Provided by: dpkg-dev_1.19.0.5ubuntu2_all bug


       deb-control - Debian binary packages' master control file format




       Each  Debian  binary  package contains the master control file, which contains a number of
       fields.  Each field begins with a tag, such as  Package  or  Version  (case  insensitive),
       followed  by a colon, and the body of the field.  Fields are delimited only by field tags.
       In other words, field text may be multiple lines in length,  but  the  installation  tools
       will generally join lines when processing the body of the field (except in the case of the
       Description field, see below).


       Package: package-name (required)
              The value of this field determines the package name, and is used to  generate  file
              names by most installation tools.

       Package-Type: deb|udeb|type
              This  field defines the type of the package.  udeb is for size-constrained packages
              used by the debian installer.  deb is the default value, it is assumed if the field
              is absent.  More types might be added in the future.

       Version: version-string (required)
              Typically,  this  is  the  original  package's  version number in whatever form the
              program's author uses. It may also include a Debian revision number (for non-native
              packages). The exact format and sorting algorithm are described in deb-version(7).

       Maintainer: fullname-email (recommended)
              Should be in the format “Joe Bloggs <>”, and is typically the person
              who created the package, as  opposed  to  the  author  of  the  software  that  was

       Description: short-description (recommended)
              The  format  for the package description is a short brief summary on the first line
              (after the Description field). The following lines should be used as a longer, more
              detailed  description.  Each  line  of  the  long description must be preceded by a
              space, and blank lines in the long description must contain a single ‘.’  following
              the preceding space.

       Section: section
              This  is  a  general  field that gives the package a category based on the software
              that it installs.  Some common sections are utils, net, mail, text, x11, etc.

       Priority: priority
              Sets the importance of this package in relation to the system as a  whole.   Common
              priorities are required, standard, optional, extra, etc.

       The Section and Priority fields usually have a defined set of accepted values based on the
       specific distribution policy.

       Installed-Size: size
              The approximate total size of the package's installed files, in KiB units.

       Essential: yes|no
              This field is usually only needed when the answer is yes. It denotes a package that
              is required for proper operation of the system. Dpkg or any other installation tool
              will not allow an Essential package to be removed (at least not without  using  one
              of the force options).

       Build-Essential: yes|no
              This  field is usually only needed when the answer is yes, and is commonly injected
              by the archive software.  It denotes a package that is required when building other

       Architecture: arch|all (recommended)
              The  architecture  specifies  which type of hardware this package was compiled for.
              Common architectures are amd64, armel, i386, powerpc, etc.  Note that the all value
              is meant for packages that are architecture independent.  Some examples of this are
              shell and Perl scripts, and documentation.

       Origin: name
              The name of the distribution this package is originating from.

       Bugs: url
              The url of the bug tracking system for this package. The  current  used  format  is
              bts-type://bts-address, like debbugs://

       Homepage: url
              The upstream project home page url.

       Tag: tag-list
              List  of  tags describing the qualities of the package. The description and list of
              supported tags can be found in the debtags package.

       Multi-Arch: no|same|foreign|allowed
              This field is used to indicate how this  package  should  behave  on  a  multi-arch

              no     This  value  is  the default when the field is omitted, in which case adding
                     the field with an explicit no value is generally not needed.

              same   This package is co-installable with itself, but  it  must  not  be  used  to
                     satisfy  the  dependency  of  any  package  of a different architecture from

                     This package is not co-installable with itself, but  should  be  allowed  to
                     satisfy  a  non-arch-qualified  dependency  of a package of a different arch
                     from itself (if a dependency has an explicit arch-qualifier then  the  value
                     foreign is ignored).

                     This  allows  reverse-dependencies  to  indicate in their Depends field that
                     they accept this package from  a  foreign  architecture  by  qualifying  the
                     package name with :any, but has no effect otherwise.

       Source: source-name [(source-version)]
              The  name  of  the  source  package  that  this  binary package came from, if it is
              different than the name of the package itself.  If the source version differs  from
              the  binary  version,  then the source-name will be followed by a source-version in
              parenthesis.  This can happen for example on a binary-only  non-maintainer  upload,
              or when setting a different binary version via «dpkg-gencontrol -v».

       Subarchitecture: value
       Kernel-Version: value
       Installer-Menu-Item: value
              These  fields  are  used  by  the debian-installer and are usually not needed.  See
              /usr/share/doc/debian-installer/devel/modules.txt from the debian-installer package
              for more details about them.

       Depends: package-list
              List of packages that are required for this package to provide a non-trivial amount
              of functionality. The package maintenance software will not allow a package  to  be
              installed  if  the  packages listed in its Depends field aren't installed (at least
              not without using the force options).  In an installation, the postinst scripts  of
              packages listed in Depends fields are run before those of the packages which depend
              on them. On the opposite, in a removal, the prerm script of a package is run before
              those of the packages listed in its Depends field.

       Pre-Depends: package-list
              List  of  packages  that  must  be  installed and configured before this one can be
              installed. This is usually used in the case where  this  package  requires  another
              package for running its preinst script.

       Recommends: package-list
              Lists  packages  that  would  be  found  together  with this one in all but unusual
              installations. The package maintenance software will warn the user if they  install
              a package without those listed in its Recommends field.

       Suggests: package-list
              Lists packages that are related to this one and can perhaps enhance its usefulness,
              but without which installing this package is perfectly reasonable.

