|Original author(s)||Ian Murdock|
|Initial release||January 1994|
|Written in||C, C++, Perl|
|Operating system||Unix-like, POSIX|
|Type||Package management system|
|License||GNU General Public License|
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-trigger. It also includes the programs such as
install-info program used to be included as well, but was later removed as it is now developed and distributed separately. The Debian package "dpkg-dev" includes the numerous build tools described below.
dpkg was originally created by Ian Murdock in January 1994 as a Shell script, Matt Welsh, Carl Streeter and Ian Murdock then rewrote it in Perl, and then later the main part was rewritten in C by Ian Jackson in 1994. 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 in Debian.
To install a .deb package:
dpkg -i filename.deb
where filename.deb is the name of the Debian package (such as pkgname_0.00-1_amd64.deb).
The list of installed packages can be obtained with:
dpkg -l [optional pattern]
To remove an installed package:
dpkg -r packagename
- 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 database.
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