Linux server administration/dpkg

dpkg is a package management software used among others by Debian operating system. It can be used to install, remove, and provide information about .deb packages.

New package configurations will append a *.dpkg-old OR *.dpkg-dist.

Basic dpkg commands edit

  • Install a .deb package:
    • dpkg -i filename.deb
  • Remove an installed package:
    • dpkg -r package_name
  • Get Information about a package
    • dpkg -s package_name (-s status). See also: apt-cache policy package_name
  • List of installed packages in your computer can be obtained with:
    • dpkg -l [optional pattern]
  • List files in a package:
    • dpkg -L package_name
    • dpkg-query -L package_name
  • Find package owner of a file:
    • dpkg -S `which file_to_search` (-S Search)
  • List content of a package, content can be extracted suing ar command:
    • dpkg -c /path/to/package_name.deb
  • Get a list of recently installed packages
    • zcat -f /var/log/dpkg.log* | grep "\ install\ " | sort
  • Get a list of recently upgraded packages
    • zcat -f /var/log/dpkg.log* | grep "\ upgrade\ " | sort
  • Get a list of recently installed or upgraded packages
    • zcat -f /var/log/dpkg.log* | egrep "\ install\ |\ upgrade\ " | sort -nk1
  • dpkg --configure -a[1]

Example Outputs of dpkg commands edit

Package: sysstat
Status: install ok installed
Priority: optional
Section: admin
Installed-Size: 1336
Maintainer: Robert Luberda <>
Architecture: amd64
Version: 11.4.3-2
Depends: lsb-base (>= 3.0-6), ucf (>= 2.003), xz-utils, debconf (>= 0.5) | debconf-2.0, libc6 (>= 2.14), libsensors4 (>= 1:3.0.0)
Recommends: cron | cron-daemon
Suggests: isag
 /etc/cron.d/sysstat 455c3c071b6daabb4e4490828975034c
 /etc/cron.daily/sysstat 19b1317e195208eed1a0bcd68be2e637
 /etc/init.d/sysstat 577050178b0105b10118acfe3335de3f
 /etc/sysstat/sysstat ca4bb64ec3044408fed750d0d3d7769a
 /etc/sysstat/sysstat.ioconf fa92b01baa2130e26822c30fb27ac56e
Description: system performance tools for Linux
 The sysstat package contains the following system performance tools:
  - sar: collects and reports system activity information;
  - iostat: reports CPU utilization and disk I/O statistics;
  - tapestat: reports statistics for tapes connected to the system;
  - mpstat: reports global and per-processor statistics;
  - pidstat: reports statistics for Linux tasks (processes);
  - sadf: displays data collected by sar in various formats;
  - cifsiostat: reports I/O statistics for CIFS filesystems.
 The statistics reported by sar deal with I/O transfer rates,
 paging activity, process-related activities, interrupts,
 network activity, memory and swap space utilization, CPU
 utilization, kernel activities and TTY statistics, among
 others. Both UP and SMP machines are fully supported.

Activities edit

Basic edit

  1. Read apt and snap page
  2. Install a package using dkpg
  3. Understand differences between apt and dpkg

Advanced edit

  1. Read uscan and to understand how new packages are generated:

See Also edit

References edit