deb(5)                            dpkg suite                            deb(5)

       deb - Debian binary package format


       The  .deb  format  is  the  Debian  binary  package  file format. It is
       understood since dpkg 0.93.76, and is generated by default  since  dpkg
       1.2.0 and 1.1.1elf (i386/ELF builds).

       The format described here is used since Debian 0.93; details of the old
       format are described in deb-old(5).

       The file is an ar archive with a magic  value  of  !<arch>.   Only  the
       common  ar  archive  format  is  supported,  with  no  long  file  name
       extensions, but with file names containing an optional trailing  slash,
       which limits their length to 15 characters (from the 16 allowed).  File
       sizes are limited to 10  ASCII  decimal  digits,  allowing  for  up  to
       approximately 9536.74 MiB member files.

       The  tar archives currently allowed are, the old-style (v7) format, the
       pre-POSIX ustar format, a subset of the  GNU  format  (new  style  long
       pathnames and long linknames, supported since dpkg; large file
       metadata since dpkg 1.18.24), and the POSIX ustar  format  (long  names
       supported   since   dpkg   1.15.0).   Unrecognized  tar  typeflags  are
       considered an error.  Each tar entry  size  inside  a  tar  archive  is
       limited to 11 ASCII octal digits, allowing for up to 8 GiB tar entries.
       The GNU large file metadata support permits 95-bit tar entry sizes  and
       negative timestamps, and 63-bit UID, GID and device numbers.

       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, 2.0 at the time this manual page was written.  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 should be
       able to 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.  It is a tar archive
       containing the  package  control  information,  either  not  compressed
       (supported  since  dpkg  1.17.6),  or  compressed  with  gzip (with .gz
       extension), xz (with .xz extension, supported  since  1.17.6)  or  zstd
       (with  .zst extension, supported since, as a series of
       plain files, of which the file control is mandatory  and  contains  the
       core  control  information, the conffiles, triggers, shlibs and symbols
       files contain optional control information, and the preinst,  postinst,
       prerm  and  postrm  files are optional maintainer scripts.  The control
       tarball may optionally contain an entry for '.', the current directory.

       The third, last required member is named  data.tar.   It  contains  the
       filesystem  as  a  tar  archive, either not compressed (supported since
       dpkg 1.10.24), or compressed with gzip (with .gz extension),  xz  (with
       .xz extension, supported since dpkg 1.15.6), zstd (with .zst extension,
       supported since, bzip2 (with .bz2 extension, supported
       since dpkg 1.10.24) or lzma (with .lzma extension, supported since dpkg

       These members must occur in this exact order.  Current  implementations
       should  ignore  any additional members after data.tar.  Further members
       may be defined in the future, and (if possible) will  be  placed  after
       these  three. Any additional members that may need to be inserted after
       debian-binary and before control.tar or data.tar and  which  should  be
       safely  ignored  by  older  programs,  will have names starting with an
       underscore, '_'.

       Those new members which won't be able to  be  safely  ignored  will  be
       inserted  before data.tar with names starting with something other than
       underscores, or will (more likely) cause the major version number to be



       deb-old(5),      dpkg-deb(1),      deb-control(5),     deb-conffiles(5)
       deb-triggers(5),   deb-shlibs(5),    deb-symbols(5),    deb-preinst(5),
       deb-postinst(5), deb-prerm(5), deb-postrm(5).

1.19.7                            2022-05-25                            deb(5)
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