Provided by: dpkg_1.17.5ubuntu5_i386 bug


       dpkg - package manager for Debian


       dpkg [option...] action


       This  manual is intended for users wishing to understand dpkg's command
       line options and package states in more detail than  that  provided  by
       dpkg --help.

       It  should not be used by package maintainers wishing to understand how
       dpkg will install their packages. The descriptions of  what  dpkg  does
       when installing and removing packages are particularly inadequate.


       dpkg  is  a  tool to install, build, remove and manage Debian packages.
       The primary and more user-friendly front-end for dpkg  is  aptitude(1).
       dpkg  itself  is controlled entirely via command line parameters, which
       consist of exactly one action and zero or  more  options.  The  action-
       parameter tells dpkg what to do and options control the behavior of the
       action in some way.

       dpkg can also be used as a front-end to dpkg-deb(1) and  dpkg-query(1).
       The  list  of  supported  actions  can be found later on in the ACTIONS
       section. If any such action is encountered dpkg just runs  dpkg-deb  or
       dpkg-query with the parameters given to it, but no specific options are
       currently passed to them, to use any such option the back-ends need  to
       be called directly.


       dpkg  maintains  some  usable information about available packages. The
       information is divided in three classes: states, selection  states  and
       flags. These values are intended to be changed mainly with dselect.

   Package states
              The package is not installed on your system.

              Only the configuration files of the package exist on the system.

              The  installation  of  the  package  has  been  started, but not
              completed for some reason.

              The package is unpacked, but not configured.

              The package is unpacked and configuration has been started,  but
              not yet completed for some reason.

              The package awaits trigger processing by another package.

              The package has been triggered.

              The package is unpacked and configured OK.

   Package selection states
              The package is selected for installation.

       hold   A  package  marked  to be on hold is not handled by dpkg, unless
              forced to do that with option --force-hold.

              The package is selected for  deinstallation  (i.e.  we  want  to
              remove all files, except configuration files).

       purge  The  package  is  selected  to be purged (i.e. we want to remove
              everything from system directories, even configuration files).

   Package flags
              A  package  marked  reinst-required  is  broken   and   requires
              reinstallation.  These packages cannot be removed, unless forced
              with option --force-remove-reinstreq.


       -i, --install package-file...
              Install the package. If --recursive or -R option  is  specified,
              package-file must refer to a directory instead.

              Installation consists of the following steps:

              1. Extract the control files of the new package.

              2.  If  another version of the same package was installed before
              the new installation, execute prerm script of the old package.

              3. Run preinst script, if provided by the package.

              4. Unpack the new files, and at the same time back  up  the  old
              files, so that if something goes wrong, they can be restored.

              5.  If  another version of the same package was installed before
              the new installation, execute  the  postrm  script  of  the  old
              package.  Note  that  this  script is executed after the preinst
              script of the new package, because new files are written at  the
              same time old files are removed.

              6.   Configure   the   package.  See  --configure  for  detailed
              information about how this is done.

       --unpack package-file...
              Unpack the package, but don't configure it. If --recursive or -R
              option  is  specified,  package-file  must  refer to a directory

       --configure package...|-a|--pending
              Configure  a  package  which  has  been  unpacked  but  not  yet
              configured.  If -a or --pending is given instead of package, all
              unpacked but unconfigured packages are configured.

              To reconfigure a package which has already been configured,  try
              the dpkg-reconfigure(8) command instead.

              Configuring consists of the following steps:

              1.  Unpack  the  conffiles, and at the same time back up the old
              conffiles, so that they can be restored if something goes wrong.

              2. Run postinst script, if provided by the package.

       --triggers-only package...|-a|--pending
              Processes only triggers. All pending triggers will be processed.
              If package names are supplied only those packages' triggers will
              be processed, exactly once each where  necessary.  Use  of  this
              option  may  leave packages in the improper triggers-awaited and
              triggers-pending states. This can be  fixed  later  by  running:
              dpkg --configure --pending.

