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Sat, May 14, 2016 10:54 pm

Creating a simple Debian .deb package

Versions of Linux based on the Debian distribution, such as Ubuntu, use .deb files for the package management system. Debian .deb packages are standard Unix ar archives that include two tar archives, which may optionally be compressed with gzip (zlib), Bzip2, the Lempel–Ziv–Markov chain algorithm (LZMA), or xz (lzma2). One of the two archives holds the control information and the other contains the program data. At the base of the software management system is dpkg; dpkg originally stood for "Debian package". dpkg is a low-level tool that is used by other package management tools such as Advanced Package Tool (APT). APT was originally designed as a front end to dpkg. In turn aptitude, which allows a user to interactively choose packages to install or remove, is a front end to apt. Synaptic provides a graphical user interface (GUI) for apt.

To install a .deb package with dpkg, you can use dpkg -i debFileName . You can obtain a list of the installed packages on a system with dpkg -l or dpkg -l [optional pattern] to filter the list of packages shown by an optional pattern.

I've never created a .deb package and was curious as to how to do so. I thought I'd start with something simple by creating a .deb package for ibmonitor, since the program is just one Perl script. To build the package, I followed the instructions in the How to Build section of Debian Packages.

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