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How to use the new DEB822 apt format on Ubuntu

Jack Wallen explains the new DEB822 apt source format that is found in most new Debian-based Linux distributions.

If you’re a long-time Ubuntu user, there’s something new that’s arrived with the latest iteration of the platform that will trip you up for a while. Said something new is the 822 apt source format. You’re probably used to apt source files that contain a single line like deb stable non-free. 

SEE: Kubernetes security guide (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

As of Ubuntu 20.10, that format has changed from the single line to a multi-line format, known as DEB822. For example, a DEB822 entry could include specifications for:

  • X-Repolib-Name: Defines the formatted name for the source
  • Enabled: To enable or disable the repository
  • Types: Defines if it’s a binary or source code repository
  • URIs: Gives the address for the repository
  • Suites: An exact path in relation to the provided URIs or in the form of a distribution version
  • Components: Specify different sections of a single distribution version present in a Suite
  • X-Repolib-Default-Mirror: The address of the default mirror for the repository

So a typical apt source file could look like:

X-Repolib-Name: Pop_OS System Sources
Enabled: yes
Types: deb deb-src
Suites: groovy groovy-security groovy-updates groovy-backports
Components: main restricted universe multiverse

In fact, the old /etc/apt/sources.list file has (in some distributions) been deprecated. In its place is /etc/apt/sources.list.d/system.sources. Get to know this new format, as you will be using it from this day forward.

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Image: Jack Wallen

This post was written by and was first posted to TechRepublic

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