       -r, --remove, -P, --purge package...|-a|--pending
              Remove  an  installed  package. -r or --remove remove everything
              except conffiles. This  may  avoid  having  to  reconfigure  the
              package if it is reinstalled later. (Conffiles are configuration
              files that are listed in the DEBIAN/conffiles control file).  -P
              or  --purge  removes  everything,  including conffiles. If -a or
              --pending is given instead of a package name, then all  packages
              unpacked,   but   marked   to  be  removed  or  purged  in  file
              /var/lib/dpkg/status, are removed or purged, respectively. Note:
              some  configuration  files might be unknown to dpkg because they
              are created and handled  separately  through  the  configuration
              scripts. In that case, dpkg won't remove them by itself, but the
              package's postrm script (which is called by dpkg), has  to  take
              care of their removal during purge. Of course, this only applies
              to files in system directories, not configuration files  written
              to individual users' home directories.

              Removing of a package consists of the following steps:

              1. Run prerm script

              2. Remove the installed files

              3. Run postrm script

       -V, --verify [package-name...]
              Verifies  the  integrity  of  package-name  or  all  packages if
              omitted, by comparing information from the installed paths  with
              the database metadata.

              The output format is selectable with the --verify-format option,
              which by default uses the rpm format, but that might  change  in
              the  future,  and  as  such programs parsing this command output
              should be explicit about the format they expect.

       --update-avail, --merge-avail Packages-file
              Update  dpkg's  and  dselect's  idea  of  which   packages   are
              available.   With   action  --merge-avail,  old  information  is
              combined  with  information  from  Packages-file.  With   action
              --update-avail, old information is replaced with the information
              in the Packages-file. The Packages-file distributed with  Debian
              is  simply  named  Packages.  dpkg keeps its record of available
              packages in /var/lib/dpkg/available.

              A simpler one-shot command to retrieve and update the  available
              file is dselect update. Note that this file is mostly useless if
              you don't use dselect but an APT-based frontend: APT has its own
              system to keep track of available packages.

       -A, --record-avail package-file...
              Update  dpkg  and dselect's idea of which packages are available
              with information from the package package-file.  If  --recursive
              or  -R  option  is  specified,  package-file  must  refer  to  a
              directory instead.

              Now obsolete and a  no-op  as  dpkg  will  automatically  forget
              uninstalled unavailable packages.

              Erase   the   existing   information  about  what  packages  are

        -C, --audit
              Searches for packages that have been installed only partially on
              your  system. dpkg will suggest what to do with them to get them

       --get-selections [package-name-pattern...]
              Get list of package selections, and write it to stdout.  Without
              a  pattern,  non-installed  packages (i.e. those which have been
              previously purged) will not be shown.

              Set package selections using file read  from  stdin.  This  file
              should  be  in the format 'package state', where state is one of
              install, hold, deinstall or purge. Blank lines and comment lines
              beginning with '#' are also permitted.

              The available file needs to be up-to-date for this command to be
              useful, otherwise  unknown  packages  will  be  ignored  with  a
              warning.  See  the --update-avail and --merge-avail commands for
              more information.

              Set the  requested  state  of  every  non-essential  package  to
              deinstall.   This  is  intended  to  be  used immediately before
              --set-selections, to deinstall any packages not in list given to

              Searches  for  packages selected for installation, but which for
              some reason still haven't been installed.

       --add-architecture architecture
              Add architecture to the list of architectures for which packages
              can   be   installed  without  using  --force-architecture.  The
              architecture  dpkg  is   built   for   (i.e.   the   output   of
              --print-architecture) is always part of that list.

       --remove-architecture architecture
              Remove  architecture  from  the  list of architectures for which
              packages can be installed without using --force-architecture. If
              the  architecture  is  currently in use in the database then the
              operation will be refused,  except  if  --force-architecture  is
              specified.  The  architecture dpkg is built for (i.e. the output
              of --print-architecture) can never be removed from that list.

              Print architecture  of  packages  dpkg  installs  (for  example,

              Print  a  newline-separated list of the extra architectures dpkg
              is configured to allow packages to be installed for.

