Linux server administration/dpkg

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dpkg is a package management software used among others by Debian operating system. It can be used to install, remove, and provide information about .deb packages.

New package configurations will append a *.dpkg-old OR *.dpkg-dist.

Basic dpkg commands[edit | edit source]

  • Install a .deb package:
    • dpkg -i filename.deb
  • Remove an installed package:
    • dpkg -r package_name
  • Get Information about a package
    • dpkg -s package_name (-s status). See also: apt-cache policy package_name
  • List of installed packages in your computer can be obtained with:
    • dpkg -l [optional pattern]
  • List files in a package:
    • dpkg -L package_name
    • dpkg-query -L package_name
  • Find package owner of a file:
    • dpkg -S `which file_to_search` (-S Search)
  • List content of a package, content can be extracted suing ar command:
    • dpkg -c /path/to/package_name.deb
  • Get a list of recently installed packages
    • zcat -f /var/log/dpkg.log* | grep "\ install\ " | sort
  • Get a list of recently upgraded packages
    • zcat -f /var/log/dpkg.log* | grep "\ upgrade\ " | sort
  • Get a list of recently installed or upgraded packages
    • zcat -f /var/log/dpkg.log* | egrep "\ install\ |\ upgrade\ " | sort -nk1
  • dpkg --configure -a[1]

Example Outputs of dpkg commands[edit | edit source]

Package: sysstat
Status: install ok installed
Priority: optional
Section: admin
Installed-Size: 1336
Maintainer: Robert Luberda <>
Architecture: amd64
Version: 11.4.3-2
Depends: lsb-base (>= 3.0-6), ucf (>= 2.003), xz-utils, debconf (>= 0.5) | debconf-2.0, libc6 (>= 2.14), libsensors4 (>= 1:3.0.0)
Recommends: cron | cron-daemon
Suggests: isag
 /etc/cron.d/sysstat 455c3c071b6daabb4e4490828975034c
 /etc/cron.daily/sysstat 19b1317e195208eed1a0bcd68be2e637
 /etc/init.d/sysstat 577050178b0105b10118acfe3335de3f
 /etc/sysstat/sysstat ca4bb64ec3044408fed750d0d3d7769a
 /etc/sysstat/sysstat.ioconf fa92b01baa2130e26822c30fb27ac56e
Description: system performance tools for Linux
 The sysstat package contains the following system performance tools:
  - sar: collects and reports system activity information;
  - iostat: reports CPU utilization and disk I/O statistics;
  - tapestat: reports statistics for tapes connected to the system;
  - mpstat: reports global and per-processor statistics;
  - pidstat: reports statistics for Linux tasks (processes);
  - sadf: displays data collected by sar in various formats;
  - cifsiostat: reports I/O statistics for CIFS filesystems.
 The statistics reported by sar deal with I/O transfer rates,
 paging activity, process-related activities, interrupts,
 network activity, memory and swap space utilization, CPU
 utilization, kernel activities and TTY statistics, among
 others. Both UP and SMP machines are fully supported.

Activities[edit | edit source]

Basic[edit | edit source]

  1. Read apt and snap page
  2. Install a package using dkpg
  3. Understand differences between apt and dpkg

Advanced[edit | edit source]

  1. Read uscan and to understand how new packages are generated:

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]