed, it will be marked selected for deinstallation.

       -E, --skip-same-version
              Don't install the package if the same version of the package is already installed.

              Set an invoke hook command to be run via “sh -c” before or after  the  dpkg  run  for  the  unpack,  configure,  install,
              triggers-only,  remove  and  purge  dpkg  actions. This option can be specified multiple times. The order the options are
              specified is preserved, with the  ones  from  the  configuration  files  taking  precedence.   The  environment  variable
              DPKG_HOOK_ACTION  is  set  for  the  hooks to the current dpkg action. Note: front-ends might call dpkg several times per
              invocation, which might run the hooks more times than expected.

              Set glob-pattern as a path filter, either by excluding or re-including previously excluded paths matching  the  specified
              patterns during install.

              Warning: take into account that depending on the excluded paths you might completely break your system, use with caution.

              The  glob  patterns  use the same wildcards used in the shell, were '*' matches any sequence of characters, including the
              empty string and also '/'. For example, '/usr/*/READ*' matches '/usr/share/doc/package/README'.  As  usual,  '?'  matches
              any  single  character  (again, including '/'). And '[' starts a character class, which can contain a list of characters,
              ranges and complementations. See glob(7) for detailed information about globbing. Note: the current implementation  might
              re-include  more  directories and symlinks than needed, to be on the safe side and avoid possible unpack failures, future
              work might fix this.

              This can be used to remove all paths except some particular ones; a typical case is:


              to remove all documentation files except the copyright files.

              These two options can be specified multiple times, and interleaved with each other.  Both  are  processed  in  the  given
              order, with the last rule that matches a file name making the decision.

       --status-fd n
              Send machine-readable package status and progress information to file descriptor n. This option can be specified multiple
              times. The information is generally one record per line, in one of the following forms:

              status: package: status
                     Package status changed; status is as in the status file.

              status: package : error : extended-error-message
                     An error occurred. Any possible newlines in extended-error-message will be converted to spaces before output.

              status: file : conffile-prompt : 'real-old' 'real-new' useredited distedited
                     User is being asked a conffile question.

              processing: stage: package
                     Sent just before a processing stage starts. stage is  one  of  upgrade,  install  (both  sent  before  unpacking),
                     configure, trigproc, disappear, remove, purge.

              Send  machine-readable  package status and progress information to the shell command's standard input. This option can be
              specified multiple times. The output format used is the same as in --status-fd.

              Log status change updates and actions to filename, instead of the default /var/log/dpkg.log.  If  this  option  is  given
              multiple  times, the last filename is used. Log messages are of the form `YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS status state pkg installed-
              version' for status change updates; `YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS action  pkg  installed-version  available-version'  for  actions
              where action is one of install, upgrade, remove, purge; and `YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS conffile filename decision' for conffile
              changes where decision is either install or keep.

              Do not try to verify package signatures.

              Do not run any triggers in this run  (activations  will  still  be  recorded).   If  used  with  --configure  package  or
              --triggers-only  package  then the named package postinst will still be run even if only a triggers run is needed. Use of
              this option may leave packages in the improper triggers-awaited and triggers-pending states. This can be fixed  later  by
              running: dpkg --configure --pending.

              Cancels a previous --no-triggers.


              Configuration file with default options.

              Default log file (see /etc/dpkg/dpkg.cfg(5) and option --log).

       The  other  files  listed  below are in their default directories, see option --admindir to see how to change locations of these

              List of available packages.

              Statuses of available packages. This file contains information about whether a package is marked  for  removing  or  not,
              whether it is installed or not, etc. See section INFORMATION ABOUT PACKAGES for more info.

              The  status  file  is  backed  up  daily  in  /var/backups. It can be useful if it's lost or corrupted due to filesystems

       The following files are components of a binary package. See deb(5) for more information about them:








       HOME   If set, dpkg will use it as the directory from which to read the user specific configuration file.

       TMPDIR If set, dpkg will use it as the directory in which to create temporary files and directories.

       PAGER  The program dpkg will execute when displaying the conffiles.

       SHELL  The program dpkg will execute when starting a new shell.

              Sets the number of columns dpkg should use when displaying formatted text. Currently only used by -l.

              Defined by dpkg  on  the  shell  spawned  on  the  conffile  prompt  to  examine  the  situation.  Current  valid  value:

              Defined  by  dpkg  on  the  shell  spawned  on the conffile prompt to examine the situation. Contains the path to the old

              Defined by dpkg on the shell spawned on the conffile prompt to examine the  situation.  Contains  the  path  to  the  new

              Defined by dpkg on the maintainer script environment to the version of the currently running dpkg instance.

              Defined by dpkg on the maintainer script environment to the package name being handled.

              Defined by dpkg on the maintainer script environment to the architecture the package got built for.

              Defined  by  dpkg  on  the  maintainer  script  environment  to the name of the script running (preinst, postinst, prerm,


       To list packages related to the editor vi(1):
            dpkg -l '*vi*'

       To see the entries in /var/lib/dpkg/available of two packages:
            dpkg --print-avail elvis vim | less

       To search the listing of packages yourself:
            less /var/lib/dpkg/available

       To remove an installed elvis package:
            dpkg -r elvis

       To install a package, you first need to find it in an archive or CDROM. The "available" file shows that the vim  package  is  in
       section "editors":
            cd /media/cdrom/pool/main/v/vim
            dpkg -i vim_4.5-3.deb

       To make a local copy of the package selection states:
            dpkg --get-selections >myselections

       You might transfer this file to another computer, and install it there with:
            dpkg --clear-selections
            dpkg --set-selections <myselections

       Note  that  this  will  not actually install or remove anything, but just set the selection state on the requested packages. You
       will need some  other  application  to  actually  download  and  install  the  requested  packages.  For  example,  run  apt-get

       Ordinarily, you will find that dselect(1) provides a more convenient way to modify the package selection states.


       Additional functionality can be gained by installing any of the following packages: apt, aptitude and debsums.


       aptitude(1), apt(1), dselect(1), dpkg-deb(1), dpkg-query(1), deb(5), deb-control(5), dpkg.cfg(5), and dpkg-reconfigure(8).


       --no-act usually gives less information than might be helpful.


       See /usr/share/doc/dpkg/THANKS for the list of people who have contributed to dpkg.

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