Quick Info

Packages can be organized by areas and sections. This is really just for tools that manage packages so that way they can display lists organized by areas and sections instead of all the packages in one bin.

The area is rarely defined and it defaults to main. It is written before the section and both words are separated by a slash. Another common area is non-free. I think that they also use security, restricted, and universe. The area name must be composed of letters, digits, plus (+), minus (-) and underscores, it is not verified against a known list of areas.

The list of supported sections is defined by Debian and it is enforced. In other words, if you enter the name of a section that is not currently accepted by Debian then it gets refused (the --build process generates an error.)

Note that because the Section field cannot deviate from the Debian defined sections, we make use of our own X-PrimarySection and X-SecondarySection fields for tools that want to organize our packages. These two fields are used by Package Explorer.

To categorize the software in the usys environment or your own environment, you must instead use the Distributon and Component fields.

The names are presented in alphabetical order. If no section is specified then the package is considered section-less. In tools, you may use the special value "other" in that case.

  • admin
  • base
  • cli-mono
  • comm
  • contrib
  • database
  • debian-installer
  • devel
  • debug
  • doc
  • editors
  • education
  • electronics
  • embedded
  • fonts
  • games
  • gnome
  • graphics
  • gnu-r
  • gnustep
  • hamradio
  • haskell
  • httpd
  • interpreters
  • introspection
  • java
  • kde
  • kernel
  • libs
  • libdevel
  • lisp
  • localization
  • mail
  • math
  • metapackages
  • misc
  • net
  • news
  • non-free
  • ocaml
  • oldlibs
  • otherosfs
  • perl
  • php
  • python
  • ruby
  • science
  • shells
  • sound
  • tex
  • text
  • utils
  • vcs
  • video
  • web
  • x11
  • xfce
  • zope


Section: non-free/video

In this first example the section is video and the area is non-free.

Section: shells

In this second example, the section is shells, the area defaults to main.