Package format

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A package format is a type of archive containing computer programs and additional metadata needed by package managers.[1] While the archive file format itself may be unchanged, package formats bear additional metadata, such as a manifest file or certain directory layouts. Packages may contain either source code or executable files.

Packages may be converted from one type to another with software such as Alien.

Common formats[edit]

Specialized formats[edit]

Format Consumed by
AAB Android
APK (Alpine) Alpine Linux[2]
APK (Android) Android
AppImage Linux distribution-agnostic. (Self-contained binary)
APPX and APPXBundle Windows 8 and later, Windows Phone[3]
Deb Debian and its derivatives, such as Ubuntu, Xubuntu, and Linux Mint[4]
ebuild Gentoo Linux[5]
eopkg Solus[6]
Flatpak All Linux systems
HAP and .app HarmonyOS
PISI Pardus
PKG OS X, iOS, PlayStation 3, Solaris, SunOS, UNIX System V, Symbian, BeOS, Apple Newton
.pkg.tar.zst Arch Linux
PUP and PET Puppy Linux (PUP format is deprecated since version 3.0)
RPM Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Fedora, derivatives such as CentOS,[7] and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, openSUSE
Snap Compatible with most Linux distros, but mainly developed for Ubuntu
Windows Installer package / MSI Windows Installer on Microsoft Windows

Generic formats[edit]

Arch Linux's Pacman[8] and Slackware[9] use Tar archives with generic naming but specific internal structures.


  1. ^ Justin Angelo Cappos, Stork: Secure Package Management for VM Environments, ProQuest, 2008, p. 128 ;
  2. ^ "Alpine package format - Alpine Linux". Retrieved 2016-05-19.
  3. ^ "App packaging". Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  4. ^ "InstallingSoftware - Community Ubuntu Documentation". Retrieved 2013-04-24.
  5. ^ "ebuild". Retrieved 29 July 2015.
  6. ^ "Basics to Package Management". Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  7. ^ "rpm - Trac". Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  8. ^ "makepkg.conf(5) Manual Page".
  9. ^ "The Slackware Linux Project: Configuration Help". Retrieved 29 September 2014.