DEB(8)                         Debian GNU/Linux                         DEB(8)

       deb - Debian GNU/Linux binary package format


       The .deb format is the Debian binary package file format.  The format
       has changed since Debian 0.93 and the new format is being phased in.
       It is understood by dpkg 0.93.76 and later, and is generated by default
       by all versions of dpkg since 1.2.0 and all i386/ELF versions since

       The new format is described here.  Please see deb-old(5) for details of
       the old format.

       The file is an ar archive with a magic number of !<arch>.  Note that
       many modern versions of ar create archives with different magic
       numbers.  Archives created in this way will not be recognised by
       dpkg-deb, though these ar programs do understand the magic number used
       by dpkg-deb.

       The first member is named debian-binary and contains a series of lines,
       separated by newlines.  Currently only one line is present, the format
       version number, which is currently 2.0.  Programs which read new-format
       archives should be prepared for the minor number to be increased and
       new lines to be present, and should ignore these if this is the case.

       If the major number has changed an incompatible change has been made
       and the program should stop; if it has not then the program can safely
       continue, unless it encounters an unexpected member in the archive
       (except at the end), as described below.

       The second required member is named control.tar.gz and is a gzipped
       ustar containing the package control information, as a series of plain
       files, of which the file control is mandatory and contains the core
       control information.  See the dpkg Programmers' manual for details of
       these files.  The control tarfile may optionally contain an entry for
       `.', the current directory.

       The third and final required member is named data.tar.gz and contains
       the filesystem archive as a gzipped ustar.

       These members must occur in this order.  Further members may be defined
       in the future, and will if possible be placed after these three.
       Current implementations should ignore any additional members after
       data.tar.gz.  Additional members defined in the future which need to be
       inserted before data.tar.gz and which can safely be ignored by older
       programs will have names starting with an underscore `_'.

       New members which cannot safely be ignored will be inserted before
       data.tar.gz with names starting with something other than underscores,
       or will cause the major version number to be increased.

       deb(5), deb-control(5), dpkg Programmers' manual, dpkg-deb(8)

Debian Project                   1st July 1996                          DEB(8)