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       debram - look .debs up in the Debian Ramification


       debram  [ ] [ -d package ]... [ -m maintainer
       ]... [ ramification...  ]


       Debian GNU/Linux provides thousands upon daunting thousands of software
       packages.  Sorting them into broad classes then dividing and redividing
       them into finer, more specific branches, this command ramifies Debian’s
       packages  in  much the same manner as a university library ramifies its
       books.  If you know what you want your computer to do but  do  not  yet
       know the package to do it, you can find the package here.


       Give the command

              debram -cx

       (Omit  the  ‘c’  option if your terminal has a white background or does
       not support color.)  Now explore ram 1000 with

              debram -cx 1000

       Observe the output, then retrieve a plan of ram 1100 with

              debram -cp 1100

       Repeat the same operation with the abbreviation

              debram -cp 11

       Again, but with cross-references.

              debram -cpx 11

       Show the trunk above 1100.

              debram -cpt 11

       Retrieve 1100’s plan, showing also the trunk.

              debram -cptr 11

       Enough plans.  Let’s look at some packages.  Notice 1112  File  Listing
       and Finding in the previous output, then

              debram -cx 1112

       (Try adding a -w option to the command if your terminal is at least 132
       columns wide.)  Now list the same ram in brief.

              debram -cXD 1112

       Again, and show the trunk this time.

              debram -cXDt 1112

       Be very brief: list only the package names.

              debram -1 1112

       Limit the listing to packages currently installed (or dpkg-selected).

              dpkg --get-selections | debram -cXDs 1112

       What packages does E. Zini keep?

              debram -cmE. Zini’

       Suppose that you have been looking for the tar package,  but  have  not
       seen it yet.  Find it now.

              debram -cd tar

       Retrieve the entire Ramification plan.

              debram -cp | more -f

       Now  you  know  enough to begin using the debram(1) profitably.  If you
       have or can open a text terminal at least 132 columns  wide,  you  will
       also wish to try the -w option:

              debram -cxrw 3110 | less -r

       (Press  ‘q’  to  exit  less(1).)  To view the long, long listing of the
       entire ramification at once, enter

              debram -cxrw | less -r

       omitting the -w if your terminal is only 80 columns wide.


   Basic Output Formatting
       -c, --color
              Color-code the output (recommended).

       -w, --wide
              Output in  132-column  format.   This  is  recommended  if  your
              terminal  is  sufficiently  wide.   (See below for a way to boot
              Linux into a 132x60 terminal.)

   Other General Options
              Find the named package.

              Find all maintainer’s packages.

       -p, --plan
              Print  the  ramification  plan  or  table  of  contents.   If  a
              ramification  is specified, print a partial plan descending from
              it.  (Implies -r, except when -t is given.)

       -r, --recursive
              Print the entire tree under the given ramification.

       -t, --trunk, --recursive-up
              Print the trunk above the given ramification.   That  is,  print
              the  ram,  the parent ram, the grandparent ram, and so on, up to
              the root of the tree.

       -x, --expand-xref
              Print cross-references in long-form, showing  each  ram’s  title
              rather than just its number.

   Selective Output Suppression
       The  -A  and  -B  options focus debram(1)’s overall operation.  Usually
       debram(1) prints the tables both of end-level  ramifications  (such  as
       1311  and  1312, each having a table of Debian packages) and of higher-
       level ramifications (such as 1350 and 1300, each having only a table of
       subramifications);  but you may not always wish the two kinds of tables
       intermixed, especially when requesting an -r or  -T  listing.   The  -A
       (--no-end-level)  and  -B (--only-end-level) options respectively cause
       debram(1) not to print  the  end-level  and  higher-level  ramification

       -A, --no-end-level
              Omit package tables.

       -B, --only-end-level
              Omit subramification tables.

       -T, --no-title
              Omit ramification titles.  (Implies -X.)

       -X, --no-xref
              Omit cross-references.

       -D, --no-desc
              Omit package descriptions.

       -M, --no-maint
              Omit names of package maintainers.

       -N, --no-count
              Omit per-ramification .deb counts.

       -P, --no-pri
              Omit package priorities.

       -1, --names-only
              Print   package  names  only.   This  option  is  equivalent  to

   Manual Character-Encoding Selection
       debram(1) defaults  appropriately  for  your  locale,  so  selecting  a
       character encoding manually is optional.  If your locale is the default
       C/POSIX  non-locale,  then  debram(1)  defaults  to  Latin-1—which   is
       technically  nonstandard  behavior  but for debram is usually the right
       thing to do.  Use -L if you definitely want pure ascii.

