Progamatically Comparing Debian Package Versions

Posted by mrfsl on Dec 7, 2011 9:29 AM EDT
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Continuing on with this project it became necessary to look a little deeper on how apt based software repositories handle version numbers. At first I thought this was the silliest overly complicated mess I could imaging. For instance, how does one compare package versions that look like this ’2:1.0~rc3++svn20100804-0.2squeeze1? with versions that look like this ’2:1.0~rc3++final.dfsg1-1? to determine which is newer? Luckily this is actually well documented, makes perfect sense when you stop to think about it, and (through the power of open source) easy to accomplish programatically.

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