This is the output of apt-cache policy firefox

  Installed: 26.0~linuxmint1+lmde
  Candidate: 26.0~linuxmint1+lmde
  Version table:
 *** 26.0~linuxmint1+lmde 0
        500 http://packages.linuxmint.com/ debian/import amd64 Packages
        100 /var/lib/dpkg/status

The version is shown as 26.0~linuxmint1+lmde, what is the 0 that comes after it? I have tried with various packages and there is always a 0 after the package version. Presumably, this can also take other values but I haven't seen it.

I read through both the man and info pages of apt-cache and could not find anything relevant. The only explanation of policy is:

   policy [pkg...]
       policy is meant to help debug issues relating to the preferences
       file. With no arguments it will print out the priorities of each
       source. Otherwise it prints out detailed information about the
       priority selection of the named package.
  • Isin't it the number of build for for example Linux Mint? – enedil Feb 2 '14 at 18:37
  • @enedil what do you mean? – terdon Feb 2 '14 at 18:38
  • Almost every distro's building own packages. For an upstream package version there can be multiply builds. That number can be the number of build. – enedil Feb 2 '14 at 18:40
  • @enedil perhaps. Why don't you write that as an answer? Bear in mind that I get the same output for packages that are specific to my distro (LMDE). – terdon Feb 2 '14 at 18:43
  • @enedil Do you have any documentation for this? It sounds unlikely on the face of it. – Faheem Mitha Feb 2 '14 at 18:52

It is <minimum-priority-to-consider>:

A general output would be:

  Installed: <installed-version>
  Candidate: <version-installed-when-doing-apt-get-upgrade>
  Package-Pin: <version-of-Pin-in-etc-apt-preferences>
  Version table:
 *** <some-version> <minimum-priority-to-consider>
       <priority-of-this-instance> <repository1>
       <priority-of-this-instance> <repository2>
 *** <some-other-version> <minimum-priority-to-consider>
       <priority-of-this-instance> <repository3>
       <priority-of-this-instance> <repository4>

So, in the output above, package firefox has version 26.0~linuxmint1+lmde with minimum priority of 0, and may be provided by two repositories with a priority of 500 and 100 respectively.

From this debian errata section, via linuxquestions.org and askubuntu.

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