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           Each  Debian package contains the master 'control' file, which contains
           a number of fields, or comments when the line  starts  with  '#'.  Each
           field begins with a tag, such as Package or Version (case insensitive),
           followed by a colon, and the body of the field.  Fields  are  delimited
           only by field tags. In other words, field text may be multiple lines in
           length, but the installation tools will generally join lines when  pro-
           cessing  the  body  of the field (except in the case of the Description
           field, see below).


           Package: package-name
                  The value of this field determines the package name, and is used
                  to generate file names by most installation tools.
           Version: version-string
                  Typically,  this  is  the  original  package's version number in
                  whatever form the program's author uses. It may also  include  a
                  Debian revision number (for non-native packages). The exact for-
                  mat and sorting algorithm are described in deb-version(5).
           Maintainer: fullname-email
                  Should be in the format 'Joe Bloggs <>',  and  is
                  typically  the person who created the package, as opposed to the
                  author of the software that was packaged.
           Description: short-description
                  The format for the package description is a short brief  summary
                  on the first line (after the "Description" field). The following
                  lines should be used as a  longer,  more  detailed  description.
                  Each  line  of the long description must be preceded by a space,
                  and blank lines in the long description must  contain  a  single
                  '.' following the preceding space.



    Section: section

                  This  is a general field that gives the package a category based
                  on the software that  it  installs.  Some  common  sections  are
                  'utils', 'net', 'mail', 'text', 'x11' etc.
           Priority: priority
                  Sets the importance of this package in relation to the system as
                  a  whole.   Common  priorities   are   'required',   'standard',
                  'optional', 'extra' etc.
           In  Debian,  the  Section  and  Priority  fields  have a defined set of
           accepted values based on the Policy Manual.  A list of these values can
           be obtained from the latest version of the debian-policy package.
           Origin: name
                  The name of the distribution this package is originating from.
           Bugs: url
                  The url of the bug tracking system for this package. The current
                  used    format    is    bts-type://bts-address,    like     deb-
           Homepage: url
                  The upstream project home page url.
           Tag: tag-list
                  List  of  tags  describing  the  qualities  of  the package. The
                  description and list of supported tags can be found in the  deb-
                  tags package.
           Multi-Arch: same|foreign|allowed
                  This field is used to indicate how this package should behave on
                  a multi-arch installations. The value same means that the  pack-
                  age  is  co-installable  with itself, but it must not be used to
                  satisfy the dependency of any package of a  different  architec-
                  ture  from  itself.  The value foreign means that the package is
                  not co-installable with itself, but should be allowed to satisfy
                  the dependency of a package of a different arch from itself. The
                  value allowed allows reverse-dependencies to indicate  in  their
                  Depends  field that they need a package from a foreign architec-
                  ture, but has no effect otherwise.  This  field  should  not  be
                  present in packages with the Architecture: all field.
           Source: source-name
                  The  name  of  the  source package that this binary package came
                  from, if different than the name of the package itself.
           Subarchitecture: value
           Kernel-Version: value
           Installer-Menu-Item: value
                  These fields are used by the debian-installer  and  are  usually
                  not   needed.    See  /usr/share/doc/debian-installer/devel/mod-
                  ules.txt from the  debian-installer  package  for  more  details
                  about them.
           Depends: package-list
                  List of packages that are required for this package to provide a
                  non-trivial amount of  functionality.  The  package  maintenance
                  software  will  not allow a package to be installed if the pack-
                  ages listed in its Depends field aren't installed (at least  not
                  without  using  the  force  options).   In  an installation, the
                  postinst scripts of packages listed in Depends: fields  are  run
                  before  those of the packages which depend on them. On the oppo-
           Suggests: package-list
                  Lists  packages  that  are  related  to this one and can perhaps
                  enhance its usefulness, but without which installing this  pack-
                  age is perfectly reasonable.
           The syntax of Depends, Pre-Depends, Recommends and Suggests fields is a
           list of groups of alternative packages. Each group is a list  of  pack-
           ages separated by vertical bar (or 'pipe') symbols, '|'. The groups are
           separated by commas. Commas are to be read as 'AND', and pipes as 'OR',
           with  pipes  binding more tightly. Each package name is optionally fol-
           lowed by a version number specification in parentheses.
           A version number may start with a '>>', in which case any later version
           will match, and may specify or omit the Debian packaging revision (sep-
           arated by a  hyphen).  Accepted  version  relationships  are  ">>"  for
           greater  than,  "<<"  for less than, ">=" for greater than or equal to,
           "<=" for less than or equal to, and "=" for equal to.
           Breaks: package-list
                  Lists packages that this one breaks,  for  example  by  exposing
                  bugs when the named packages rely on this one. The package main-
                  tenance software will not allow broken packages  to  be  config-
                  ured;  generally the resolution is to upgrade the packages named
                  in a Breaks field.
           Conflicts: package-list
                  Lists packages that conflict with this one, for example by  con-
                  taining files with the same names. The package maintenance soft-
                  ware will not allow conflicting packages to be installed at  the
                  same  time.  Two conflicting packages should each include a Con-
                  flicts line mentioning the other.
           Replaces: package-list
                  List of packages files from which this  one  replaces.  This  is
                  used for allowing this package to overwrite the files of another
                  package and is usually used with the Conflicts  field  to  force
                  removal  of  the  other  package,  if this one also has the same
                  files as the conflicted package.
           Provides: package-list
                  This is a list of virtual packages that this one provides.  Usu-
                  ally  this is used in the case of several packages all providing
                  the same service.  For example, sendmail and exim can serve as a
                  mail  server,  so  they  provide  a common package ('mail-trans-
                  port-agent') on which other packages can depend. This will allow
                  sendmail  or  exim  to  serve  as  a valid option to satisfy the
                  dependency. This prevents the packages that  depend  on  a  mail
                  server  from  having  to know the package names for all of them,
                  and using '|' to separate the list.
           The syntax of Breaks, Conflicts, Replaces and Provides  is  a  list  of


           # Comment
           Package: grep
           Essential: yes
           Priority: required

    Section: base

           Maintainer: Wichert Akkerman <>
           Architecture: sparc
           Version: 2.4-1
           Pre-Depends: libc6 (>= 2.0.105)
           Provides: rgrep
           Conflicts: rgrep
           Description: GNU grep, egrep and fgrep.
            The GNU family of grep utilities may be the "fastest grep in the west".
            GNU grep is based on a fast lazy-state deterministic matcher (about
            twice as fast as stock Unix egrep) hybridized with a Boyer-Moore-Gosper
            search for a fixed string that eliminates impossible text from being
            considered by the full regexp matcher without necessarily having to
            look at every character. The result is typically many times faster
            than Unix grep or egrep. (Regular expressions containing backreferencing
            will run more slowly, however).


           deb(5), deb-version(5), debtags(1), dpkg(1), dpkg-deb(1).

    Debian Project 2011-08-14 deb-control(5)


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