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shlibs file


I understand the role of the Depends: section in the control file 
information area of a .deb package - it specifies on what other
libraries ( and their minimum version)  our current shared library (which 
is in the current .deb file data area)  depends
in order to work correctly when it is linked to an executable. This will 
probably stop the current .deb from being installed until
we first install all these dependencies packages .

But what is the role of the shlibs file ? I am reading the Debian policy 
chapter 8.
Each line of shlibs is of the type : libname   < major soname version > 
This  states that our package library ( assume it contains 1) with given 
major version number  needs the package specified in the dependency field 
But this is obvious because we deal /just produced the package that 
contains this library.
Or maybe this information is used later  if the package was removed and 
the shlibs still exist in the system to say what we need reinstall  if a 
binary  calls an API of the library  and the library is missing ( was 
before )
Can somebody clarify ?


Zvi Dubitzky 
IBM Haifa Research Laboratory    Phone: +972-4-8296182
Haifa, 31905, ISRAEL 

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