Debian GNU/Linux provides several package management tools, primarily intended to facilitate the building, installation, and management of binary packages. In addition to Debian GNU/Linux, the tools described here also work on other Debian-based systems such as Xandros, Knoppix, Ubuntu, and numerous others.
Debian package names generally end in
.deb. The Debian package management tools
described here include apt,
aptitude, dpkg, dpkg-deb, dselect, and synaptic.
Each of these tools is described in detail in the section "Debian Package Manager Command Summary," later in this chapter.
Some important files used by the Debian package management tools are described briefly here:
Comes with each package. Documents dependencies; contains the name and version of the package, a description, maintainer, installed size, the package priority, etc.
Comes with each package. Contains a list of the configuration files associated with the package.
Scripts that developers can include in a package to be run before installation, after installation, before removal, or after removal of the package.
Contains information about packages available on the system.
Contains information about the status of packages available on the system.
A list for APT of package sources, used to locate packages. The sources are listed one per line, in order of preference.