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           Version  numbers  as used for Debian binary and source packages consist
           of three components. These are:
           epoch  This is a single (generally small) unsigned integer.  It may  be
                  omitted,  in  which case zero is assumed.  If it is omitted then
                  the upstream-version may not contain any colons.
                  It is provided to allow mistakes in the version numbers of older
                  versions  of  a  package,  and also a package's previous version
                  numbering schemes, to be left behind.
                  This is the main part of the version number.  It is usually  the
                  version  number  of the original ("upstream") package from which
                  the .deb file has been made, if  this  is  applicable.   Usually
                  this  will  be  in  the  same  format  as  that specified by the
                  upstream author(s); however, it may need to  be  reformatted  to
                  fit  into  the package management system's format and comparison
                  The comparison behavior of the package  management  system  with
                  respect   to   the  upstream-version  is  described  below.  The
                  upstream-version portion of the version number is mandatory.
                  The upstream-version  may  contain  only  alphanumerics  ("A-Za-
                  z0-9")  and  the  characters . + - : ~ (full stop, plus, hyphen,
                  colon, tilde) and should start with a digit.   If  there  is  no
                  debian-revision  then  hyphens  are  not allowed; if there is no
                  epoch then colons are not allowed.
                  This part of the version number specifies  the  version  of  the
                  Debian  package  based  on the upstream version.  It may contain
                  only alphanumerics and the characters + . ~  (plus,  full  stop,
                  tilde)  and  is compared in the same way as the upstream-version
                  It is optional; if it isn't present  then  the  upstream-version
                  may not contain a hyphen.  This format represents the case where
                  a piece of software was written specifically to be turned into a
                  Debian  package,  and so there is only one "debianisation" of it
                  and therefore no revision indication is required.
                  It is conventional to restart the debian-revision  at  '1'  each
                  time time the upstream-version is increased.
                  Dpkg  will  break the version number apart at the last hyphen in
                  the string (if there is one) to determine  the  upstream-version
           the letters sort earlier than all the non-letters and so that  a  tilde
           sorts  before  anything, even the end of a part.  For example, the fol-
           lowing parts are in sorted order: '~~', '~~a',  '~',  the  empty  part,
           Then  the  initial  part of the remainder of each string which consists
           entirely of digit characters is determined.  The  numerical  values  of
           these  two  parts are compared, and any difference found is returned as
           the result of the comparison.   For  these  purposes  an  empty  string
           (which  can  only occur at the end of one or both version strings being
           compared) counts as zero.
           These two steps (comparing and removing initial non-digit  strings  and
           initial digit strings) are repeated until a difference is found or both
           strings are exhausted.
           Note that the purpose of epochs is to allow us to leave behind mistakes
           in  version  numbering,  and  to cope with situations where the version
           numbering scheme changes.  It is not intended to cope with version num-
           bers  containing strings of letters which the package management system
           cannot interpret (such as 'ALPHA' or 'pre-'), or with silly  orderings.


           The  tilde character and its special sorting properties were introduced
           in dpkg, version 1.10 and some parts of dpkg-dev  only  gained  support
           for it later in the 1.10.x series.


           deb-control(5), deb(5), dpkg(1)


           Copyright (C) 1996,1997,1998 Ian Jackson and Christian Schwarz
           Copyright (C) 2007 Frank Lichtenheld
           This  is free software; see the GNU General Public Licence version 2 or
           later for copying conditions. There is NO WARRANTY.

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


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