       --compare-versions ver1 op ver2
              Compare version numbers, where op is  a  binary  operator.  dpkg
              returns  success  (zero  result)  if  the specified condition is
              satisfied, and failure (nonzero result) otherwise. There are two
              groups  of  operators,  which  differ in how they treat an empty
              ver1 or ver2. These treat an empty version as earlier  than  any
              version:  lt  le  eq  ne  ge gt. These treat an empty version as
              later than any version:  lt-nl  le-nl  ge-nl  gt-nl.  These  are
              provided  only  for compatibility with control file syntax: < <<
              <= = >= >> >.

       -?, --help
              Display a brief help message.

              Give help about the --force-thing options.

       -Dh, --debug=help
              Give help about debugging options.

              Display dpkg version information.

       dpkg-deb actions
              See  dpkg-deb(1)  for  more  information  about  the   following

              -b, --build directory [archive|directory]
                  Build a deb package.
              -c, --contents archive
                  List contents of a deb package.
              -e, --control filename [directory]
                  Extract control-information from a package.
              -x, --extract archive directory
                  Extract the files contained by package.
              -X, --vextract archive directory
                  Extract and display the filenames contained by a
              -f, --field  archive [control-field...]
                  Display control field(s) of a package.
              --fsys-tarfile archive
                  Display the filesystem tar-file contained by a
                  Debian package.
              -I, --info archive [control-file...]
                  Show information about a package.

       dpkg-query actions
              See  dpkg-query(1)  for  more  information  about  the following

              -l, --list package-name-pattern...
                  List packages matching given pattern.
              -s, --status package-name...
                  Report status of specified package.
              -L, --listfiles package-name...
                  List files installed to your system from package-name.
              -S, --search filename-search-pattern...
                  Search for a filename from installed packages.
              -p, --print-avail package-name...
                  Display details about package-name, as found in
                  /var/lib/dpkg/available. Users of APT-based frontends
                  should use apt-cache show package-name instead.


       All options can be specified both on the command line and in  the  dpkg
       configuration  file  /etc/dpkg/dpkg.cfg  or  fragment files (with names
       matching this shell  pattern  '[0-9a-zA-Z_-]*')  on  the  configuration
       directory /etc/dpkg/dpkg.cfg.d/. Each line in the configuration file is
       either an option (exactly the same  as  the  command  line  option  but
       without leading hyphens) or a comment (if it starts with a #).

              Change after how many errors dpkg will abort. The default is 50.

       -B, --auto-deconfigure
              When  a  package is removed, there is a possibility that another
              installed package depended on the  removed  package.  Specifying
              this  option will cause automatic deconfiguration of the package
              which depended on the removed package.

       -Doctal, --debug=octal
              Switch debugging on. octal is formed by  bitwise-orring  desired
              values  together from the list below (note that these values may
              change in future releases). -Dh or  --debug=help  display  these
              debugging values.

                  Number   Description
                       1   Generally helpful progress information
                       2   Invocation and status of maintainer scripts
                      10   Output for each file processed
                     100   Lots of output for each file processed
                      20   Output for each configuration file
                     200   Lots of output for each configuration file
                      40   Dependencies and conflicts
                     400   Lots of dependencies/conflicts output
                   10000   Trigger activation and processing
                   20000   Lots of output regarding triggers
                   40000   Silly amounts of output regarding triggers
                    1000   Lots of drivel about e.g. the dpkg/info dir
                    2000   Insane amounts of drivel

       --force-things, --no-force-things, --refuse-things

              Force  or refuse (no-force and refuse mean the same thing) to do
              some  things.  things  is  a  comma  separated  list  of  things
              specified  below.  --force-help  displays  a  message describing
              them.  Things marked with (*) are forced by default.

              Warning: These options are mostly intended to be used by experts
              only.  Using  them without fully understanding their effects may
              break your whole system.

              all: Turns on (or off) all force options.

              downgrade(*): Install a package, even if newer version of it  is
              already installed.

