Each package name is of the form:


So my questions are:

  • What does the X stand for?
  • What does the Y stand for?

For example, in binutils_2.22-6ubuntu1.3_amd64, what is the meaning of the numbers 6 and 1.3?


1 Answer 1


There is a detailed explanation here and here. If you are really interested you can read the Debian Policy Manual also. To answer your questions:

  • X is the Debian version of the package.

  • ubuntuY is the Yth Ubuntu version of the Debian package.

To quote verbatim from the first link, package-XubuntuY means:

  1. package = this is the name of the program/library.

  2. X = this is the debian version of the package
    ‐ if X=0 this means that there is no debian package (or that the ubuntu team has forked a debian package to a newer version than the one found in the debian repositories)
    ex: bzip2-1.0.3-0ubuntu2
    (as shown in this example the debian package might be updated in the meantime and the ubuntu package will probably merged with it on the next version)

  3. ubuntuY = this is the Yth ubuntu version of the debian package.
    ‐ if this is missing this mean that it is a clean, unchanged debian package
    ex: gzip-1.3.5-12
    (in this sample, this is the original debian package included in ubuntu)
    ‐ if this is present it means that Ubuntu has taken the debian package and released it with some additional patches or bug fixes.
    ex: sudo-1.6.8p12-1ubuntu6
    (in this sample this is the 6th version of the ubuntu package based on the debian version 1.6.8p12-1 of sudo).

  • 1
    Note: Ubuntu patches are stored under debian/patches on the deb, e.g. apt-get source gdb. You can also list all Ubuntu versions with changes between them with bzr branch ubuntu:gdb; cd gdb; bzr log | less Jul 26, 2015 at 9:13
  • Is there a particular reason it's XubuntuY and not X+ubuntuY?
    – NickBroon
    Sep 20, 2021 at 10:37

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.