Each  Debian package contains the master control file, which contains a
       number of fields, or comments when the  line  starts  with  '#'.   Each
       field begins with a tag, such as Package or Version (case insensitive),
       followed by a colon, and the body of the field.  Fields  are  delimited
       only by field tags. In other words, field text may be multiple lines in
       length, but the installation tools will generally join lines when  pro-
       cessing  the  body  of the field (except in the case of the Description
       field, see below).

       Package: package-name (required)
              The value of this field determines the package name, and is used
              to generate file names by most installation tools.

       Version: version-string (required)
              Typically,  this  is  the  original  package's version number in
              whatever form the program's author uses. It may also  include  a
              Debian revision number (for non-native packages). The exact for-
              mat and sorting algorithm are described in deb-version(5).

       Maintainer: fullname-email (required)
              Should be in the format "Joe Bloggs <>",  and  is
              typically  the person who created the package, as opposed to the
              author of the software that was packaged.

       Description: short-description (required)
              The format for the package description is a short brief  summary
              on  the  first line (after the Description field). The following
              lines should be used as a  longer,  more  detailed  description.
              Each  line  of the long description must be preceded by a space,
              and blank lines in the long description must  contain  a  single
              '.' following the preceding space.

       Section: section
              This  is a general field that gives the package a category based
              on the software that it  installs.   Some  common  sections  are
              utils, net, mail, text, x11, etc.

       Priority: priority
              Sets the importance of this package in relation to the system as
              a whole.  Common priorities are  required,  standard,  optional,
              extra, etc.

       In  Debian,  the  Section  and  Priority  fields  have a defined set of
       accepted values based on the Policy Manual.  A list of these values can
       be obtained from the latest version of the debian-policy package.

       Essential: yes|no
              This  field  is  usually  only needed when the answer is yes. It
              denotes a package that is required for proper operation  of  the
              powerpc,  etc.   Note  that the all option is meant for packages
              that are architecture independent. Some  examples  of  this  are
              shell and Perl scripts, and documentation.

       Origin: name
              The name of the distribution this package is originating from.

       Bugs: url
              The url of the bug tracking system for this package. The current
              used      format      is      bts-type://bts-address,       like

       Homepage: url
              The upstream project home page url.

       Tag: tag-list
              List  of  tags  describing  the  qualities  of  the package. The
              description and list of supported  tags  can  be  found  in  the
              debtags package.

       Multi-Arch: same|foreign|allowed|no
              This field is used to indicate how this package should behave on
              a multi-arch installations. The value same means that the  pack-
              age  is  co-installable  with itself, but it must not be used to
              satisfy the dependency of any package of a  different  architec-
              ture  from  itself.  The value foreign means that the package is
              not co-installable with itself, but should be allowed to satisfy
              a non-arch-qualified dependency of a package of a different arch
              from itself (if a dependency has an explicit arch-qualifier then
              the  value  foreign  is  ignored).   The  value  allowed  allows
              reverse-dependencies to indicate in  their  Depends  field  that
              they  accept a package from a foreign architecture by qualifying
              the package name with :any, but has no  effect  otherwise.   The
              value no is the default when the field is omitted, in which case
              adding the field with an explicit  no  value  is  generally  not

       Source: source-name
              The  name  of  the  source package that this binary package came
              from, if different than the name of the package itself.

       Subarchitecture: value
       Kernel-Version: value
       Installer-Menu-Item: value
              These fields are used by the debian-installer  and  are  usually
              not   needed.    See  /usr/share/doc/debian-installer/devel/mod-
              ules.txt from the  debian-installer  package  for  more  details
              about them.

       Depends: package-list
              List of packages that are required for this package to provide a
              non-trivial amount of  functionality.  The  package  maintenance
              software  will  not allow a package to be installed if the pack-
              ages listed in its Depends field aren't installed (at least  not

       Recommends: package-list
              Lists packages that would be found together with this one in all
              but unusual installations. The package maintenance software will
              warn the user if they install a package without those listed  in
              its Recommends field.

       Suggests: package-list
              Lists  packages  that  are  related  to this one and can perhaps
              enhance its usefulness, but without which installing this  pack-
              age is perfectly reasonable.