              Warning:  At present dpkg does not do any dependency checking on
              downgrades and therefore will not  warn  you  if  the  downgrade
              breaks  the  dependency  of  some  other  package. This can have
              serious side effects, downgrading  essential  system  components
              can even make your whole system unusable. Use with care.

              configure-any:  Configure  also  any  unpacked  but unconfigured
              packages on which the current package depends.

              hold: Process packages even when marked "hold".

              remove-reinstreq: Remove a package,  even  if  it's  broken  and
              marked  to  require reinstallation. This may, for example, cause
              parts of the package to remain on the system, which will then be
              forgotten by dpkg.

              remove-essential:  Remove,  even  if  the  package is considered
              essential. Essential packages contain  mostly  very  basic  Unix
              commands.  Removing  them  might  cause the whole system to stop
              working, so use with caution.

              depends: Turn all dependency problems into warnings.

              depends-version:  Don't  care  about  versions   when   checking

              breaks: Install, even if this would break another package.

              conflicts:  Install,  even if it conflicts with another package.
              This is dangerous, for it will usually cause overwriting of some

              confmiss:  If  a  conffile  is  missing  and  the version in the
              package did change, always install the missing conffile  without
              prompting.  This  is  dangerous, since it means not preserving a
              change (removing) made to the file.

              confnew: If a conffile has been modified and the version in  the
              package  did  change,  always  install  the  new version without
              prompting, unless the  --force-confdef  is  also  specified,  in
              which case the default action is preferred.

              confold:  If a conffile has been modified and the version in the
              package  did  change,  always  keep  the  old  version   without
              prompting,  unless  the  --force-confdef  is  also specified, in
              which case the default action is preferred.

              confdef: If a conffile has been modified and the version in  the
              package  did  change,  always  choose the default action without
              prompting. If there is no default action it will stop to ask the
              user  unless  --force-confnew  or  --force-confold  is also been
              given, in which case it  will  use  that  to  decide  the  final

              confask: If a conffile has been modified always offer to replace
              it with the version in the package, even if the version  in  the
              package   did   not   change.   If   any   of  --force-confmiss,
              --force-confnew, --force-confold,  or  --force-confdef  is  also
              given, it will be used to decide the final action.

              overwrite: Overwrite one package's file with another's file.

              overwrite-dir  Overwrite  one package's directory with another's

              overwrite-diverted: Overwrite a diverted file with an undiverted

              unsafe-io:  Do  not  perform safe I/O operations when unpacking.
              Currently this implies not performing file system  syncs  before
              file  renames,  which  is known to cause substantial performance
              degradation on some file systems, unfortunately  the  ones  that
              require  the safe I/O on the first place due to their unreliable
              behaviour causing zero-length files on abrupt system crashes.

              Note: For ext4, the main offender, consider  using  instead  the
              mount  option  nodelalloc,  which  will fix both the performance
              degradation and the data safety issues, the latter by making the
              file  system  not  produce  zero-length  files  on abrupt system
              crashes with any software not doing syncs before atomic renames.

              Warning: Using this option might improve performance at the cost
              of losing data, use with care.

              architecture:   Process   even   packages   with   wrong  or  no

              bad-version: Process even packages with wrong versions.

              bad-path: PATH is missing important programs,  so  problems  are

              not-root: Try to (de)install things even when not root.

              bad-verify:  Install  a  package  even  if it fails authenticity

              Ignore dependency-checking  for  specified  packages  (actually,
              checking  is  performed,  but  only warnings about conflicts are
              given, nothing else).

       --no-act, --dry-run, --simulate
              Do everything which is supposed to be done, but don't write  any
              changes.  This  is  used  to  see  what  would  happen  with the
              specified action, without actually modifying anything.

              Be sure to give --no-act before  the  action-parameter,  or  you
              might  end  up  with undesirable results. (e.g. dpkg --purge foo
              --no-act will first purge package foo  and  then  try  to  purge
              package  --no-act,  even  though  you  probably  expected  it to
              actually do nothing)

       -R, --recursive
              Recursively handle all  regular  files  matching  pattern  *.deb
              found  at  specified  directories and all of its subdirectories.
              This can be used with -i, -A, --install,  --unpack  and  --avail

       -G     Don't  install  a package if a newer version of the same package
              is already installed. This is an alias of --refuse-downgrade.

