Linux Commands Examples

A great documentation place for Linux commands


rename Debian packages to full package names

see also : dpkg - dpkg-deb - find - xargs


dpkg-name [option...] [--] file...

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dpkg-name bar-foo.deb

The file ’bar-foo.deb’ will be renamed to bar-foo_1.0-2_i386.deb or something similar (depending on whatever information is in the control part of ’bar-foo.deb’).

find /root/debian/ -name '*.deb' | xargs -n 1 dpkg-name -a

All files with the extension ’deb’ in the directory /root/debian and its subdirectory’s will be renamed by dpkg-name if required into names with no architecture information.

find -name '*.deb' | xargs -n 1 dpkg-name -a -o -s -c

Don’t do this. Your archive will be messed up completely because a lot of packages don’t come with section information. Don’t do this.

dpkg-deb --build debian-tmp && dpkg-name -o -s .. debian-tmp.deb

This can be used when building new packages.


This manual page documents the dpkg-name program which provides an easy way to rename Debian packages into their full package names. A full package name consists of package_version_architecture.package-type as specified in the control file of the package. The version part of the filename consists of the upstream version information optionally followed by a hyphen and the revision information. The package-type part comes from that field if present or fallbacks to deb.


-a, --no-architecture

The destination filename will not have the architecture information.

-k, --symlink

Create a symlink, instead of moving.

-o, --overwrite

Existing files will be overwritten if they have the same name as the destination filename.

-s, --subdir [dir]

Files will be moved into a subdirectory. If the directory given as argument exists the files will be moved into that directory otherwise the name of the target directory is extracted from the section field in the control part of the package. The target directory will be ’unstable/binary-architecture/section’. If the section is not found in the control, then ’no-section’ is assumed, and in this case, as well as for sections ’non-free’ and ’contrib’ the target directory is ’section/binary-architecture’. The section field isn’t required so a lot of packages will find their way to the ’no-section’ area. Use this option with care, it’s messy.

-c, --create-dir

This option can used together with the -s option. If a target directory isn’t found it will be created automatically. Use this option with care.

-?, --help

Show the usage message and exit.

-v, --version

Show the version and exit.


Some packages don’t follow the name structure package_version_architecture.deb. Packages renamed by dpkg-name will follow this structure. Generally this will have no impact on how packages are installed by dselect(1)/dpkg(1), but other installation tools might depend on this naming structure.

see also

deb, deb-control, dpkg , dpkg-deb , find , xargs .

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