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dpkg-scanpackages - Online in the Cloud

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dpkg-scanpackages - create Packages index files


dpkg-scanpackages [option...] binary-dir [override-file [path-prefix]] > Packages


dpkg-scanpackages sorts through a tree of Debian binary packages and creates a Packages
file, used by apt(8), dselect(1), etc, to tell the user what packages are available for
installation. These Packages files are the same as those found on Debian archive sites and
CD-ROMs. You might use dpkg-scanpackages yourself if making a directory of local packages
to install on a cluster of machines.

Note: If you want to access the generated Packages file with apt you will probably need to
compress the file with xz(1) (generating a Packages.xz file), bzip2(1) (generating a
Packages.bz2 file) or gzip(1) (generating a Packages.gz file). apt ignores uncompressed
Packages files except on local access (i.e. file:// sources).

binary-dir is the name of the tree of the binary packages to process (for example,
contrib/binary-i386). It is best to make this relative to the root of the Debian archive,
because every Filename field in the new Packages file will start with this string.

override-file is the name of a file to read which contains information about how the
package fits into the distribution (the file can be compressed since dpkg 1.15.5); see

path-prefix is an optional string to be prepended to the Filename fields.

If more than one version of a package is found only the newest one is included in the
output. If they have the same version and only differ in architecture only the first one
found is used.


-t, --type type
Scan for *.type packages, instead of *.deb.

-e, --extra-override file
Scan file to find supplementary overrides (the file can be compressed since dpkg
1.15.5). See deb-extra-override(5) for more information on its format.

-a, --arch arch
Use a pattern consisting of *_all.deb and *_arch.deb instead of scanning for all

-h, --hash hash-list
Only generate file hashes for the comma-specified list specified (since dpkg
1.17.14). The default is to generate all currently supported hashes. Supported
values: md5, sha1, sha256.

-m, --multiversion
Include all found packages in the output.

-M, --medium id-string
Add an X-Medium field containing the value id-string (since dpkg 1.15.5). This
field is required if you want to generate Packages.cd files for use by the multicd
access method of dselect.

-?, --help
Show the usage message and exit.

Show the version and exit.


dpkg-scanpackages outputs the usual self-explanatory errors. It also warns about packages
that are in the wrong subdirectory, are duplicated, have a Filename field in their control
file, are missing from the override file, or have maintainer substitutions which do not
take effect.

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