       -l, --latin1
              Output and accept arguments in Latin-1 (iso-8859-1).

       -L, --ascii, --no-latin1
              Output  and  accept  arguments  in  ascii.   (See  also  the  -.

       -u, --utf8
              Output  and  accept  arguments  in  utf-8  (Unicode) rather than

   Other Options
       -., --ascii-dots
              In the output, fill blanks with ascii’s ‘.’ full-stop  character
              (rather  than  the middle dot, which ascii does not provide; see
              also the -L option).

       -s, --selections
              Print only packages named on stdin.  The principal use  of  this
              option  is  in  “dpkg  --get-selections  | debram -s ...”, which
              causes debram to ignore packages you have neither installed  nor
              selected  for installation.  As such, the option accepts package
              names on standard input, one name per line, each name optionally
              followed the word “install” (which debram ignores).

   Seldom Used Options
       -j, --pri-one-color
              Output the package-priority column all in the same color: do not

              Substitute clear-text file for the library data file.

              Substitute compressed file for the library data file.

       -?, --help
              Give a help list.

              Give a short usage message.

       -V, --version
              Print the program version.


       A ramification is a branch of the Debian archive whose  packages  serve
       approximately the same application domain or interest similar groups of
       users.  The first division  of  the  archive  follows  the  traditional
       GNU/Linux manpage hierarchy, with ram 1000 corresponding roughly to man
       section  (1),  ram  3000  to  section  (3),  and  so  forth.    Further
       subramifications successively focus on tighter domains.

       debram(1)  works  on the ramifications you specify on the command line,
       defaulting to the umbrella metaramification 0000 if you  specify  none.
       The  useful  -r  recursive  option causes debram(1) to select the named
       ramifications plus  all  subramifications  branching  recursively  from
       them.  Many rams cross-reference other rams across the tree; by default
       the program concisely prints only cross-reference ram numbers, but with
       the -x option it prints expanded cross-reference information.

       The branch-numbering system needs little explanation, except perhaps in
       one respect: a ram number’s count of non-zero digits always reveals its
       ram’s  level.   Thus, for instance, 5060 and 5600 would each be second-
       level rams under the top-level 5000, but 5660 would  be  a  third-level
       ram under the second-level 5600.

       If  you  give  fewer than four ramification digits, debram(1) completes
       the number with zeros.  Thus 8 is a valid abbreviation  for  8000,  for

       Although  the  usage  is  not  entirely  consistent  (even  within this

       ·      the top-level  rams  like  1000  and  8000  are  usually  called
              sections (after the traditional “man section” nomenclature),

       ·      the  second-level  rams  like  1100  and 1200 are usually called

       ·      the third-level rams like  1110  and  1120  are  usually  called
              groups, and

       ·      the end-level rams like 1121 and 1140 (the latter of which is an
              end-level ram despite its number’s ending in a zero) are usually
              called branches.


       As  an autobiographer cannot cover the last events of his life, neither
       can debram cover the last packages to enter  Debian’s  stable  release.
       Debram  is  fine  as is, but if you prefer complete full coverage, then
       after the release you  can  look  for  a  revised  debram-data  package
       bearing  the  same  number as the version you now have (run “debram -V”
       for the number) but with a single letter appended.  For example, if you
       now  have  version  1.2.3,  then  you  can look for debram-data version
       1.2.3a, 1.2.3b or the like.  Besides completing  the  coverage  of  the
       stable  release,  such  an  update  will  undoubtedly also correct some
       errors and oversights; so, it is worth getting if you want it.

       The easiest place to get the update if you time it right will  be  from
       Debian’s  unstable archive.  However, that archive must eventually drop
       it in favor of a new development version, which is not what you want if
       you  are  running  Debian stable.  A more lasting source for the update
       will be


       (Of course, no update can be guaranteed to appear—what is guaranteed to
       appear is the debram-data you already have—but an update did appear for
       the last stable release of Debian and is equally likely to  appear  for
       this one.  Look for it within four to six months.)

