Sun . 19 May 2019


dpkg, dpkg configure -a
dpkg is the software at the base of the package management system in the free operating system Debian and its numerous derivatives dpkg is used to install, remove, and provide information about deb packages

dpkg Debian Package itself is a low level tool APT Advanced Packaging Tool, a higher level tool, is more commonly used than dpkg as it can fetch packages from remote locations and deal with complex package relations, such as dependency resolution Frontends for APT like aptitude ncurses and synaptic GTK+ are used for their friendlier interfaces

The Debian package "dpkg" provides the dpkg program, as well as several other programs necessary for run-time functioning of the packaging system, including dpkg-deb, dpkg-split, dpkg-query, dpkg-statoverride, dpkg-divert and dpkg-trigger4 It also includes the programs such as update-alternatives and start-stop-daemon The install-info program used to be included as well, but was later removed5 as it is now developed and distributed separately6 The Debian package "dpkg-dev" includes the numerous build tools described below


  • 1 History
  • 2 Example use
  • 3 Development tools
  • 4 Database
  • 5 See also
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links


dpkg was originally created by Matt Welsh, Carl Streeter and Ian Murdock, first as a Perl program,7 and then later the main part was rewritten in C by Ian Jackson in 199489 The name dpkg was originally the short for "Debian package", but the meaning of that phrase has evolved significantly, as dpkg the software is orthogonal to the deb package format as well as the Debian Policy Manual which defines how Debian packages behave

Example useedit

To install a deb package:

dpkg -i debFileName

where debFileName is the name of the Debian software package

The list of installed packages can be obtained with:

dpkg -l optional pattern

To remove an installed package:

dpkg -r packagename

Development toolsedit

dpkg-dev contains a series of development tools required to unpack, build and upload Debian source packages10 These include:

  • dpkg-source packs and unpacks the source files of a Debian package
  • dpkg-gencontrol reads the information from an unpacked Debian tree source and generates a binary package control package, creating an entry for this in Debian/files
  • dpkg-shlibdeps calculates the dependencies of runs with respect to libraries
  • dpkg-genchanges reads the information from an unpacked Debian tree source that once constructed creates a control file changes
  • dpkg-buildpackage is a control script that can be used to construct the package automatically
  • dpkg-distaddfile adds a file input to debian/files
  • dpkg-parsechangelog reads the changes file changelog of an unpacked Debian tree source and creates a conveniently prepared output with the information for those changes


The dpkg database is located under /var/lib/dpkg; the "status" file contains the list of installed software on the current system There is no information about repositories in this database11

See alsoedit

  • Free software portal
  • Advanced Packaging Tool
  • Alien software
  • Debian build toolchain
  • RPM, for RedHat-derived systems
  • opkg, for storage-constrained Linux installations
  • wpkg, for the Microsoft Windows operating system


  1. ^ http://metadataftp-masterdebianorg/changelogs/main/d/dpkg/stable_changelog
  2. ^ http://metadataftp-masterdebianorg/changelogs/main/d/dpkg/unstable_changelog
  3. ^ "dpkg on alioth" Alioth Debian 2012-04-11 Retrieved 2015-03-09 
  4. ^ "dpkg package file list" Debian project Retrieved 2015-03-09 
  5. ^ Jover, Guillem "Removal of install-info from dpkg" Debian project Retrieved 2015-03-09 
  6. ^ "GNU Texinfo project" GNU project Retrieved 9 March 2015 
  7. ^ "dpkg perl implementation" git Debian project Retrieved 2015-03-09 
  8. ^ "dpkg C implementation" git Debian project Retrieved 2015-03-09 
  9. ^ Akkerman, Wichert "dpkg history" Retrieved 21 July 2013 
  10. ^ "dpkg-dev package file list" Debian project Retrieved 2015-03-09 
  11. ^ "dpkg" Debian 2012-06-05 Retrieved 2014-06-18 

External linksedit

  • Official website
  • Mailing list

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