How to convert Linux installation packages to other formats

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Check How to convert Linux installation packages to other formats

Package developers and maintainers may not always create packages for all Linux distributions. Some packages may only be available for a specific Linux platform. In such cases, you can use package conversion tools like Alien to easily convert Linux packages to different formats. Alien is a command line package converter that converts between various Linux package formats like Red Hat rpm, Debian deb, Stampede slp, Slackware tgz and Solaris pkg etc.

The Alien program comes to the rescue when a specific package or version of a package is not available for your Linux distribution. You can easily convert such a package to your preferred package format with Alien and install it on your system.

Alien is not only a package converter, it can also automatically install generated packages after package conversion. You may even have the option to convert the scripts to run when the package is installed. You should be careful when using this option. You should examine the scripts carefully and check what those scripts are doing before using this option.

How to convert Linux installation packages to other formats

Install Alien on Linux

Alien is available in the Ubuntu universe repository. To install it, first enable the universe repository and update the list of packages on your system. Then install the alien package using APT as you normally would.

    • sudo add-apt-repository universe
    • sudo apt update
    • sudo apt install foreign

Debian users can simply install the package using APT:

Alien is not yet available in the official Arch repositories. However, you can install it from the AUR using an AUR wizard. For the purpose of this guide, we will use yay.

On Fedora, CentOS, and other RPM-based distributions, you can install Alien using DNF as follows:

Once done, verify the installation by typing alien –version in the terminal. If the command returns package version information, the installation is successful. However, if not, try the installation steps again.

Convert between Linux packages using Alien

Using Alien, you can convert between various Linux packages. To list a few:

  • DEB (Debian-based distributions)
  • TAR.GZ (Packaged Archive)
  • RPM (Fedora, CentOS and other distributions)
  • PKG (Solaris Package Format)
  • PFS
  • LSB

Alien can interpret the following options:

  • -do –to-dpkg – convert the specified package to DEB package format
  • -ro –to-rpm: Convert the package to RPM format
  • -to –to-tgz – Generate a TAR.GZ archive of the specified package
  • -lo –to-lsb: create an LSB (Linux Standard Base) package
  • -po –to-pkg: Convert the specified package to PKG format
  • –to-slp: Create an SLP package

Use Alien on Linux

The basic syntax of the utility is:

    • sudo alien options filename

…where options are the various flags you can use with the command and filename is the absolute or relative path to the package you want to convert. To convert an RPM package to DEB:

    • sudo alien –d file.rpm
    • sudo alien –to-deb file.rpm

To demonstrate how you can convert a package to all other formats, we’ll convert a DEB file to other Linux packages. DEB to RPM:

    • sudo alien -r file.deb
    • sudo alien –to-rpm file.deb


    • sudo alien -t file.deb
    • sudo alien –to-tgz file.deb

DEB to LSB: sudo alien -l file.deb sudo alien –to-lsb file.deb DEB to PKG:

    • sudo alien -p file.deb
    • sudo alien –to-pkg file.deb


    • sudo alien –to-slp file.deb

Note that you can also convert any package format to any other format. For example, RPM to LSB, SLP to PKG, PKG to DEB, etc. It is also possible to convert a package to multiple formats using a single command. All you have to do is specify the flags for the conversion as follows:

    • sudo alien –to-deb –to-rpm –to-tgz file.pkg
    • sudo alien -d -r -p file.tar.gz

If the package contains format-specific scripts, you can convert those scripts using the –scripts or -c flag.

    • sudo alien –scripts –to-deb file.rpm
    • sudo alien -c –to-deb file.rpm

Install packages after conversion

In addition to converting packages, Alien can also install packages for you. You can add the –install or -i flag to the command to immediately install the package after conversion. For example:

    • sudo alien –to-rpm –install file.deb
    • sudo alien -r -i file.deb

Handling version information during conversion

By default, Alien automatically increments the package version details. If you convert a package with version number 1.17.1 using Alien, the generated package will have version number 1.17.2. You can override this default behavior by using the -k or –keep-version flag as follows:

    • sudo alien –to-rpm -k file.deb
    • sudo alien –to-rpm –keep-version file.deb

Final words: How to convert Linux installation packages to other formats

I hope you understand this article, How to convert Linux installation packages to other formats. If your answer is no, you can ask anything via the contact forum section related to this article. And if your answer is yes, please share this article with your friends and family to give us your support.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
The Bollyinside editorial staff is made up of tech experts with more than 10 years of experience Led by Sumit Chauhan. We started in 2014 and now Bollyinside is a leading tech resource, offering everything from product reviews and tech guides to marketing tips. Think of us as your go-to tech encyclopedia!


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