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deb(5)				    Debian				deb(5)

       deb - Debian binary package format


       The  .deb format	is the Debian binary package file format. It is	under-
       stood 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 com-
       mon  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 (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).   Un-
       recognized 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.  It is a tar archive
       containing the package control information, either not compressed (sup-
       ported since dpkg 1.17.6), or compressed	with gzip (with	.gz extension)
       or xz (with .xz extension, supported since  1.17.6),  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	exten-
       sion, supported since dpkg 1.10.24) or lzma (with .lzma extension, sup-
       ported 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 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 un-
       derscore, `_'.

       Those new members which won't be	able to	be safely ignored will be  in-
       serted  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).

Debian Project			  2014-05-24				deb(5)


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