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In this tutorial we will learn how to extract the files of a .deb package using the terminal. If you use the default archive manager to extract a .deb package, you will not get the correct files we are looking for. So, we need to use instead the "ar" command to get the installation files of the .deb package under Ubuntu.

Getting Started

1. Open the terminal and cd to the folder containing your .deb package and run this command:

ar -x file.deb

Replace file.deb with the name of your own file. The command will extract three files from your .deb file:

  • control.tar.gz
  • data.tar.gz
  • debian-binary
The file containing the installation files is data.tar.gz, so forget about the other two files. You can extract the contents of this archive file with this command:

tar -xzvf data.tar.gz

You may use these files to install the program that comes in your .deb package manually, but make sure you place them in correct system directories as shown in the folders extracted from the data.tar.gz file.

That's it!

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