deb - Debian package format

Supported Uses in FPM

fpm supports input and output for Debian package (deb). This means you can read a deb and convert it to a different output type (such as a dir or rpm). It also means you can create a deb package.

Arguments when used as input type

For the sample command reading a deb file as input and outputting an rpm package:

fpm -s deb -t rpm file.deb

The argument is used as a file and read as a debian package file.

Sample Usage

Let’s create a Debian package of Hashicorp’s Terraform. To do this, we’ll need to download it and put the files into a Debian package:

# Download Terraform 1.0.10
% wget

The Terraform release .zip file contains a single file, terraform itself. You can see the files in this zip by using unzip -l:

% unzip -l ~/build/z/
Archive:  /home/jls/build/z/
  Length      Date    Time    Name
---------  ---------- -----   ----
79348596  2021-10-28 07:15   terraform
---------                     -------
79348596                     1 file

We can use fpm to convert this zip file into a debian package with one step:

% fpm -s zip -t deb --prefix /usr/bin -n terraform -v 1.0.10
Created package {:path=>"terraform_1.0.10_amd64.deb"}

Nice! We just converted a zip file into a debian package. Let’s talk through the command-line flags here:

  • -s zip tells fpm to use “zip” as the input type. This allows fpm to read zip files.
  • -t deb tells fpm to output a Debian package.
  • --prefix /usr/bin tells fpm to move all files in the .zip file to the /usr/bin file path. In this case, it results in a single file in the path /usr/bin/terraform
  • -n terraform names the package “terraform”
  • -v 1.0.10 sets the package version. This is useful to package systems when considering whether a given package is an upgrade, downgrade, or already installed.
  • Finally, the last argument, This is given to the fpm to process as a zip file.

You can inspect the package contents with dpkg –contents terraform_1.0.10_amd64.deb:

% dpkg --contents terraform_1.0.10_amd64.deb
drwxr-xr-x 0/0               0 2021-11-02 23:33 ./
drwxr-xr-x 0/0               0 2021-11-02 23:33 ./usr/
drwxr-xr-x 0/0               0 2021-11-02 23:33 ./usr/share/
drwxr-xr-x 0/0               0 2021-11-02 23:33 ./usr/share/doc/
drwxr-xr-x 0/0               0 2021-11-02 23:33 ./usr/share/doc/terraform/
-rw-r--r-- 0/0             141 2021-11-02 23:33 ./usr/share/doc/terraform/changelog.gz
drwxr-xr-x 0/0               0 2021-11-02 23:33 ./usr/bin/
-rwxr-xr-x 0/0        79348596 2021-10-28 07:15 ./usr/bin/terraform

The changelog.gz file is a recommended Debian practice for packaging. FPM will provide a generated changelog for you, by default. You can provide your own with the --deb-changelog flag.

Lets install our terraform package and try it out:

% sudo apt install ./terraform_1.0.10_amd64.deb

% dpkg -l terraform
| Status=Not/Inst/Conf-files/Unpacked/halF-conf/Half-inst/trig-aWait/Trig-pend
|/ Err?=(none)/Reinst-required (Status,Err: uppercase=bad)
||/ Name                     Version           Architecture      Description
ii  terraform                1.0.10            amd64             no description given

% terraform -version
Terraform v1.0.10
on linux_amd64

You may remove the package at any time:

% sudo apt remove terraform
Removing terraform (1.0.10) ...

Fun Examples

Hi! The fpm project would love to have any fun examples you have for using this package type. Please consider contributing your ideas by submitting them on the fpm issue tracker:

Changing an existing deb

fpm supports deb as both an input and output type (-s and -t flags), so you can use this to modify an existing deb.

For example, let’s create an deb to use for our example:

% fpm -s empty -t deb -n example
Created package {:path=>"example_1.0_amd64.deb"}

Lets say we made a mistake and want to rename the package:

% fpm -s deb -t deb -n newname example_1.0_amd64.deb
Created package {:path=>"newname_1.0_amd64.deb"}

And maybe the architecture is wrong. fpm defaulted to amd64 (what fpm calls “native”), and we really want what Debian calls “all”:

% fpm -s deb -t deb -a all newname_1.0_amd64.deb
Created package {:path=>"newname_1.0_all.deb"}

Deb-specific command line flags

  • --deb-activate EVENT
    • Package activates EVENT trigger
  • --deb-activate-noawait EVENT
    • Package activates EVENT trigger
  • --deb-after-purge FILE
    • A script to be run after package removal to purge remaining (config) files (a.k.a. postrm purge within apt-get purge)
  • --[no-]deb-auto-config-files
    • Init script and default configuration files will be labeled as configuration files for Debian packages.
  • --deb-build-depends DEPENDENCY
    • Add DEPENDENCY as a Build-Depends
  • --deb-changelog FILEPATH
    • Add FILEPATH as debian changelog
  • --deb-compression COMPRESSION
    • The compression type to use, must be one of gz, bzip2, xz, none.
  • --deb-config SCRIPTPATH
    • Add SCRIPTPATH as debconf config file.
  • --deb-custom-control FILEPATH
    • Custom version of the Debian control file.
  • --deb-default FILEPATH
    • Add FILEPATH as /etc/default configuration
  • --deb-dist DIST-TAG
    • Set the deb distribution.
  • --deb-field 'FIELD: VALUE'
    • Add custom field to the control file
  • --[no-]deb-generate-changes
    • Generate PACKAGENAME.changes file.
  • --deb-group GROUP
    • The group owner of files in this package
  • --[no-]deb-ignore-iteration-in-dependencies
    • For ‘=’ (equal) dependencies, allow iterations on the specified version. Default is to be specific. This option allows the same version of a package but any iteration is permitted
  • --deb-init FILEPATH
    • Add FILEPATH as an init script
  • --deb-installed-size KILOBYTES
    • The installed size, in kilobytes. If omitted, this will be calculated automatically
  • --deb-interest EVENT
    • Package is interested in EVENT trigger
  • --deb-interest-noawait EVENT
    • Package is interested in EVENT trigger without awaiting
  • --[no-]deb-maintainerscripts-force-errorchecks
  • --deb-meta-file FILEPATH
    • Add FILEPATH to DEBIAN directory
  • --[no-]deb-no-default-config-files
    • Do not add all files in /etc as configuration files by default for Debian packages.
  • --deb-pre-depends DEPENDENCY
    • Add DEPENDENCY as a Pre-Depends
  • --deb-priority PRIORITY
    • The debian package ‘priority’ value.
  • --deb-recommends PACKAGE
    • Add PACKAGE to Recommends
  • --deb-shlibs SHLIBS
  • --deb-suggests PACKAGE
    • Add PACKAGE to Suggests
  • --deb-systemd FILEPATH
    • Add FILEPATH as a systemd script
  • --[no-]deb-systemd-auto-start
    • Start service after install or upgrade
  • --[no-]deb-systemd-enable
    • Enable service on install or upgrade
  • --[no-]deb-systemd-restart-after-upgrade
    • Restart service after upgrade
  • --deb-templates FILEPATH
    • Add FILEPATH as debconf templates file.
  • --deb-upstart FILEPATH
    • Add FILEPATH as an upstart script
  • --deb-upstream-changelog FILEPATH
    • Add FILEPATH as upstream changelog
  • --[no-]deb-use-file-permissions
    • Use existing file permissions when defining ownership and modes
  • --deb-user USER
    • The owner of files in this package