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       deb - Debian binary package format




       The  .deb  format  is  the  Debian  binary  package  file format. It is
       understood by dpkg 0.93.76 and later, and is generated  by  default  by
       all  versions  of  dpkg  since  1.2.0  and  all i386/ELF versions since

       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>.  The file
       names might contain a trailing slash.

       The tar archives currently allowed are, the old-style (v7) format,  the
       pre-POSIX  ustar format, a subset of the GNU format (only the new style
       long pathnames and long linknames, supported since dpkg,  and
       the  POSIX  ustar  format  (long  names  supported  since dpkg 1.15.0).
       Unrecognized tar typeflags are considered an error.

       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.gz.  It  is  a  gzipped
       tar  archive containing the package control information, as a series of
       plain files, of which the file control is mandatory  and  contains  the
       core control information. 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),  bzip2  (with  .bz2
       extension, supported since dpkg 1.10.24) or lzma (with .lzma extension,
       supported since dpkg 1.13.25).

       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 before
       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).