dpkg is the software at the base of the package management system in the free operating system Debian and its numerous derivatives.
dpkg is used to install, remove, and provide information about .deb packages.
|Original author(s)||Ian Murdock|
|Developer(s)||The Debian Project|
|Initial release||January 1994|
1.20.10 / May 25, 2022
1.21.8 / May 25, 2022
|Written in||C, C++, Perl|
dpkg (Debian Package) itself is a low-level tool. APT (Advanced Package Tool), a higher-level tool, is more commonly used than
dpkg as it can fetch packages from remote locations and deal with complex package relations, such as dependency resolution. Frontends for APT, like aptitude (ncurses) and synaptic (GTK), are used for their friendlier interfaces.
The Debian package "dpkg" provides the
dpkg program, as well as several other programs necessary for run-time functioning of the packaging system, including
dpkg-trigger. It also includes the programs such as
install-info program used to be included as well, but was later removed as it is now developed and distributed separately. The Debian package "dpkg-dev" includes the numerous build tools described below.
dpkg was originally created by Ian Murdock in January 1994 as a Shell script. Matt Welsh, Carl Streeter and Ian Murdock then rewrote it in Perl, and then later the main part was rewritten in C by Ian Jackson in 1994. The name dpkg was originally a shortening of "Debian package", but the meaning of that phrase has evolved significantly, as dpkg the software is orthogonal to the deb package format as well as the Debian Policy Manual which defines how Debian packages behave in Debian.
To install a .deb package:
dpkg -i filename.deb
where filename.deb is the name of the Debian package (such as pkgname_0.00-1_amd64.deb).
The list of installed packages can be obtained with:
dpkg -l [optional pattern]
To remove an installed package:
dpkg -r packagename
dpkg-dev contains a series of development tools required to unpack, build and upload Debian source packages. These include:
wpkg was created as a dpkg look-alike that would run under the Microsoft Windows operating system. It subsequently evolved to include functionality similar to parts of the APT suite, improved repository management, distribution management and was ported to Linux and Unix-like systems, including Cygwin, Mingw32, macOS, OpenSolaris and FreeBSD. It retains .deb file format compatibility and is supplied with the ready-to-use executable wpkg.exe. As of November 2018[update], the most recent release of the software was in 2015.