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<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" standalone="no"?>
<!DOCTYPE refentry PUBLIC "-//OASIS//DTD DocBook XML V4.2//EN"
"" [
<!ENTITY % aptent SYSTEM "apt.ent">
<!-- The last update date -->
<date>29 February 2004</date>
<refmiscinfo class="manual">APT</refmiscinfo>
<!-- Man page title -->
<refpurpose>Package resource list for APT</refpurpose>
<para>The package resource list is used to locate archives of the package
distribution system in use on the system. At this time, this manual page
documents only the packaging system used by the Debian GNU/Linux system.
This control file is <filename>/etc/apt/sources.list</filename>.</para>
<para>The source list is designed to support any number of active sources and a
variety of source media. The file lists one source per line, with the
most preferred source listed first. The format of each line is:
<literal>type uri args</literal> The first item, <literal>type</literal>
determines the format for <literal>args</literal>. <literal>uri</literal> is
a Universal Resource Identifier
(URI), which is a superset of the more specific and well-known Universal
Resource Locator, or URL. The rest of the line can be marked as a comment
by using a #.</para>
<para>The <filename>/etc/apt/sources.list.d</filename> directory provides
a way to add sources.list entries in separate files.
The format is the same as for the regular <filename>sources.list</filename> file.
File names need to end with
<filename>.list</filename> and may only contain letters (a-z and A-Z),
digits (0-9), underscore (_), hyphen (-) and period (.) characters.
Otherwise they will be silently ignored.</para>
<refsect1><title>The deb and deb-src types</title>
<para>The <literal>deb</literal> type describes a typical two-level Debian
archive, <filename>distribution/component</filename>. Typically,
<literal>distribution</literal> is generally one of
<literal>stable</literal> <literal>unstable</literal> or
<literal>testing</literal> while component is one of <literal>main</literal>
<literal>contrib</literal> <literal>non-free</literal> or
<literal>non-us</literal>. The
<literal>deb-src</literal> type describes a debian distribution's source
code in the same form as the <literal>deb</literal> type.
A <literal>deb-src</literal> line is required to fetch source indexes.</para>
<para>The format for a <filename>sources.list</filename> entry using the
<literal>deb</literal> and <literal>deb-src</literal> types is:</para>
<literallayout>deb uri distribution [component1] [component2] [...]</literallayout>
<para>The URI for the <literal>deb</literal> type must specify the base of the
Debian distribution, from which APT will find the information it needs.
<literal>distribution</literal> can specify an exact path, in which case the
components must be omitted and <literal>distribution</literal> must end with
a slash (/). This is useful for when the case only a particular sub-section of the
archive denoted by the URI is of interest.
If <literal>distribution</literal> does not specify an exact path, at least
one <literal>component</literal> must be present.</para>
<para><literal>distribution</literal> may also contain a variable,
which expands to the Debian architecture (i386, m68k, powerpc, ...)
used on the system. This permits architecture-independent
<filename>sources.list</filename> files to be used. In general this is only
of interest when specifying an exact path, <literal>APT</literal> will
automatically generate a URI with the current architecture otherwise.</para>
<para>Since only one distribution can be specified per line it may be necessary
to have multiple lines for the same URI, if a subset of all available
distributions or components at that location is desired.
APT will sort the URI list after it has generated a complete set
internally, and will collapse multiple references to the same Internet
host, for instance, into a single connection, so that it does not
inefficiently establish an FTP connection, close it, do something else,
and then re-establish a connection to that same host. This feature is
useful for accessing busy FTP sites with limits on the number of
simultaneous anonymous users. APT also parallelizes connections to
different hosts to more effectively deal with sites with low bandwidth.</para>
<para>It is important to list sources in order of preference, with the most
preferred source listed first. Typically this will result in sorting
by speed from fastest to slowest (CD-ROM followed by hosts on a local
network, followed by distant Internet hosts, for example).</para>
<para>Some examples:</para>
deb stable main contrib non-free
deb dists/stable-updates/
<refsect1><title>URI specification</title>
<para>The currently recognized URI types are cdrom, file, http, ftp, copy,
ssh, rsh.
The file scheme allows an arbitrary directory in the file system to be
considered an archive. This is useful for NFS mounts and local mirrors or
The cdrom scheme allows APT to use a local CDROM drive with media
swapping. Use the &apt-cdrom; program to create cdrom entries in the
source list.</para></listitem>
The http scheme specifies an HTTP server for the archive. If an environment
variable <envar>http_proxy</envar> is set with the format
http://server:port/, the proxy server specified in
<envar>http_proxy</envar> will be used. Users of authenticated
HTTP/1.1 proxies may use a string of the format
Note that this is an insecure method of authentication.</para></listitem>
The ftp scheme specifies an FTP server for the archive. APT's FTP behavior
is highly configurable; for more information see the
&apt-conf; manual page. Please note that a ftp proxy can be specified
by using the <envar>ftp_proxy</envar> environment variable. It is possible
to specify a http proxy (http proxy servers often understand ftp urls)
using this method and ONLY this method. ftp proxies using http specified in
the configuration file will be ignored.</para></listitem>
The copy scheme is identical to the file scheme except that packages are
copied into the cache directory instead of used directly at their location.
This is useful for people using a zip disk to copy files around with APT.</para></listitem>
The rsh/ssh method invokes rsh/ssh to connect to a remote host
as a given user and access the files. It is a good idea to do prior
arrangements with RSA keys or rhosts.
Access to files on the remote uses standard <command>find</command> and
commands to perform the file transfers from the remote.</para></listitem>
<varlistentry><term>more recongnizable URI types</term>
APT can be extended with more methods shipped in other optional packages which should
follow the nameing scheme <literal>apt-transport-<replaceable>method</replaceable></literal>.
The APT team e.g. maintain also the <literal>apt-transport-https</literal> package which
provides access methods for https-URIs with features similiar to the http method, but other
methods for using e.g. debtorrent are also available, see <citerefentry>
<para>Uses the archive stored locally (or NFS mounted) at /home/jason/debian
for stable/main, stable/contrib, and stable/non-free.</para>
<literallayout>deb file:/home/jason/debian stable main contrib non-free</literallayout>
<para>As above, except this uses the unstable (development) distribution.</para>
<literallayout>deb file:/home/jason/debian unstable main contrib non-free</literallayout>
<para>Source line for the above</para>
<literallayout>deb-src file:/home/jason/debian unstable main contrib non-free</literallayout>
<para>Uses HTTP to access the archive at, and uses only
the hamm/main area.</para>
<literallayout>deb hamm main</literallayout>
<para>Uses FTP to access the archive at, under the debian
directory, and uses only the stable/contrib area.</para>
<literallayout>deb stable contrib</literallayout>
<para>Uses FTP to access the archive at, under the debian
directory, and uses only the unstable/contrib area. If this line appears as
well as the one in the previous example in <filename>sources.list</filename>
a single FTP session will be used for both resource lines.</para>
<literallayout>deb unstable contrib</literallayout>
<para>Uses HTTP to access the archive at, under the
debian-non-US directory.</para>
<literallayout>deb stable/non-US main contrib non-free</literallayout>
<para>Uses HTTP to access the archive at, under the
debian-non-US directory, and uses only files found under
<filename>unstable/binary-i386</filename> on i386 machines,
<filename>unstable/binary-m68k</filename> on m68k, and so
forth for other supported architectures. [Note this example only
illustrates how to use the substitution variable; non-us is no longer
structured like this]
<literallayout>deb unstable/binary-$(ARCH)/</literallayout>
<refsect1><title>See Also</title>
<para>&apt-cache; &apt-conf;