Provided by: dpkg-dev_1.17.5ubuntu5_all bug

NAME

       deb - Debian binary package format

SYNOPSIS

       filename.deb

DESCRIPTION

       The  .deb  format  is  the  Debian  binary  package  file format. It is
       understood 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).

FORMAT

       The file is an ar archive with a magic  value  of  !<arch>.   Only  the
       common  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 1.4.1.17), 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 after
       debian-binary and before control.tar.gz or 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
       increased.

SEE ALSO

       deb-old(5), dpkg-deb(1), deb-control(5).