       The syntax of Depends, Pre-Depends, Recommends and Suggests fields is a list of groups  of
       alternative  packages.  Each  group  is  a  list of packages separated by vertical bar (or
       “pipe”) symbols, ‘|’.  The groups are separated by commas.   Commas  are  to  be  read  as
       “AND”,  and  pipes  as  “OR”,  with  pipes  binding  more  tightly.   Each package name is
       optionally followed by an architecture qualifier appended after a  colon  ‘:’,  optionally
       followed by a version number specification in parentheses.

       An  architecture qualifier name can be a real Debian architecture name (since dpkg 1.16.5)
       or any (since dpkg 1.16.2).  If  omitted,  the  default  is  the  current  binary  package
       architecture.   A  real  Debian architecture name will match exactly that architecture for
       that package name, any will match any architecture for that package name  if  the  package
       has been marked as Multi-Arch: allowed.

       A  version  number  may start with a ‘>>’, in which case any later version will match, and
       may specify or omit the Debian packaging  revision  (separated  by  a  hyphen).   Accepted
       version relationships are ‘>>’ for greater than, ‘<<’ for less than, ‘>=’ for greater than
       or equal to, ‘<=’ for less than or equal to, and ‘=’ for equal to.

       Breaks: package-list
              Lists packages that this one breaks, for example by exposing bugs  when  the  named
              packages  rely  on this one. The package maintenance software will not allow broken
              packages to be configured; generally the resolution  is  to  upgrade  the  packages
              named in a Breaks field.

       Conflicts: package-list
              Lists  packages  that  conflict with this one, for example by containing files with
              the same names.  The  package  maintenance  software  will  not  allow  conflicting
              packages  to  be  installed  at the same time. Two conflicting packages should each
              include a Conflicts line mentioning the other.

       Replaces: package-list
              List of packages files from which this one replaces. This is used for allowing this
              package  to  overwrite  the  files  of another package and is usually used with the
              Conflicts field to force removal of the other package, if this  one  also  has  the
              same files as the conflicted package.

       The  syntax  of  Breaks,  Conflicts  and Replaces is a list of package names, separated by
       commas (and optional whitespace).  In the Breaks and Conflicts fields, the comma should be
       read as “OR”.  An optional architecture qualifier can also be appended to the package name
       with the same syntax as above, but the default  is  any  instead  of  the  binary  package
       architecture.  An optional version can also be given with the same syntax as above for the
       Breaks, Conflicts and Replaces fields.

       Enhances: package-list
              This is a list of packages that this one enhances.  It is similar to  Suggests  but
              in the opposite direction.

       Provides: package-list
              This is a list of virtual packages that this one provides.  Usually this is used in
              the case of several packages all providing the same service.  For example, sendmail
              and   exim  can  serve  as  a  mail  server,  so  they  provide  a  common  package
              (“mail-transport-agent”) on which other  packages  can  depend.   This  will  allow
              sendmail  or  exim  to  serve  as  a  valid option to satisfy the dependency.  This
              prevents the packages that depend on a mail server from having to know the  package
              names for all of them, and using ‘|’ to separate the list.

       The  syntax  of  Provides  is  a  list of package names, separated by commas (and optional
       whitespace).  An optional architecture qualifier can also be appended to the package  name
       with  the  same  syntax  as  above.  If omitted, the default is the current binary package
       architecture.  An optional exact (equal to) version can also be given with the same syntax
       as above (honored since dpkg 1.17.11).

       Built-Using: package-list
              This  field  lists  extra  source  packages that were used during the build of this
              binary package.  This is an indication to the  archive  maintenance  software  that
              these  extra source packages must be kept whilst this binary package is maintained.
              This field must be  a  list  of  source  package  names  with  strict  ‘=’  version
              relationships.   Note  that the archive maintenance software is likely to refuse to
              accept an  upload  which  declares  a  Built-Using  relationship  which  cannot  be
              satisfied within the archive.

       Built-For-Profiles: profile-list (obsolete)
              This  field used to specify a whitespace separated list of build profiles that this
              binary packages was built with (since dpkg 1.17.2 until 1.18.18).  The  information
              previously  found  in  this  field  can  now be found in the .buildinfo file, which
              supersedes it.

       Auto-Built-Package: reason-list
              This field specifies a whitespace separated list of reasons why  this  package  was
              auto-generated.   Binary  packages  marked  with  this field will not appear in the
              debian/control master source control file.   The  only  currently  used  reason  is


       # Comment
       Package: grep
       Essential: yes
       Priority: required
       Section: base
       Maintainer: Wichert Akkerman <>
       Architecture: sparc
       Version: 2.4-1
       Pre-Depends: libc6 (>= 2.0.105)
       Provides: rgrep
       Conflicts: rgrep
       Description: GNU grep, egrep and fgrep.
        The GNU family of grep utilities may be the "fastest grep in the west".
        GNU grep is based on a fast lazy-state deterministic matcher (about
        twice as fast as stock Unix egrep) hybridized with a Boyer-Moore-Gosper
        search for a fixed string that eliminates impossible text from being
        considered by the full regexp matcher without necessarily having to
        look at every character. The result is typically many times faster
        than Unix grep or egrep. (Regular expressions containing backreferencing
        will run more slowly, however).


       deb(5), deb-version(7), debtags(1), dpkg(1), dpkg-deb(1).