Debian Repositories

JFrog Artifactory Documentation



Artifactory supports Debian repositories whether they use the current Automatic Debian architecture or the deprecated Trivial architecture. As a fully-fledged Debian repository, Artifactory generates index files that are fully compliant with Debian clients.

Artifactory support for Debian provides:

  • The ability to provision Debian packages from Artifactory to a Debian client from local and remote repositories.

  • Calculation of Metadata for Debian packages hosted in Artifactory's local repositories.

  • Access to remote Debian resources (such as through Remote Repositories which provide the usual proxy and caching functionality.

  • Providing GPG signatures that can be used by Debian clients to verify packages.

  • Complete management of GPG signatures using the Artifactory UI and the REST API.

  • Support for deploying Debian Snapshots.


You can only deploy Debian packages to a local repository that has been created with the Debian Package Type.

You can download packages from a local or a remote Debian repository.

Local Repositories

To enable calculation of Debian metadata, in the Administration module, go to Repositories| Repositories | Local and select Debian as the Package Type when you create your local repository.

If you are using Debian with a Trivial layout, in the Debian Settings section, set the Trivial Layout checkbox.

Under Optional Index Compression Formats, click on Select compression formats and from the drop-down list select the index file formats you would like to create in addition to the default Gzip (.gzip extension), which is created for every Debian repository and cannot be disabled. Additional index file formats can also be created using the Local Repository REST API.Repository Configuration JSON

To allow indexing of debug symbols, select the Enable indexing with debug symbols (.ddeb) field.

Deploying a package using the UI

To deploy a Debian package to Artifactory, in the Artifacts Repository Browser, click Deploy.

Select your Debian repository as the Target Repository, upload the file you want to deploy.

Check the Deploy as Debian Artifact checkbox and fill in the Distribution, Component and Architecture fields in the Debian Artifact section. Notice that the Target Path is automatically updated to reflect your input.


Setting the target path manually? Be careful with spaces

We recommend using the fields in the Debian Artifact section to set your Target Path. Nevertheless, if you choose to specify the Target Path manually, make sure you don't enter any superfluous spaces.

For example to upload package planckdb-08-2015.deb, and specify that its layout is from the trusty distribution, in the main component and the i386 architecture, you would enter:


You can also deploy Debian packages to Artifactory with an explicit URL using Matrix Parameters.


After you deploy the artifact, you need to wait about one minute for Artifactory to recalculate the repository index and display your upload in the Repository Browser.

Once you have deployed your Debian package, and Artifactory has recalculated the repository index, your repository should be organized as displayed below:

Deploying a package using Matrix Parameters

The URL is built similarly to the Target Path format as follows:

Deploying a package using Matrix Parameters

PUT "http://SERVER_HOSTNAME:8081/artifactory/{debianRepoKey}/pool/{debianPackageName};deb.distribution={distribution};deb.component={component};deb.architecture={architecture}" 

For example, to upload package libatk1.0_i386.deb, and specify that its layout is from the wheezy distribution, in the main component and the i386 architecture, you would enter:


PUT "http://localhost:8081/artifactory/debian-local/pool/libatk1.0_i386.deb;deb.distribution=wheezy;deb.component=main;deb.architecture=i386"
Setting the Target Path

The Target Path needs to be entered in a strict and specific format that uses system properties to define where the artifact will be stored and its specific layout as follows:

Target Path Format





The repository path where the package should be stored.

Artifactory supports storing Debian packages anywhere within the repository. The examples on this page show Debian packages stored under the pool folder in accordance with the Debian convention.


