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Old 06-14-2010, 01:52 AM   #1
Registered: Jun 2005
Location: Fargo, North Dakota
Distribution: Debian Testing/Unstable
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Question Is it possible to edit an existing *.deb package?

This is a general *.deb package question, although the package in question happens to be a kernel package. There is all kinds of info on building a *.deb file from scratch, but I can't seem to find any info on editing an existing *.deb file.


I built a customized Debian kernel via make-kpkg, it produced a *.deb that I installed via dpkg. However, I noticed that I fat-fingered the "--version" parameter on the command-line, so I deleted the *.deb and recompiled with a proper "--version".


Looking back, would it have been feasible to un-archive the *.deb, edit the "control" file to change the version, re-archive the *.deb and install it?
It seems to me that this may not have worked, since I am assuming (hoping) that such messing around with a Debian package would cause dpkg a problem.
Old 06-14-2010, 04:10 AM   #2
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A deb file is just an ar archive. So, if you really want to mess around with it you can "ar x" it, edit some files, and then "ar c" it back together again. Whether or not this will cause problems with the package depends on exactly what you change. I suspect that in this instance there would be a large number of both text and binary files (not just the control file) that contain that version string and as such I would expect problems.

So, rerunning make-kpkg was probably the best thing to do.


Old 06-14-2010, 08:35 AM   #3
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Get a .deb file, unpack it with the ar utility (ar, not tar) and see what's inside!


debian, packaging, system

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