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override a package’s version of a file

see also : dpkg


dpkg-divert [option...] command

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To divert all copies of a /usr/bin/example to /usr/bin/, i.e. directs all packages providing /usr/bin/example to install it as /usr/bin/, performing the rename if required:

dpkg-divert --divert /usr/bin/ --rename /usr/bin/example

To remove that diversion:

dpkg-divert --rename --remove /usr/bin/example

To divert any package trying to install /usr/bin/example to /usr/bin/, except your own wibble package:

dpkg-divert --package wibble --divert /usr/bin/ --rename /usr/bin/example

To remove that diversion:

dpkg-divert --package wibble --rename --remove /usr/bin/example

dpkg-divert --package live-isn --rename --remove /usr/bin/xfce4-session-logout
dpkg-divert --package live-isn --rename --remove /usr/bin/mkdiskimage
dpkg-divert --package live-isn --rename --remove /usr/bin/mkdiskimage
# dpkg-divert --package live-isn --rename --remove /usr/bin/startx


dpkg-divert is the utility used to set up and update the list of diversions.

File diversions are a way of forcing dpkg(1) not to install a file into its location, but to a diverted location. Diversions can be used through the Debian package scripts to move a file away when it causes a conflict. System administrators can also use it to override some package’s configuration file, or whenever some files (which aren’t marked as ’conffiles’) need to be preserved by dpkg, when installing a newer version of a package which contains those files.


--admindir directory

Set the dpkg data directory to directory (default: /var/lib/dpkg).

--divert divert-to

divert-to is the location where the versions of file, as provided by other packages, will be diverted.


Specifies that all packages’ versions of this file are diverted. This means, that there are no exceptions, and whatever package is installed, the file is diverted. This can be used by an admin to install a locally modified version.

--package package

package is the name of a package whose copy of file will not be diverted. i.e. file will be diverted for all packages except package.


Quiet mode, i.e. no verbose output.


Actually move the file aside (or back). dpkg-divert will abort operation in case the destination file already exists.


Test mode, i.e. don’t actually perform any changes, just demonstrate.

-?, --help

Show the usage message and exit.


Show the version and exit.


[--add] file

Add a diversion for file.

--remove file

Remove a diversion for file.

--list glob-pattern

List diversions matching glob-pattern.

--listpackage file

Print the name of the package that diverts file. Prints LOCAL if file is locally diverted and nothing if file is not diverted.

--truename file

Print the real name for a diverted file.



If set and the --admindir option has not been specified, it will be used as the dpkg data directory.


If set and the --local and --package options have not been specified, dpkg-divert will use it as the package name.



File which contains the current list of diversions of the system. It is located in the dpkg administration directory, along with other files important to dpkg, such as status or available.
Note: dpkg-divert preserves the old copy of this file, with extension -old, before replacing it with the new one.


When adding, default is --local and --divert original.distrib. When removing, --package or --local and --divert must match if specified.

Directories can’t be diverted with dpkg-divert.

Care should be taken when diverting shared libraries, ldconfig(8) creates a symbolic link based on the DT_SONAME field embedded in the library. Because ldconfig doesn’t honour diverts (only dpkg does), the symlink may end up pointing at the diverted library, if a diverted library has the same SONAME as the undiverted one.

see also

dpkg .

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