Deb-GView (0.2.6)

Debian native package icon

Gnome viewer for .deb package files and contents.

man page.


deb-gview is package files viewer for Gnome.

Displays Debian control information, devscript details and details of the files that would be installed (names, sizes and locations). Files within the package can be viewed within the package or externally.

deb-gview accepts package locations on the command line to support the 'open' command in various file managers, one window for each package. Packages do not need to be installed to be viewed - allowing the user to view package files built for any architecture.

Version 0.2.0 has been ported from the deprecated GnomeVFS to the replacement GIO and GVfs.

Version 0.2.5 has dropped dependencies on libgnome and libgnomeui as these libraries will soon be deprecated / removed.

.changes files are also supported - deb-gview opens a new window for each package referenced in the .changes file. Individual package files or a set of packages referenced in a .changes file can be viewed from local and remote filesystems.

Original name: dpkg-view. Changed to avoid a conflict with the dpkg- namespace. See Debian bug #381221.

deb-gview is designed for Debian developers, Debian applicants / sponsorees and the simply curious.

By default, File|Open displays the list of packages in the apt cache:

deb-gview also loads .deb files directly from the command line. This can be used with file managers like Nautilus to open .deb files from a file viewer window. This is not enabled automatically, yet. e.g. to enable this in Nautilus, right click a .deb file, select Open and select "Debian Package Viewer" from the list. Nautilus will now use deb-gview to open .deb files in future.

External viewers

In version 0.2.6, deb-gview has migrated to the XDG specification for config files and uses a dot-file in your XDG config directory (default: ~/.config/deb-gview/preview) to specify which applications should be used to preview files from the package. You are free to edit this file, deb-gview will not modify it, although the defaults will be replaced if the file is deleted.

Any previous config in ~/.deb-gview/preview will be moved into the new file but the ~/.deb-gview directory will be preserved - feel free to delete it once any other files are moved to the new location.

The first matching pattern will be used, so put the most general wildcards (like *) at the end of this file.

The first group is a deb-gview default setting to determine which application to use for viewers that need a terminal. You may want to change this to gnome-terminal or konsole from the rather limited xterm default.

Subsequent group names need to be unique but have no other meaning to deb-gview.

Glob-style pattern to match the location of the file in the package (not the filesystem - note the "./" prefix).
The program to call to view the file content (which must exist in your system PATH).
whether to start the viewer in a terminal, TRUE or FALSE.
whether the viewer the content as a binary file, TRUE or FALSE.
if the viewer needs a specific suffix, specify it here. Note that deb-gview does not insist that the suffix of the temporary file matches the suffix of the file within the package, it is up to you to ensure that the suffix is suitable for the viewer you want to use. Leave blank for no suffix.


alioth project page

deb-gview is a Debian native project, hosted at Alioth under the original name, dpkg-view. Please use the new name, deb-gview for all discussion of this project.

Alioth hosts the deb-gview CVS repository, deb-gview file releases and Trackers.



deb-gview is a Debian native package. Bugs should be reported to the Debian bug tracking system for deb-gview.

Downloading deb-gview

Current release: 0.2.6.

Debian GNU/Linux, deb-gview is in the unstable distribution.

Debian GNU/Linux, deb-gview is also in the testing distribution.


deb-gview 0.1.2 is in Ubuntu Gutsy, newer versions in Ubuntu Hardy.


Although deb-gview doesn't use QOF, support should still be obtained by subscribing to the QOF-devel mailing list: The list is very low volume and deb-gview itself is only a small package. Alternatively, use the Debian BTS.

The copyright licensing notice below applies to this text.

Copyright © 2006-2009 Neil Williams

Permission is granted to copy, distribute, and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of this license is included in the file copying.txt