The value to assign to the deb.distribution property used to specify the Debian package distribution


The value to assign to the deb.component property used to specify the Debian package component name


The value to assign to the deb.architecture property used to specify the Debian package architecture

Adding Architecture Independent Packages

Uploading a Debian package with deb.architecture=all will cause it to appear in the Packages index of all the other architectures under the same Distribution and Component, as well as under a new index branch called binary-all which holds all Debian packages that are marked as "all'. Removing an "all" Debian package will also remove it from all other indexes under the same Distribution and Component. When the last Debian package in an architecture is removed but the Packages index still contains an "all" Debian package, it is preserved in the index. If you want such an architecture index removed you may do so via the UI or using Calculate Debian Repository Metadata in the REST API, which cleans up orphaned package files from the index.Calculate Debian Repository Metadata

Specifying multiple layouts

Whether uploading a package using the UI or Matrix Parameters, you can specify multiple layouts for any Debian package you upload, by including additional values for the distribution, component or architecture separated by a comma,

For example, to upload package libatk1.0_i386.deb to both wheezy and trusty distributions, in both main and contrib components and both i386 and 64bit-arm architectures you would specify the following Target Path to upload using the UI:

Target path for multiple layouts


Correspondingly, to upload the file using Matrix Parameters, you would use the following:

Multiple layouts using Matrix Parameters

PUT "http://localhost:8081/artifactory/debian-local/pool/libatk1.0_i386.deb;deb.distribution=wheezy;deb.distribution=trusty;deb.component=main;deb.component=contrib;deb.architecture=i386;deb.architecture=64bit-arm"
Artifact Metadata

Artifactory writes several entries from the Debian package's metadata as properties on all of the artifacts (based on the control file's content).

These properties can be used to search for Debian packages more efficiently using Arifactory's Package Search.

Metadata properties are written for each new Artifact that is deployed to Artifactory.

To have these properties written to Debian artifacts that already exist in your repositories you need to call the Calculate Debian Repository Metadata REST API which writes the properties to all of the artifacts by default.Calculate Debian Repository Metadata

Metadata Validation

To ensure that Debian repositories are not corrupted by malformed packages, Artifactory first validates parts of the Debian metadata to make sure that none of the relevant metadata fields are empty. If the validation process indicates a malformed package, Artifactory provides several indications:

  • The package is not indexed

  • The package is annotated with the following property:

    • key: deb.index.status

    • value: the reason the package failed the validation process

  • If the package is selected in the Tree Browser, the Debian Info tab will display a message indicating that it was not indexed and why it failed the validation process

  • A message is logged in the Artifactory log file indicating that the package was not indexed and why it failed the validation process.

Disable validation

Debian package validation is controlled by the debian.metadata.validation system property . Package validation is enabled by default. To disable Debian package validation set:Artifactory Configuration Files


Finding malformed packages

To easily find all malformed packages in your Debian repositories, you can use Property Search or run an AQL query with Properties Criteria on the deb.index.status property described above.

Remote Repositories

You can download Debian packages from Local Debian Repositories as described above, or from Remote Repositories specified as supporting Debian packages.

To specify that a Remote Repository supports Debian packages, you need to set its Package Type to Debian when it is created.


Note that the index files for remote Debian repositories (including the sources index) are stored and renewed according to the Retrieval Cache Period setting.

Calculating Debian Coordinates

You can extract the component/distribution/architecture coordinates from a remote repository and assign them as properties on the cached packages.

To do this, right click on the relevant remote Debian repository and select Calculate Debian Coordinates. You can also use the Calculate Cached Remote Debian Repository Coordinates REST API.Calculate Cached Remote Debian Repository Coordinates


This process may take some time for remote repositories with many packages. It is recommended running it only when needed.For example, before copying packages to a local repository.

The following executions will only calculate the newly added packages to the cache.

Virtual Repositories

A Virtual Repository defined in Artifactory aggregates packages from both local and remote repositories.

This allows you to access both locally hosted Debian packages and remote proxied Debian repositories from a single URL defined for the virtual repository.

To define a virtual Debian repository, create a virtual repository, set the Package Type to be Debian, and select the underlying local and remote Debian repositories to include in the Basic settingstab.

Deprecated Trivial layout not supported

Only repositories with an Automatic Layout can be included in a virtual repositories. A deprecated Trivial layout is not supported for virtual repositories.

