What is a DEB File?

How to Open, Edit, & Convert DEB Files

Screenshot of the ZIP file icon

A file with the DEB file extension is a Debian Software Package file. They're used mainly in Unix-based operating systems, including Ubuntu and iOS.

Every DEB file consists of two TAR archives that make up the executable files, documentation, and libraries. It may or may not be compressed using GZIP, BZIP2, LZMA, or XZ.

Similar to DEB files are micro deb files (.UDEB) that include some but not all of the same information as a regular DEB file.

How To Open a DEB File

DEB files can be opened with any popular compression/decompression program, the free 7-Zip tool being one example. Any of these types of programs will decompress (extract) the contents of a DEB file and some may also have the ability to create DEB compressed files.

While some of these file zip/unzip tools will work on Linux machines too, they don't actually install the package like you'd expect them to - they just extract the contents of the archive.

To install DEB files, you can use the free gdebi tool, which enables you to right-click the .DEB file and choose to open it from the context menu.

Though not as easy as using gdebi, you can also install DEB files with dpkg using this command (substituting "/path/to/file.deb" with the path to your own .DEB file):

dpkg -i /path/to/file.deb

Multiple DEB files can be installed using:

dpkg -i -R /path/to/folder/with/deb/files/

You can also uninstall DEB files using this command:

apt-get remove /path/to/file.deb

Note: If you can't get your file to open, you might be confusing a DEM file with a DEB file. A DEM file is most likely either a Video Game Demo file or a Digital Elevation Model.

How To Convert a DEB File

A free file converter like FileZigZag can convert a DEB file to file formats like TGZ, BZ2, BZIP2, 7Z, GZIP, TAR, TBZ, ZIP, and others.

You can also convert the DEB file to RPM using this alien command:

apt-get update
apt-get install alien
alien -r file.deb

You can find lots of tutorials online for converting a DEB file to an IPA file. You can see one here at JailbreakErra. Another shows how to install the home theater software Kodi on iOS, but you can tweak the tutorial for installing a custom DEB file on an iPhone or another iOS device.

You can install a DEB file on a jailbroken, or hacked iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch using the program iFunbox. If you need help, see Jailbreak Square's tutorial.

I'm not aware of a DEB to APK converter for installing Debian packages on Android devices. However, you can do the opposite to run Android applications on Linux, with Shashlik.

More Help With DEB Files

See Get More Help for information about contacting me on social networks or via email, posting on tech support forums, and more. Let me know what kinds of problems you're having with opening or using the DEB file and I'll see what I can do to help.