deb822 - Linux


deb822 is a Unix-like tool for parsing Debian control files (also known as package metadata files or .deb control files) in a human-readable format. It extracts and presents various information contained within these files, making it easy to understand and manipulate package metadata.


deb822 [options] file ...


  • -a | –all: Display all information contained in the control file.
  • -c, –config KEY=VAL: Set configuration options. Valid options include:
    • raw: Output raw package metadata in YAML format.
    • pretty: Pretty-print the output for better readability. (default)
    • ignore-whitespace: Ignore leading and trailing whitespace in the control file.
  • -d, –data: Output package metadata in a JSON dictionary.
  • -h, –help: Display this help message.
  • -i, –information: Alias for -a.
  • -n, –name: Display only the package name.
  • -q, –quiet: Suppress output apart from any errors encountered.
  • -V, –version: Display the version of deb822.
  • -x, –xpath XPATH: Extract package metadata based on the given XPath expression.
  • –lines: Output line numbers where metadata is found.


Display Package Name and Description

deb822 -n -a example.deb

Extract Package Version

deb822 -x /version example.deb

Print Metadata in YAML Format

deb822 --config raw example.deb

Common Issues

Malformed Control File

If the control file is malformed or not in the expected format, deb822 may fail to parse it. Ensure the file is a valid Debian control file with proper syntax and formatting.


deb822 can be integrated with other tools to automate tasks related to package management. For example:

  • Script to fetch package metadata from multiple control files:

for file in *.deb; do
  deb822 -n "$file"

Related Commands

  • dpkg
  • apt-get
  • dpkg-query