ceve [-h] [-v] [-c pkgspec] [-r pkgspec] [--depth=n] [-T format] [-G graph type] [-o filename] input-spec [input-spec...]


Ceve is a generalized metadata parser. It reads package specifications, extracts package metadata from them, performs some manipulations, and outputs the package metadata in one of several formats.

input-spec is a url specifying the input format and the file to get the input from. For a possible list of schemes, see the -t parameter.

Some examples of URLs:


deb://Packages.gz (the Debian file packages.gz in the current directory)


cudf:///home/examples/cudf/test.cudf (the CUDF file /home/examples/cudf/test.cudf)



-h, --help

This option displays the help message.

-v, --verbose

Be verbose. This option can be repeated for more verbosity.


Show program's version and exit.


Print progress bars.


Print timing information.


Do no print any messages.


-t input-spec

Select the input type. Possible values are:


cudf for cudf files






deb for Debian binary package files, also known as Packages files. Possibly compressed with gzip(1) or bzip2(1), depending on compile-time options for dose3.


debsrc for Debian source package files, also knows as Sources files. Possibly compressed with gzip(1) or bzip2(1), depending on compile-time options for dose3.


edsp for apt-get External Dependency Solver Protocol


eclipse for Eclipse (p2) package files


hdlist for RPM hdlists


synthesis for urpmi synthesis hdlists


Consider only installable packages.


Check only the latest version of each package

-c, --cone=pkgspec

The match of an atomic dependency (a package name p possibly together with a version constraint c) is the set of all packages in the repository with name p, and a version that satisfies the constraint c. The dependency cone of a package p is the set of all matches of all atomic dependencies of p, together with their respective dependency cones. The package specification pkgspec is a list of packages (separated by a semicolon), where each package is specified as follows: (name,version).

This option extracts the union of the dependency cones of all packages selected by pkgspec.

-r, --rcone=pkgspec

Using the same syntax as in -c, this option use the reverse dependency relation to make the transitive closure.

--depth n

In combination with the -c or -r options, this specifies the maximum depth for the transitive closure.

--request installation-request

Specifies an installation request of the form "install: vpkglist" or "remove: vpkglist" or "upgrade: vpkglist" where vpkglist is a list of (real) packages possibly associated with a constraint. Ex.: bash (< 2.0), exim (= 3.1-debian1). This option can be repeated to specify install, remove and upgrade actions.


--request "install: bash (< 2.0), exim (= 3.1-debian1)" --request "upgrade: apt-cudf"


-o, --outfile=filename

Instead of stdout, send output to the file filename.

-d, --outdir=directory

Set the output directory (default current directory)


Save the explanation graph (one for each package) in dot format.

-G graph type

Specifies the graph type format to compute. This option must be used together with the option -T dot|gml|grml. Default is syn. Possible values are:


syn for the syntactic graph where disjunctions nodes and conflicts are explicitly added to the graph.


pkg for the package graph where all dependencies are threated uniformely and conflicts are not added to the graph.


strdeps the strong dependency graph. A package p strong depends on q iff p cannot be installed if q is not installed.




conj the conjunctive graph where only conjunctive dependencies are considered.



-T format

Specifies the output format to use. Default is cnf. Possible values are:


cnf output in CNF format.


dimacs output in DIMACS format for CNF formulae.


cudf pretty-printed output in an RFC 822-like format


deb binary packages in deb822 format.


debsrc source packages in deb822 format.


dot a graph in Dot/GraphViz format.


gml a graph in GML format.


grml a graph in GraphML format.


table plain text output of three integer values: the universe size, the number of edges in the dependency graph, the number of conflicts in the universe.


Multi-arch annotations are handled by ceve. Packages whose's architecture is neither the native architecture nor in the list of foreign architectures (see below) are ignored.


Specify the native architecture. The default behavior is to deduce the native architecture from the first package stanza in the input that has an architecture different from all.

--deb-foreign-archs=name [,name] ...

Specify a comma-separated list of foreign architectures. The default is an empty list of foreign architectures.


By default all essential package are considered as a dependency of all packages in the universe. This option allows the user to ignore essential packages.


Native/cross compile host architecture, defaults to native architecture.


Add builds-from relationship of binary packages on source packages as dependency. This allows one to create graphs for bootstrapping purposes.


Find all the reverse binary dependencies of the package patchutils:

        dose-ceve --deb-native-arch amd64 -r patchutils -T deb \
                deb:///var/lib/apt/lists/*_dists_sid_main_binary-amd64_Packages \
                | grep-dctrl -n -s Package '' | sort -u

Find all the source packages that (directly or indirectly) build depend on patchutils:

        dose-ceve -T debsrc --deb-native-arch=amd64 -r patchutils \
                debsrc:///var/lib/apt/lists/*_dists_sid_main_source_Sources \
                deb:///var/lib/apt/lists/*_dists_sid_main_binary-amd64_Packages \
                | grep-dctrl -n -s Package '' | sort -u