              Change default administrative  directory,  which  contains  many
              files  that  give  information  about  status  of  installed  or
              uninstalled packages, etc.  (Defaults to /var/lib/dpkg)

              Change  default  installation  directory  which  refers  to  the
              directory  where  packages  are to be installed. instdir is also
              the directory  passed  to  chroot(2)  before  running  package's
              installation  scripts,  which means that the scripts see instdir
              as a root directory.  (Defaults to /)

              Changing  root  changes  instdir  to   dir   and   admindir   to

       -O, --selected-only
              Only  process  the  packages that are selected for installation.
              The actual marking is done with dselect  or  by  dpkg,  when  it
              handles  packages.  For  example,  when a package is removed, it
              will be marked selected for deinstallation.

       -E, --skip-same-version
              Don't install the package if the same version of the package  is
              already installed.

              Set an invoke hook command to be run via “sh -c” before or after
              the dpkg run for the unpack, configure, install,  triggers-only,
              remove  and  purge  dpkg  actions.  This option can be specified
              multiple  times.  The  order  the  options  are   specified   is
              preserved,  with  the  ones  from the configuration files taking
              precedence.  The environment variable  DPKG_HOOK_ACTION  is  set
              for the hooks to the current dpkg action. Note: front-ends might
              call dpkg several times per  invocation,  which  might  run  the
              hooks more times than expected.

              Set  glob-pattern  as  a path filter, either by excluding or re-
              including  previously  excluded  paths  matching  the  specified
              patterns during install.

              Warning:  take into account that depending on the excluded paths
              you might completely break your system, use with caution.

              The glob patterns use the same wildcards used in the shell, were
              '*'  matches  any  sequence  of  characters, including the empty
              string  and  also  '/'.  For  example,  '/usr/*/READ*'   matches
              '/usr/share/doc/package/README'.   As  usual,  '?'  matches  any
              single character  (again,  including  '/').  And  '['  starts  a
              character  class, which can contain a list of characters, ranges
              and complementations. See glob(7) for detailed information about
              globbing. Note: the current implementation might re-include more
              directories and symlinks than needed, to be on the safe side and
              avoid possible unpack failures, future work might fix this.

              This  can  be  used  to  remove all paths except some particular
              ones; a typical case is:


              to remove all documentation files except the copyright files.

              These  two  options  can  be  specified  multiple   times,   and
              interleaved  with  each  other.  Both are processed in the given
              order, with the last rule that matches a file  name  making  the

       --verify-format format-name
              Sets the output format for the --verify command.

              The  only  currently  supported  output  format  is  rpm,  which
              consists of a line for every path that  failed  any  check.  The
              lines  start  with  9  characters  to  report the specific check
              results, a '?' implies the check could  not  be  done  (lack  of
              support,  file permissions, etc), '.'  implies the check passed,
              and an alphanumeric character implies a specific  check  failed;
              the only functional check is an md5sum verification denoted with
              a '5' on the third character. The line is followed  by  a  space
              and  an  attribute  character  (currently  'c'  for  conffiles),
              another space and the pathname.

       --status-fd n
              Send machine-readable package status and progress information to
              file  descriptor n. This option can be specified multiple times.
              The information is generally one record per line, in one of  the
              following forms:

              status: package: status
                     Package status changed; status is as in the status file.

              status: package : error : extended-error-message
                     An  error  occurred.  Any  possible newlines in extended-
                     error-message will be converted to spaces before output.

              status:  file  :   conffile-prompt   :   'real-old'   'real-new'
              useredited distedited
                     User is being asked a conffile question.

              processing: stage: package
                     Sent  just before a processing stage starts. stage is one
                     of  upgrade,  install  (both  sent   before   unpacking),
                     configure, trigproc, disappear, remove, purge.

              Send machine-readable package status and progress information to
              the shell command's standard input. This option can be specified
              multiple  times.  The  output  format  used  is  the  same as in

              Log status change updates and actions to  filename,  instead  of
              the  default /var/log/dpkg.log. If this option is given multiple
              times, the last filename is used. Log messages are of  the  form
              `YYYY-MM-DD  HH:MM:SS  status  state  pkg installed-version' for
              status  change  updates;   `YYYY-MM-DD   HH:MM:SS   action   pkg
              installed-version available-version' for actions where action is
              one of install, upgrade, remove, purge; and `YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS
              conffile  filename decision' for conffile changes where decision
              is either install or keep.

              Do not try to verify package signatures.

