dpkg-divert is the utility used to set up and update the list of
File diversions are a way of forcing dpkg(1) not to install a
file into its location, but to a diverted location. Diversions
can be used through the Debian package scripts to move a file
away when it causes a conflict. System administrators can also
use it to override some package's configuration file, or whenever
some files (which aren't marked as “conffiles”) need to be
preserved by dpkg, when installing a newer version of a package
which contains those files.
Add a diversion for file. The file is currently not renamed,
Remove a diversion for file. The file is currently not
renamed, see --rename.
List all diversions, or ones matching glob-pattern.
Print the name of the package that diverts file (since dpkg
1.15.0). Prints LOCAL if file is locally diverted and
nothing if file is not diverted.
Print the real name for a diverted file.
Set the administrative directory to directory. Defaults to
«/usr/local/var/lib/dpkg» if DPKG_ADMINDIR has not been set.
Set the installation directory, which refers to the directory
where packages get installed (since dpkg 1.19.2). Defaults
to «/» if DPKG_ROOT has not been set.
Set the root directory to directory, which sets the
installation directory to «directory» and the administrative
directory to «directory/usr/local/var/lib/dpkg» (since dpkg
1.19.2) if DPKG_ROOT has not been set.
--divert divert-todivert-to is the location where the versions of file, as
provided by other packages, will be diverted.
Specifies that all packages' versions of this file are
diverted. This means, that there are no exceptions, and
whatever package is installed, the file is diverted. This can
be used by an admin to install a locally modified version.
--package packagepackage is the name of a package whose copy of file will not
be diverted. i.e. file will be diverted for all packages
Quiet mode, i.e. no verbose output.
Actually move the file aside (or back). dpkg-divert will
abort operation in case the destination file already exists.
This is the common behavior used for diversions of files from
the non-Essential package set (see --no-rename for more
Specifies that the file should not be renamed while adding or
removing the diversion into the database (since dpkg 1.19.1).
This is intended for diversions of files from the Essential
package set, where the temporary disappearance of the
original file is not acceptable, as it can render the system
non-functional. This is the default behavior, but that will
change in the dpkg 1.20.x cycle.
Test mode, i.e. don't actually perform any changes, just
Show the usage message and exit.
Show the version and exit.
0 The requested action was successfully performed.
2 Fatal or unrecoverable error due to invalid command-line
usage, or interactions with the system, such as accesses to
the database, memory allocations, etc.
If set and the --instdir or --root options have not been
specified, it will be used as the filesystem root directory
(since dpkg 1.19.2).
If set and the --admindir or --root options have not been
specified, it will be used as the dpkg data directory.
If set and the --local and --package options have not been
specified, dpkg-divert will use it as the package name.
Sets the debug mask (since dpkg 1.21.10) from an octal value.
The currently accepted flags are described in the dpkg--debug option, but not all these flags might have an effect
on this program.
Sets the color mode (since dpkg 1.18.5). The currently
accepted values are: auto (default), always and never.
File which contains the current list of diversions of the
system. It is located in the dpkg administration directory,
along with other files important to dpkg, such as status or
Note: dpkg-divert preserves the old copy of this file, with
extension -old, before replacing it with the new one.
When adding, default is --local and --divert original.distrib.
When removing, --package or --local and --divert must match if
Directories can't be diverted with dpkg-divert.
Care should be taken when diverting shared libraries, ldconfig(8)
creates a symbolic link based on the DT_SONAME field embedded in
the library. Because ldconfig does not honor diverts (only dpkg
does), the symlink may end up pointing at the diverted library,
if a diverted library has the same SONAME as the undiverted one.
To divert all copies of a /usr/bin/example to
/usr/bin/example.foo, i.e. directs all packages providing
/usr/bin/example to install it as /usr/bin/example.foo,
performing the rename if required:
dpkg-divert --divert /usr/bin/example.foo --rename /usr/bin/example
To remove that diversion:
dpkg-divert --rename --remove /usr/bin/example
To divert any package trying to install /usr/bin/example to
/usr/bin/example.foo, except your own wibble package:
dpkg-divert --package wibble --divert /usr/bin/example.foo \
To remove that diversion:
dpkg-divert --package wibble --rename --remove /usr/bin/example
This page is part of the dpkg (Debian Package Manager) project.
Information about the project can be found at
⟨https://wiki.debian.org/Teams/Dpkg/⟩. If you have a bug report
for this manual page, see
page was obtained from the project's upstream Git repository ⟨git
clone https://git.dpkg.org/git/dpkg/dpkg.git⟩ on 2023-06-23. (At
that time, the date of the most recent commit that was found in
the repository was 2023-05-29.) If you discover any rendering
problems in this HTML version of the page, or you believe there
is a better or more up-to-date source for the page, or you have
corrections or improvements to the information in this COLOPHON
(which is not part of the original manual page), send a mail to
1.21.20-209-g3026e 2023-02-07 dpkg-divert(1)