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Patching a Debian installation package

2021-03-01

Using Debian as a base operating system means you have a rock solid operating system to work off of. However, it also means, things move a little slowly.

Especially when it comes to supporting the latest and greatest libraries and frameworks. I've had issues with installing Slack on Debian with respect to the libappindicator3-1 library support on Debian 11 Bullsye.

  1. Unpack the deb file in question.

    dpkg-deb -x slack-desktop-LATEST-VERSION-PLATFORM.deb unpack

    dpkg-deb --control slack-desktop-LATEST-VERSION-PLATFORM.deb unpack/DEBIAN

  2. Edit the file named control and replace the unsupported library with a supported version/alternative

    libappindicator3-1 -> libayatana-appindicator3-1

  3. Repackage the contents of the folder unpack along with the updated control file

    dpkg -b unpack slack-desktop-LATEST-VERSION-PLATFORM-PATCHED.deb

  4. Install as usual

    dpkg -i slack-desktop-LATEST-VERSION-PLATFORM-PATCHED.deb