Using dpkg with BitDefender Rescue CD

You can use a BitDefender Rescue CD, which is a a live CD using Knoppix Linux, to boot a Windows system without using Windows in order to scan the system for viruses and other malware. Knoppix Linux is based on Debian. You can determine which version of Debian is being used by looking in /etc/debian_version.

The BitDefender Rescue CD comes with some software aside from the BitDefender anvirus software. For instance, Mozilla Firefox and Partition Image are also on the live CD. But you may want to add other software as well. Knoppix Linux uses binary packages in .deb format, which can be installed with the dpkg utility that will be accessible once you boot a system from the live CD. For an explanation of .deb files, see Deb files or Debian Packages.

You can find packages for download at Packages. To download a package once you've booted a system from the rescue CD, right-click on the desktop, select Web, then Mozilla Firefox. You can then view a list of available Debian packages at view package lists. You will likely want to use the stable distribution.

Let's suppose the package you want to install is fping, which is a ping like program which uses the Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) echo request to determine if a target host is responding, instead of the ping program that is available to you from the live CD. Download the appropriate version of fping for your architecture, e.g. the i386 version of fping, if you booted a PC with the live CD.

But before you use dpkg to install the package you downloaded you will need to create some directories and files that dpkg expects to be present, but which aren't present when you boot from the rescue CD. E.g., if you try running dpkg before you've created the status file in /var/lib/dpkg, you will see messages such as "dpkg: unable to access dpkg status area: No such file or directory" or "dpkg: cannot scan updates directory `/var/lib/dpkg/updates/': No such file or directory". So right-click on the desktop and select Terminal (as root) to open a terminal window then enter the commands shown below.

root@Knoppix:~# mkdir /var/lib/dpkg
root@Knoppix:~# mkdir /var/lib/dpkg/info
root@Knoppix:~# mkdir /var/lib/dpkg/updates
root@Knoppix:~# touch /var/lib/dpkg/status
root@Knoppix:~# touch /var/lib/dpkg/available

The /var/lib/dpkg/info directory contains, among other things, all the information about the packages that are installed on your system.

If you haven't already downloaded the package you wish to install, you can obtain it from the shell prompt using the wget command, e.g. wget

root@Knoppix:~# wget

If you downloaded it with Firefox, the package will be in the /home/knoppix directory. Use the dpkg program to install the package. You can verify it was installed using which fping.

root@Knoppix:/home/knoppix# dpkg --install fping_2.4b2-to-ipv6-15_i386.deb
Selecting previously deselected package fping.
(Reading database ... 0 files and directories currently installed.)
Unpacking fping (from fping_2.4b2-to-ipv6-15_i386.deb) ...
dpkg: dependency problems prevent configuration of fping:
 fping depends on libc6 (>= 2.7-1); however:
   Package libc6 is not installed.
dpkg: error processing fping (--install):
 dependency problems - leaving unconfigured
Errors were encountered while processing:
root@Knoppix:/home/knoppix# which fping
root@Knoppix:/home/knoppix# fping is alive

In the case of the fping package, you will see a message that "dependency problems prevent configuration of fping", but the program will be installed and is usable as shown above. For some other packages, you may need to install all the dependencies first, i.e. all of the packages that the one you wish to use depends on. If you wish, you can, instead, use the apt-get utility to install packages. By using apt-get, you can have dependencies installed automatically - see Using apt-get with BitDefender Rescue CD.


  1. Deb files or Debian Packages
  2. Using apt-get with BitDefender Rescue CD
    Date: August 9, 2009
    MoonPoint Support
  3. dpkg
    Linux Reviews
  4. A Concise apt-get / dpkg primer for new Debian users
    Date: December 13, 2005
    All about Linux
  5. Unable to install anything on Ubuntu 6.06 Dapper Drake
    Date: April 22, 2007
    Luanchpad Answers
  6. Input/Output Error; dpkg sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned and error code
    Date: May 10, 2006
  7. Package administration commands - Debian Linux Tutorials Tips System Administration Resources


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Created: Tuesday August 11, 2009