deb−split − Debian multi-part binary package format
The multi-part .deb format is used to split big packages into smaller pieces to ease transport in small media.
The file is an ar archive with a magic value of !<arch>. The file names might contain a trailing slash
(since dpkg 1.15.6).
The first member is named debian−split and contains a series of lines, separated by newlines. Currently
seven lines are present. The first is the format version number, 2.1 at the time this manual page was writ-
ten. The second is the package name. The third is the package version. The fourth is the md5sum of the
package. The fifth is the total size of the package. The sixth is the maximum part size. The seventh is the
current part number, followed by a slash and the total amount of parts (as in ‘1/10’).
Programs which read multi-part archives should be prepared for additional lines to be present, and should
ignore these if this is the case.
If the version number has changed, an incompatible change has been made and the program should stop. If
it has not, then the program should be able to safely continue, unless it encounters an unexpected member
in the archive (except at the end), as described below.
The second, last required member is named data.N, where N denotes the part number. It contains the raw
These members must occur in this exact order. Current implementations should ignore any additional mem-
bers after data.N. Further members may be defined in the future, and (if possible) will be placed after