Packages are made available through so called repositories. The repository contains the packages and an index which includes some basic information about the packages, e.g. required dependencies or a short description.

Repositories can be located on many medias: CD-Rom/DVD, local hard disk, the Web (http,ftp) or remote file system (nfs).

To Reload the Package Information

To collect the list of all available packages from the repositories choose one of the following methods:

  • Choose EditReload Package Information from the menu.

  • Click on Reload in the toolbar.

To Edit, Add or Remove Repositories

You can edit, add or delete repositories in the repository preferences.

Open the repository editor with SettingsRepositories from the menu.

Figure 6. Repository Preferences

Shows the repository preferences

To Add Repositories From CD-ROM

Choose EditAdd CD... from the menu.

The Syntax of the APT line

The package manager stores all available repositories in a text based configuration file. Each line describes the type, location and content of one repository.

Table 3. Syntax of an APT line e.g. deb sarge main

Element Description
deb The first elements describes the type of the repository. Possible values are deb (Debian binary packages), deb-src (Debian source packages), rpm (RPM binary packages), rpm-src (Redhat source packages), rpmdir (folder that contains RPM binary packages) and rpmdir-src (folder that contains RPM source packages). The second element is the location of the repository. The repository can be accessed by the protocols HTTP and FTP, or locally on a CD, DVD or hard disk.
sarge The third element describes the distribution for which the packages are made for, see the Debian Developer's Reference for more details on distributions of Debian.
main The forth element describes sections of the repository that should be included. By default official Debian repositories are separated into the sections main, contrib and non-free, see the Debian Developer's Reference for more details on sections of Debian.


The distribution and section element are not required for each type.