       The syntax of Depends, Pre-Depends, Recommends and Suggests fields is a
       list of groups of alternative packages. Each group is a list  of  pack-
       ages  separated  by  vertical bar (or "pipe") symbols, '|'.  The groups
       are separated by commas.  Commas are to be read as "AND", and pipes  as
       "OR", with pipes binding more tightly.  Each package name is optionally
       followed by an architecture  qualifier  appended  after  a  colon  ':',
       optionally followed by a version number specification in parentheses.

       An  architecture  qualifier name can be a real Debian architecture name
       (since dpkg 1.16.5) or  any  (since  dpkg  1.16.2).   If  omitted,  the
       default  is  the  current  binary  package architecture.  A real Debian
       architecture name will match exactly that architecture for that package
       name,  any  will  match  any  architecture for that package name if the
       package has been marked as Multi-Arch: allowed.

       A version number may start with a '>>', in which case any later version
       will match, and may specify or omit the Debian packaging revision (sep-
       arated by a hyphen).   Accepted  version  relationships  are  '>>'  for
       greater  than,  '<<'  for less than, '>=' for greater than or equal to,
       '<=' for less than or equal to, and '=' for equal to.

       Breaks: package-list
              Lists packages that this one breaks,  for  example  by  exposing
              bugs when the named packages rely on this one. The package main-
              tenance software will not allow broken packages  to  be  config-
              ured;  generally the resolution is to upgrade the packages named
              in a Breaks field.

       Conflicts: package-list
              Lists packages that conflict with this one, for example by  con-
              taining files with the same names. The package maintenance soft-
              ware will not allow conflicting packages to be installed at  the
              same  time.  Two  conflicting  packages  should  each  include a
              Conflicts line mentioning the other.

       Replaces: package-list
              List of packages files from which this  one  replaces.  This  is
              used for allowing this package to overwrite the files of another
              package and is usually used with the Conflicts  field  to  force
              removal  of  the  other  package,  if this one also has the same
              files as the conflicted package.

       The syntax of Breaks, Conflicts and  Replaces  is  a  list  of  package
              port-agent") on which other  packages  can  depend.   This  will
              allow sendmail or exim to serve as a valid option to satisfy the
              dependency.  This prevents the packages that depend  on  a  mail
              server  from  having  to know the package names for all of them,
              and using '|' to separate the list.

       The syntax of Provides is a list of package names, separated by  commas
       (and optional whitespace).  An optional architecture qualifier can also
       be appended to the package name with the  same  syntax  as  above.   If
       omitted,  the  default  is the current binary package architecture.  An
       optional exact (equal to) version can also be given with the same  syn-
       tax as above (honored since dpkg 1.17.11).

       Built-Using: package-list
              This field lists extra source packages that were used during the
              build of this binary package.  This is an indication to the  ar-
              chive maintenance software that these extra source packages must
              be kept whilst this binary package is  maintained.   This  field
              must  be  a list of source package names with strict '=' version
              relationships.  Note that the archive  maintenance  software  is
              likely   to   refuse  to  accept  an  upload  which  declares  a
              Built-Using relationship which cannot be  satisfied  within  the

       # Comment
       Package: grep
       Essential: yes
       Priority: required
       Section: base
       Maintainer: Wichert Akkerman <>
       Architecture: sparc
       Version: 2.4-1
       Pre-Depends: libc6 (>= 2.0.105)
       Provides: rgrep
       Conflicts: rgrep
       Description: GNU grep, egrep and fgrep.
        The GNU family of grep utilities may be the "fastest grep in the west".
        GNU grep is based on a fast lazy-state deterministic matcher (about
        twice as fast as stock Unix egrep) hybridized with a Boyer-Moore-Gosper
        search for a fixed string that eliminates impossible text from being
        considered by the full regexp matcher without necessarily having to
        look at every character. The result is typically many times faster
        than Unix grep or egrep. (Regular expressions containing backreferencing
        will run more slowly, however).

       deb(5), deb-version(5), debtags(1), dpkg(1), dpkg-deb(1).

Debian Project                    2013-12-20                    deb-control(5)
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