Original author(s)Ian Murdock
Developer(s)The Debian Project
Initial releaseJanuary 1994 (1994-01)[1]
Stable release
1.19.7[2] / June 3, 2019 (2019-06-03)
Preview release
1.20.9[3] / April 14, 2021 (2021-04-14)
Written inC, C++, Perl[4]
Operating systemUnix-like
TypePackage manager

dpkg is the software at the base of the package management system in the free operating system Debian and its numerous derivatives. dpkg is used to install, remove, and provide information about .deb packages.

dpkg (Debian Package) itself is a low-level tool. APT (Advanced Package Tool), a higher-level tool, is more commonly used than dpkg as it can fetch packages from remote locations and deal with complex package relations, such as dependency resolution. Frontends for APT, like aptitude (ncurses) and synaptic (GTK), are used for their friendlier interfaces.

The Debian package "dpkg" provides the dpkg program, as well as several other programs necessary for run-time functioning of the packaging system, including dpkg-deb, dpkg-split, dpkg-query, dpkg-statoverride, dpkg-divert and dpkg-trigger.[5] It also includes the programs such as update-alternatives and start-stop-daemon. The install-info program used to be included as well, but was later removed[6] as it is now developed and distributed separately.[7] The Debian package "dpkg-dev" includes the numerous build tools described below.

  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference first-release was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ https://metadata.ftp-master.debian.org/changelogs/main/d/dpkg/stable_changelog
  3. ^ https://metadata.ftp-master.debian.org/changelogs/main/d/dpkg/unstable_changelog
  4. ^ "dpkg on git.dpkg.org". Dpkg Developers. 2018-07-15. Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  5. ^ "dpkg package file list". Debian project. Retrieved 2015-03-09.
  6. ^ Jover, Guillem. "Removal of install-info from dpkg". Debian project. Retrieved 2015-03-09.
  7. ^ "GNU Texinfo project". GNU project. Retrieved 9 March 2015.

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