Section: dpkg utilities (1)
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dpkg-split - Debian package archive split/join tool
splits Debian binary package files into smaller parts and reassembles
them again, to support the storage of large package files on small
media such as floppy disks.
It can be operated manually using the
--split, --join and --info
It also has an automatic mode, invoked using the
option, where it maintains a queue of parts seen but not yet
reassembled and reassembles a package file when it has seen all of its
--listq and --discard
options allow the management of the queue.
All splitting, joining and queueing operations produce informative
messages on standard output; these may safely be ignored.
- -s, --split complete-archive [prefix]
Splits a single Debian binary package into several parts.
The parts are named
is the part number, starting at 1, and
is the total number of parts (both in decimal).
is supplied then the
filename is taken, including directory, with any trailing
- -j, --join part...
Joins the parts of a package file together, reassembling the original
file as it was before it was split.
The part files given as arguments must be all the parts of exactly the
same original binary file. Each part must occur exactly once in the
argument list, though the parts to not need to be listed in order.
The parts must of course all have been generated with the same part
size specified at split time, which means that they must usually have
been generated by the same invocation of
The parts' filenames are not significant for the reassembly process.
By default the output file is called
- -I, --info part...
Prints information, in a human-readable format, about the part file(s)
specified. Arguments which are not binary package parts produce a
message saying so instead (but still on standard output).
- -a, --auto -o complete-output part
Automatically queue parts and reassemble a package if possible.
specified is examined, and compared with other parts of the same
package (if any) in the queue of packages file parts.
If all parts of the package file of which
is a part are available then the package is reassembled and written to
(which should not usually already exist, though this is not an
If not then the
is copied into the queue and
is not created.
is not a split binary package part then
will exit with status 1; if some other trouble occurs then it will
exit with status 2.
--output or -o
option must be supplied when using
(If this were not mandatory the calling program would not know what
output file to expect.)
- -l, --listq
Lists the contents of the queue of packages to be reassembled.
For each package file of which parts are in the queue the output gives
the name of the package, the parts in the queue, and the total number
of bytes stored in the queue.
- -d, --discard [package...]
This discards parts from the queue of those waiting for the remaining
parts of their packages.
is specified then the queue is cleared completely; if any are
specified then only parts of the relevant package(s) are deleted.
- -h, --help
Show the usage message and exit.
Show the version and exit.
- --depotdir directory
Specifies an alternative directory for the queue of parts awaiting
automatic reassembly. The default is
- -S, --partsize kibibytes
Specifies the maximum part size when splitting, in kibibytes (1024
bytes). The default is 450 KiB.
- -o, --output complete-output
Specifies the output file name for a reassembly.
This overrides the default for a manual reassembly
and is mandatory for an automatic queue-or-reassemble
- -Q, --npquiet
When doing automatic queue-or-reassembly
usually prints a message if it is given a
that is not a binary package part. This option suppresses this
message, to allow programs such as
to cope with both split and unsplit packages without producing
Forces the output filenames generated by
to be msdos-compatible.
This mangles the prefix - either the default derived from the input
filename or the one supplied as an argument: alphanumerics are
lowercased, plus signs are replaced by
and all other characters are discarded.
The result is then truncated as much as is necessary, and filenames of
An exit status of 0 indicates that the requested split, merge, or
other command succeeded.
commands count as successful even if the files are not binary package
An exit status of 1 occurs only with
and indicates that the
file was not a binary package part.
An exit status of 2 indicates some kind of trouble, such as a system
call failure, a file that looked like a package part file but was
corrupted, a usage error or some other problem.
uses some rather out-of-date conventions for the the filenames of
Full details of the packages in the queue are impossible to get
without digging into the queue directory yourself.
There is no easy way to test whether a file that may be a binary
package part is one.
The architecture is not represented in the part files' header, only in
the control information of the contained binary package file, and it
is not present in the filenames generated.
The default queue directory for part files awaiting automatic
The filenames used in this directory are in a format internal to
and are unlikely to be useful to other programs, and in any case the
filename format should not be relied upon.
Copyright © 1995-1996 Ian Jackson
This is free software; see the GNU General Public Licence version 2 or
later for copying conditions. There is NO WARRANTY.
- EXIT STATUS
- SEE ALSO
This document was created by
using the manual pages.