              Do not run any triggers in this run (activations will  still  be
              recorded).   If used with --configure package or --triggers-only
              package then the named package postinst will still be  run  even
              if  only  a triggers run is needed. Use of this option may leave
              packages in the improper triggers-awaited  and  triggers-pending
              states.  This  can  be  fixed later by running: dpkg --configure

              Cancels a previous --no-triggers.


       HOME   If set, dpkg will use it as the directory from which to read the
              user specific configuration file.

       TMPDIR If  set,  dpkg  will  use it as the directory in which to create
              temporary files and directories.

       PAGER  The program dpkg will execute when displaying the conffiles.

       SHELL  The program dpkg will execute when starting a new shell.

              Sets the number of  columns  dpkg  should  use  when  displaying
              formatted text. Currently only used by -l.

              Defined  by  dpkg on the shell spawned on the conffile prompt to
              examine the situation. Current valid value: conffile-prompt.

              Defined by dpkg on the shell spawned on the conffile  prompt  to
              examine the situation. Contains the path to the old conffile.

              Defined  by  dpkg on the shell spawned on the conffile prompt to
              examine the situation. Contains the path to the new conffile.

              Defined by dpkg on the  maintainer  script  environment  to  the
              version of the currently running dpkg instance.

              Defined  by  dpkg  on  the  maintainer script environment to the
              (non-arch-qualified) package name being handled.

              Defined by dpkg on the  maintainer  script  environment  to  the
              package  reference  count,  i.e. the number of package instances
              with a state greater than not-installed. Since dpkg 1.17.2.

              Defined by dpkg on the  maintainer  script  environment  to  the
              architecture the package got built for.

              Defined by dpkg on the maintainer script environment to the name
              of the script running (preinst, postinst, prerm, postrm).


              Configuration fragment files.

              Configuration file with default options.

              Default log file (see /etc/dpkg/dpkg.cfg(5) and option --log).

       The other files listed below are  in  their  default  directories,  see
       option --admindir to see how to change locations of these files.

              List of available packages.

              Statuses  of  available packages. This file contains information
              about whether a package is marked for removing or  not,  whether
              it  is  installed  or  not,  etc.  See section INFORMATION ABOUT
              PACKAGES for more info.

              The status file is backed up daily in /var/backups.  It  can  be
              useful if it's lost or corrupted due to filesystems troubles.

       The  following files are components of a binary package. See deb(5) for
       more information about them:


       --no-act usually gives less information than might be helpful.


       To list installed packages related  to  the  editor  vi(1)  (note  that
       dpkg-query does not load the available file anymore by default, and the
       dpkg-query --load-avail option should be used instead for that):
            dpkg -l '*vi*'

       To see the entries in /var/lib/dpkg/available of two packages:
            dpkg --print-avail elvis vim | less

       To search the listing of packages yourself:
            less /var/lib/dpkg/available

       To remove an installed elvis package:
            dpkg -r elvis

       To install a package, you first need to find it in an archive or CDROM.
       The available file shows that the vim package is in section "editors":
            cd /media/cdrom/pool/main/v/vim
            dpkg -i vim_4.5-3.deb

       To make a local copy of the package selection states:
            dpkg --get-selections >myselections

       You  might  transfer  this  file  to another computer, and after having
       updated the available file there with your package manager frontend  of
       choice  (see for more details),
       for example:
            apt-cache dumpavail >"$avail"
            dpkg --merge-avail "$avail"
            rm "$avail"
       you can install it with:
            dpkg --clear-selections
            dpkg --set-selections <myselections

       Note that this will not actually install or remove anything,  but  just
       set  the  selection state on the requested packages. You will need some
       other application  to  actually  download  and  install  the  requested
       packages. For example, run apt-get dselect-upgrade.

       Ordinarily,  you  will  find that dselect(1) provides a more convenient
       way to modify the package selection states.


       Additional functionality  can  be  gained  by  installing  any  of  the
       following packages: apt, aptitude and debsums.


       aptitude(1), apt(1), dselect(1), dpkg-deb(1), dpkg-query(1), deb(5),
       deb-control(5), dpkg.cfg(5), and dpkg-reconfigure(8).


       See /usr/share/doc/dpkg/THANKS for the list of people who have
       contributed to dpkg.