deb-control(5)                    dpkg suite                    deb-control(5)

       deb-control - Debian binary packages' master control file format


       Each  Debian  binary  package  contains  the master control file, which
       contains a number of fields.  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 processing 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.

       Package-Type: deb|udeb|type
              This field defines the type of the package.  udeb is  for  size-
              constrained  packages  used by the debian installer.  deb is the
              default value, it is assumed if the field is absent.  More types
              might be added in the future.

       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
              format and sorting algorithm are described in deb-version(7).

       Maintainer: fullname-email (recommended)
              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 (recommended)
              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.

       The  Section and Priority fields usually have a defined set of accepted
       values based on the specific distribution policy.

       Installed-Size: size
              The approximate total size of the package's installed files,  in
              KiB units.

       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
              system.  Dpkg  or  any other installation tool will not allow an
              Essential package to be removed (at least not without using  one
              of the force options).

       Build-Essential: yes|no
              This field is usually only needed when the answer is yes, and is
              commonly injected by the archive software.  It denotes a package
              that is required when building other packages.

       Architecture: arch|all (recommended)
              The  architecture  specifies which type of hardware this package
              was compiled for.  Common architectures are amd64, armel,  i386,
              powerpc,  etc.   Note  that  the all value 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: no|same|foreign|allowed
              This field is used to indicate how this package should behave on
              a multi-arch installations.

              no     This value is the default when the field is  omitted,  in
                     which  case adding the field with an explicit no value is
                     generally not needed.

              same   This package is co-installable with itself, but  it  must
                     not be used to satisfy the dependency of any package of a
                     different architecture from itself.

                     This 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).

                     This allows reverse-dependencies  to  indicate  in  their
                     Depends  field  that  they  accept  this  package  from a
                     foreign architecture by qualifying the package name  with
                     :any, but has no effect otherwise.

       Source: source-name [(source-version)]
              The  name  of  the  source package that this binary package came
              from, if it is different than the name of  the  package  itself.
              If  the source version differs from the binary version, then the
              source-name will be followed by a source-version in parenthesis.
              This  can  happen  for  example  on a binary-only non-maintainer
              upload,  or  when  setting  a  different  binary   version   via
              <<dpkg-gencontrol -v>>.

       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/modules.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
              packages  listed in its Depends field aren't installed (at least
              not without using the force options).  In an  installation,  the
              postinst  scripts  of  packages listed in Depends fields are run
              before those of the  packages  which  depend  on  them.  On  the
              opposite,  in  a  removal,  the prerm script of a package is run
              before those of the packages listed in its Depends field.

       Pre-Depends: package-list
              List of packages that must be installed  and  configured  before
              this  one  can  be  installed.  This is usually used in the case
              where this package requires  another  package  for  running  its
              preinst script.

       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
              package 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
       packages 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

       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
       (separated 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
              maintenance software  will  not  allow  broken  packages  to  be
              configured;  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
              containing  files  with  the same names. The package maintenance
              software 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
       names,  separated  by  commas (and optional whitespace).  In the Breaks
       and Conflicts fields, the comma should be read as  "OR".   An  optional
       architecture  qualifier  can  also be appended to the package name with
       the same syntax as above, but the default is any instead of the  binary
       package  architecture.   An optional version can also be given with the
       same syntax as above for the Breaks, Conflicts and Replaces fields.

       Enhances: package-list
              This is a list of  packages  that  this  one  enhances.   It  is
              similar to Suggests but in the opposite direction.

       Provides: package-list
              This  is  a  list  of  virtual  packages that this one provides.
              Usually this is  used  in  the  case  of  several  packages  all
              providing  the same service.  For example, sendmail and exim can
              serve as a  mail  server,  so  they  provide  a  common  package
              ("mail-transport-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
       syntax 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
              archive 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

       Built-For-Profiles: profile-list (obsolete)
              This field used to specify a whitespace separated list of  build
              profiles  that  this  binary packages was built with (since dpkg
              1.17.2 until 1.18.18).  The information previously found in this
              field  can now be found in the .buildinfo file, which supersedes

       Auto-Built-Package: reason-list
              This field specifies a whitespace separated list of reasons  why
              this  package  was  auto-generated.  Binary packages marked with
              this field will not appear in the debian/control  master  source
              control file.  The only currently used reason is debug-symbols.

       Build-Ids: elf-build-id-list
              This  field  specifies a whitespace separated list of ELF build-
              ids. These are unique identifiers for semantically identical ELF
              objects,  for  each  of these within the package.  The format or
              the way to compute each build-id is not defined by design.

       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).

       The Build-Ids field uses a rather generic  name  out  of  its  original
       context  within an ELF object, which serves a very specific purpose and
       executable format.

       deb-src-control(5),  deb(5),   deb-version(7),   debtags(1),   dpkg(1),

1.19.7                            2022-05-25                    deb-control(5)
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