PACKAGE-TRACKER(1) - Linux man page online | User commands

Compare and track package versions in debian repositories.



package-tracker - Compare and track package versions in debian repositories


package-tracker READ COMPARE [OPTIONS]


package-tracker is designed to compare apt(1) archives from a derrivate (debian extending repositories) against their parent ones. As such it is possible to track changes of package versions in other archives. The comparison mechanism in use is the one from the Python APT library. package-tracker checks all binary packages in regards of their source packages. Traversing multiple suites is done as follows. stable, stable-updates, stable-security are checked against their corresponding suites in the parent archive (source and their binary packages). stable-backports, stable-backports-extras are checked agains the unstable (sid) ones (source and their binary packages). stable-extras and stable-backports-extras have a check for a existing source package in any of the parent distribution suites. Within all version checks there is a test for a existing binary Non-Maintainer Upload (binNMU). package-tracker internally uses the default suite names given from apt and does not use codenames. Anyway, you may configure package-tracker with apt sources.list files with codenames (see CONFIGURATION for more information). A such it will be assumed, that your (current) archive is in stable release state. For a case of a debian freeze, package-tracker will try to use the testing release suites of the parent archive. Regardless of a debian repository freeze, your derrivative suites can be also in testing suite state. The --ignore-tag parameter is used to bypass the version comparison mechanism of apt. It is not been intended to use release tags for a derrivative version naming scheme. As such you can specify this version part and package-tracker will strip the tag from the end of each version string before using apt library comparison function. For example; foo-1.2-4 (a debian upstream package) foo-1.1-1~myderrivative1 (backports package from a debian derrivative) As such package foo-1.1-1 will be compared against foo-1.2-4.


The following package-tracker common options are available: READ Specify apt sources file wich will been read to compare. See CONFIGURATION for more information. COMPARE Specify apt souces file wich will been compared against. See CONFIGURATION for more information. -t, --filter-type={all|lower|obsolete|ok} Specify a filter for items to display. Defaults to all. -o, --output-type={stdout|html} Output defaults to stdout. A html report can be written to a file. -f, --file=FILE Specify file name to write a report to. Defaults to report.html in current working directory. -i, --ignore-tag=STRING In case of packages with additional version tag, this string will been regarded like a revision tag. As such it will been not regarded in time of the version comparison against the parent archive. -v, --verbose Print more information. -d, --debug Set log level to DEBUG instead of INFO.


package-tracker uses sources.list(5) configuration files, as used by apt(1). Archives from READ configuration file will be compared against the archives in COMPARE. There is no need to include apt-src repositories. There is no limitation in comparison to default apt sources.list(5) files usage. You may have to ensure to define same components for the to read and the compare configuration files. To ensure that package-tracker can check against the unstable (sid) release packages, include this one in your configuration file. See /usr/share/doc/package-tracker for configuration examples.


The following files/directories are used: /etc/package-tracker/*.list Apt sources configuration files. /var/lib/package-tracker This is a separated directory for apt to ensure to not use default apt instance on your host. /var/log/package-tracker/package-tracker.log This is were the log file is placed. /usr/share/package-tracker/templates/report.html HTML template wich will been used to generate the report. Can be modified for your own use. /usr/share/doc/package-tracker Configuration examples.


package-tracker(7), apt(1), sources.list(5).


More information about package-tracker and the Open Infrastructure project can be found on the homepage at


Bug reports, feature requests, help, patches, support and everything else are welcome on the Open Infrastructure Software Mailing List <>. Debian specific bugs can also be reported in the Debian Bug Tracking System at


package-tracker was written by Andreas Kreuzer <>.
package-tracker 20170515 PACKAGE-TRACKER(1)
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