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Chapitre 5. Système de paquetage, outils et principes fondamentaux

5.1. Structure d'un paquet binaire
5.2. Méta-informations d'un paquet
5.2.1. Description : fichier control
5.2.2. Scripts de configuration
5.2.3. Sommes de contrôle, liste des fichiers de configuration
5.3. Structure d'un paquet source
5.3.1. Format
5.3.2. Utilité chez Debian
5.4. Manipuler des paquets avec dpkg
5.4.1. Installation de paquets
5.4.2. Suppression de paquets
5.4.3. Consulter la base de données de dpkg et inspecter des fichiers .deb
5.4.4. Journal de dpkg
5.4.5. Support multi-architecture
5.5. Cohabitation avec d'autres systèmes de paquetages
En tant qu'administrateur de système Debian, vous allez régulièrement manipuler des paquets (fichiers .deb) car ils abritent des ensembles fonctionnels cohérents (applications, documentations...) dont ils facilitent l'installation et la maintenance. Mieux vaut donc savoir de quoi ils sont constitués et comment on les utilise.
This chapter describes the structure and contents of “binary” and “source” packages. The former are files directly usable by dpkg, while the latter contain the source code, as well as instructions for building binary packages.

5.1. Structure d'un paquet binaire

The Debian package format is designed so that its content may be extracted on any Unix system that has the classic commands ar, tar, and xz or sometimes gzip or bzip2. This seemingly trivial property is important for portability and disaster recovery.
Imagine, for example, that you mistakenly deleted the dpkg program, and that you could thus no longer install Debian packages. dpkg being a Debian package itself, it would seem your system would be done for... Fortunately, you know the format of a package and can therefore download the .deb file of the dpkg package and install it manually (see sidebar OUTILS dpkg, APT et ar). If by some misfortune one or more of the programs ar, tar or gzip/xz/bzip2 have disappeared, you will only need to copy the missing program from another system (since each of these operates in a completely autonomous manner, without dependencies, a simple copy will suffice). If your system suffered some even more outrageous fortune, and even these don't work (maybe the deepest system libraries are missing?), you should try the static version of busybox (provided in the busybox-static package), which is even more self-contained, and provides subcommands such as busybox ar, busybox tar and busybox xz.
In case of a misfortune you better also have a backup of your system (see Section 9.10, « Sauvegarde »).
Examinons le contenu d'un fichier .deb :
$ ar t dpkg_1.19.7_amd64.deb
$ ar x dpkg_1.19.7_amd64.deb
$ ls
control.tar.gz  data.tar.xz  debian-binary  dpkg_1.19.7_amd64.deb
$ tar tJf data.tar.xz | head -n 16
$ tar tJf control.tar.xz
$ cat debian-binary
Comme vous le voyez, l'archive ar d'un paquet Debian est constituée de trois fichiers:
This is a text file which simply indicates the version of the .deb file package format version. In Debian Buster it is still version 2.0.
This archive file contains all of the available meta-information, like the name and version of the package as well as some scripts to run before, during or after (un-)installation of it. Some of the meta-information allows package management tools to determine if it is possible to install or uninstall it, for example according to the list of packages already on the machine, and if files shipped have been modified locally.
data.tar.xz, data.tar.bz2, data.tar.gz
This archive contains all of the files to be extracted from the package; this is where the executable files, libraries, documentation, etc., are all stored. Packages may use different compression formats, in which case the file will be named differently for xz, bzip2 or gzip.