From my understanding, the debootstrap program with the minbase option only installs packages with "essential priority" (and possibly apt). Is there a web resource which lists all packages with different priority levels? All I really need is a list for priority levels of essential, required, important, and standard and I do not need optional and extra.

  • Does it have to be web-based? Nov 14, 2017 at 21:55
  • @StephenKitt yes, I don't want to have to install a debian chroot just to find out what packages will be installed.
    – StrongBad
    Nov 14, 2017 at 23:22
  • Do you mean this? Priority and essential are different fields
    – Pablo A
    May 11, 2022 at 5:59

2 Answers 2


I’m not aware of anything giving the information you’re after, on the web. (Arguably it should be added to the package pages.) You can however get the information you’re after by querying the UDD, for example using the unofficial, publicly-accessible UDD mirror:

$ psql --host=udd-mirror.debian.net --user=udd-mirror udd --password

will connect to the server, then

udd=> select distinct package, version, section, priority from packages where essential = 'yes' and release = 'stretch';

will list all essential packages from Stretch (the distinct is useful because binary packages are listed per architecture), and

udd=> select distinct package, version, section, priority, essential from packages where priority in ('required', 'important', 'standard') and release = 'stretch' order by priority, essential, package;

will list all required, important, and standard packages, with the priority information.

There is also a detailed list of all the current contents of minbase, on the Buster priority requalification page.

  1. Install Debian with only essential packages

    It says

    To get the smallest possible system, ..., but specify --variant=minbase on the debootstrap command line. This will install only apt, essential packages and their dependencies. You will always end up with packages not flagged as "Essential": some of the dependencies of essential packages aren't themselves "Essential" (they effectively become essential transitively).

  2. If you look on the Debian various package pages, e.g. https://packages.debian.org/stretch/synaptic you will see there is a colored key which lists

    depends, recommends, suggests, enhances

  • I don't see anything about priority on the webpage. How do I know if synaptic is essential or important or something else?
    – StrongBad
    Nov 14, 2017 at 23:25

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .