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Re: apt/dpkg package files (status, available)

On Tue, Apr 22, 2003 at 04:46:02PM +0100, Carlos Sousa wrote:
> Already browsed the apt* and dpkg* directories in /usr/share/docs, the
> d-u archives and the web in general, but couldn't find the relevant
> information.
> What is the difference between the status and the available files in
> /var/lib/dpkg? And what is their relationship to the various *Packages
> files downloaded by 'apt-get update'?

status is the current state of the system; it may well include short
paragraphs on uninstalled packages with "Status: purge ok not-installed"
or similar.

available is whatever was available in the archive the last time
'dselect update' was run.

> The available file, on the other hand, doesn't show all packages that
> are available for install (but arepresent in the *Packages files). Does
> this have to do with my system defaulting to 'testing' and said packages
> being still in 'unstable'?

My guess is that you're running 'apt-get update' rather than the
preferable 'dselect update'.

> The reason I'm asking is that I'm writing a few scripts to provide
> various kinds of overviews envolving all Debian packages in all
> distributions, and parsing through the *Packages files takes a LONG time
> (hours), so I'm searching for other sources of package info.

Do you know about the grep-dctrl package?


Colin Watson                                  [cjwatson@flatline.org.uk]

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