       If  running  Debian stable, you need not and probably should not update
       the  debram  package  itself;  it  suffices  to   update   debram-data.
       Furthermore,  for  Debian  stable  you  should  only update to the same
       version with the single letter appended, as 1.2.3a.   Versions  bearing
       later  numbers  (like  1.2.4  or  1.3.0  against 1.2.3) are development
       versions toward the following Debian release;  they  are  probably  not
       what you want.


       debram(1) was originally programmed to provide the most easily readable
       output when invoked with the -cw options on a 132-column wide terminal—
       especially  on  the  standard  non-X(7) Linux console (see console(4)).
       Fewer users today use the console than  used  to,  and  X(7)  terminals
       typically  show  132  columns  or  more  in  any  case,  so it’s not as
       important an issue as it used to be.  However, some console  users  may
       still  be  interested  to  learn  how  to  widen  their consoles to the
       standard wide-console width of 132 columns.  This section  of  the  man
       page tells how it can be done, at least on some computer hardware.

       Exactly  how  to  widen  your  Linux  console  depends on your specific
       hardware and OS installation.  Nevertheless the following  instructions
       should lead you in the correct direction.

              Print a hard copy of this manpage with

                     man -Tps 1 debram | lpr

              Reboot  while  holding  <Shift>  down (without the <Shift>, some
              Linux machines are programmed never to offer you a boot prompt).
              At the boot prompt, enter

                     Linux video=vga16:off vga=ask

              (Your kernel image may have some other name than “Linux”.  Also,
              the video= option may not be  necessary  for  you.   Adapt  your
              boot-prompt entry accordingly.)

              Notice  that  the  kernel offers you the choice of several video
              modes.  If you do not yet see 132x60, scan.

              Choose 132x60.  (The kernel may offer  you  hexadecimal  numbers
              but  demand  decimal numbers in return.  If you are reading this
              section of the manpage, you probably already know how to convert
              hexadecimal  to decimal, but if you feel uncertain then refer to
              the table in ascii(7).)

       If all is well the kernel now boots into a 132x60 console.

       The foregoing procedure naturally  gives  you  132x60  only  once:  the
       kernel  returns  to  80 columns the next time you boot it.  Configuring
       the kernel to boot 132x60 by default  requires  editing  /etc/lilo.conf
       then running lilo(8) (presuming that you are booting with lilo(8); else
       see Grub below).  The author has added the lines


       to the appropriate stanza of his own /etc/lilo.conf  on  at  least  one
       machine, but yours may need something slightly different to achieve the
       desired effect.  (The  author  got  the  number  0x123  for  his  video
       hardware  during  the  boot-time video-mode scan referenced above.  You
       can do likewise to obtain the needed number for your video hardware.)

       You may like the 132x60 non-X(7) Linux console.  The author does.   Try
       it if you wish.

       The foregoing assumes that you boot your Debian system with lilo(8).  A
       modern Debian system, however, is more likely booted with grub(8).  The
       author  does not yet know the latter boot system well enough to write a
       new man page section on it, but perhaps the  present  section  provides
       information even grub(8) users will find of interest or use.


              the default library data file (it is human-readable, too)
              reference documents including the Command Selection Guide.


              These variables optionally specify your locale, which determines
              how debram(1) outputs  non-ascii  characters  by  default.   See
              locale(7) for general information about locales.


       The  -c  or  --color option produces pleasing colors only on a terminal
       with a black background, such as xterm and  the  standard  non-X  Linux
       console.   Other common terminals, such as the standard Gnome terminal,
       have white backgrounds by default.  Users of these  terminals  probably
       will not find the -c option very useful.

       Non-i386   architectures  enjoy  a  handful  of  special  packages  not
       available on i386.  Debram  does  not  cover  these.   Debram  probably
       should  at  least cover all the special amd64 packages, but it doesn’t,

       Unavoidably  in  a  ramification  of  this   size,   several   packages
       inadvertently    yet    undoubtedly    remain    misramified.    Report
       misramifications sensibly, please, to Debian’s Bug Tracking System.  If
       you  are  running Debian stable, please check the latest debram-data in
       Debian unstable before reporting the bug.


       Thaddeus H. Black <>

       Although the changelog details the direct parts several have played  in
       debram  development,  the author particularly wishes to acknowledge the
       contributions of his Debian sponsor Giacomo Catenazzi, whose review and
       counsel  have  made  debram  significantly  better  a  package  than it
       otherwise would have been; and of the debtags development team  led  by
       Enrico  Zini, who have welcomed the debram (they might easily have done
       otherwise) and have gone out of their way to integrate it  successfully
       into the larger debtags structure.


       Copyright (C) 2002-2006 Thaddeus H. Black

       debram(1)  and  all  the  files included in the debram package are free
       software; you can redistribute them and/or modify them under the  terms
       of the GNU General Public License, Version 2.


       dpkg(8),  apt-get(8),  more(1),  less(1),  the  Command Selection Guide
       (included in the standard debram distribution), debtags.deb