Indexed Remote Architectures

When creating a new virtual repository, the Indexed Remote Architectures field specifies the architectures which will be indexed for the included remote repositories.

Specifying these architectures will speed up Artifactory's initial metadata indexing process. The default architecture values are amd64 and i386.

Set the Optional Index Compression Formats with the index file formats you would like to create in addition to the default Gzip (.gzip extension).

Indexed Remote Architectures.png

Signing Debian Metadata

Artifactory supports signing Debian repository metadata (not packages) using a GPG key. This process will create a signed Release file named Release.gpg, which will be shipped alongside the Release file. Artifactory will store and manage public and private keys that are used to sign and verify Debian packages.

To generate a pair of GPG keys and upload them to Artifactory, see Managing Signing Keys.Manage Signing Keys

Working with Debian Snapshots

Creating Debian Snapshots

From Artifactory 7.41.3, Debian repositories include support for Debian Snapshots.A Debian Snapshot contains metadata of a fixed state of a local, remote or virtual Debian repository. Snapshots are immutable and contain a metadata folder for each specific distribution, including all metadata files, like RELEASES AND PACKAGES, and not the actual packages.

Snapshots can be used in the following scenarios:

  • As backups, allowing you to easily fall back to previous versions in case of package corruption due to dependency changes.

  • For release purposes, whereby the tested Packages file can be immutably saved and served.

In Artifactory, the Debian snapshots are saved by default under the $repoKey/snapshots/$tag subfolder within the Debian Repository and are created using a dedicated Create Debian Snapshot REST API.

In the following example, a Debian snapshot named “202203141800” is saved under the “deb-snapshot” local repository, containing “focal” distribution metadata.

Rules and Guidelines
  • To work with Debian Snapshots in Artifactory, you need to configure the sources file of your Debian client to point to the following path: artUrl/artifactory/api/deb/$repoKey/snapshots/$tag.

  • The root of the snapshot sub-repository is $repoKey/snapshots/$tag.

  • All the metadata files of the $srcRepo/dists/$distribution, including the release and packages file, are copied to the snapshot folder.

  • In the folder, a property called deb.snapshot.source is created pointing to the source repository.

  • You need to use /artifactory/api/deb/$repoKey/snapshots/$tag, whereby the tag is a user-defined name for the snapshot.

  • Deleting a snapshot does not delete the related Debian Package files as the. Debian Snapshots sub-repositories does not contain the packages, but only redirect to them.

To create Debian Snapshot, see the Create Debian Snapshot REST API.Create Debian Snapshot

Resolving Debian Snapshots

To work with Debian Snapshots in Artifactory, you need to configure the sources file of your Debian client to point to the following path: artUrl/artifactory/api/deb/$repoKey/snapshots/$tag .

Adding MD5 Checksum to the Packages file

To support tools (e.g. Aptly) that require Debian packages to include their MD5 checksum in their Packages metadata file for validation, you can configure Artifactory to add this value by setting the following system property in the file:

## Add package MD5 checksum to Debian Packages file 

Artifactory needs to be restarted for this change to take effect.

Authenticated Access to Servers

If you need to access a secured Artifactory server that requires a username and password, you can specify these in your Debian source.list file by prefixing the artifactory host name with the required credentials as follows:

Accessing Artifactory with credentials

http://user:password@SERVER_HOSTNAME:8081/artifactory/{repoKey} {distribution} {components}
For example:
http://admin:password@localhost:8081/artifactory/debian-local wheezy main restricted

Encrypting your password

You can use your encrypted password as described in Using Your Secure Password.Centrally Secure Passwords

Compression Formats

Artifactory supports the following compression formats for Debian indices:

  • Gzip (.gz file extension) - created by default for every Debian repository and cannot be disabled.

  • Bzip2 (.bz2 file extension)

  • LZMA (.lzma extension)

  • XZ (.xz extension)

Acquiring Packages by Hash