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How To Extract data from .deb file in Linux

A Debian "package", or a Debian archive file, contains the executable files, libraries, and documentation associated with a particular suite of program or set of related programs.

.deb package are just the tar archives but with a proper structural format of  files. You can see and extract any deb package with archive manager tool. From the dpkg-deb man page: “dpkg-deb packs, unpacks and provides information about Debian archives. .deb files can also be manipulated with ar and tar alone if necessary

Use following command to get the list of files within .deb package (Use the ‘x’ option to extract the files)

# ar tv python2.4-setuptools_0.6a1-2_all.deb
rw-r--r-- 0/0      4 Aug 24 22:10 2005 debian-binary
rw-r--r-- 0/0   2024 Aug 24 22:10 2005 control.tar.gz
rw-r--r-- 0/0 168407 Aug 24 22:10 2005 data.tar.gz

The ‘data.tar.gz’ file contains all the files that will be installed with their destination paths:


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