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man pages section 4: File Formats

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Updated: July 2017



depend - software dependencies file


depend is an ASCII file used to specify information concerning software dependencies for a particular package. The file is created by a software developer.

Each entry in the depend file describes a single software package. The instance of the package is described after the entry line by giving the package architecture and/or version. The format of each entry and subsequent instance definition is:

type pkg name

The fields are:


Defines the dependency type. Must be one of the following characters:


Indicates a prerequisite for installation; for example, the referenced package or versions must be installed.


Implies that the existence of the indicated package or version is incompatible.


Indicates a reverse dependency. Instead of defining the package's own dependencies, this designates that another package depends on this one. This type should be used only when an old package does not have a depend file, but relies on the newer package nonetheless. Therefore, the present package should not be removed if the designated old package is still on the system since, if it is removed, the old package will no longer work.


Indicates the package abbreviation.


Specifies the full package name.


Specifies a particular instance of the software. A version name cannot begin with a left parenthesis. The instance specifications, both (arch) and version, are completely optional, but each (arch)version pair must begin on a new line that begins with white space. A null version set equates to any version of the indicated package.


Example 1 Sample of depend file

Here are the contents of a sample depend file, for the SUNWftpr (FTP Server) package, stored in /var/sadm/pkg/SUNWftpr/install:

P SUNWcar       Core Architecture, (Root)
P SUNWkvm       Core Architecture, (Kvm)
P SUNWcsr       Core Solaris, (Root)
P SUNWcsu       Core Solaris, (Usr)
P SUNWcsd       Core Solaris Devices
P SUNWcsl       Core Solaris Libraries
R SUNWftpu      FTP Server, (Usr)

See Also


Packaging and Delivering Software With the Image Packaging System in Oracle Solaris 11.3