Conventionally, packages come as files in a special format that includes both files from the software project that must be installed in the system and metadata for the package manager, such as file checksums, lists of dependencies, and system requirements for the package (such as CPU architecture). We will look inside
.deb package files and compare their implementation details.
Inspecting package files
Please note that normally, you will not need to manually download and unpack package files! We are doing it only for educational purposes.
Inspecting a Debian package
We will use the GNU
hello package for our experiments. GNU hello is a demo program that simply prints
hello world—its real purpose is to serve as an example of development and packaging practices and show new developers how to write build scripts, implement internationalization...