debhelper-obsolete-compat - Linux


debhelper-obsolete-compat is a helper command for debhelper mainly used to handle obsolete package versions in Debian archives. It provides a compatibility interface to manage obsolete package versions, ensuring smooth package upgrades and dependency resolution.


debhelper-obsolete-compat [options] [--] command [command arguments]


  • -h, –help: Show help information and exit.
  • -v, –version: Display version information and exit.
  • -a, –affected-packages=LIST: Specify package names affected by obsolete package versions.
  • -d, –debug: Enable debug output.
  • -f, –force: Force obsolete package version handling, even if it may cause issues.
  • -g, –group=GROUP: Group obsolete packages by a specific attribute (e.g., maintainer).
  • -i, –info: Show detailed information about obsolete package versions.
  • -n, –dry-run: Perform a dry run of the command without making any changes.
  • -P, –package=PACKAGE: Specify a specific package to handle obsolete versions for.
  • -V, –version=VERSION: Specify a specific obsolete package version to handle.


Simple Usage:

debhelper-obsolete-compat dpkg -r obsolete_package

This command removes the obsolete package "obsolete_package".

Complex Usage with Options:

debhelper-obsolete-compat --affected-packages=pkg1,pkg2 -g maintainer dpkg --list --obsolete

This command lists the obsolete packages and their maintainers for packages "pkg1" and "pkg2".

Common Issues

  • Potential dependency conflicts: Obsolete package versions may cause dependency conflicts with other packages. Use the -f option cautiously.
  • Incompatible package formats: This command may not work correctly with non-Debian package formats.
  • Missing obsolete package headers: The command requires the presence of proper obsolete package headers in the package metadata.


This command can be integrated with other Debian packaging tools, such as:

  • dpkg: Managing and querying installed packages.
  • apt: Package management and installation.

Related Commands

  • debhelper: Comprehensive suite of helpers for Debian package maintenance.
  • apt-get: Command-line interface for apt package management.
  • dpkg-obsolete: Tool for managing obsolete package versions.