DOKK / manpages / debian 12 / ben / ben.1.en
BEN(1)   BEN(1)

ben - transition tracker manager


ben [-h|-help|--help]

The ben(1) command is a set of utilities written in OCaml. It provides a full featured transition tracker to follow the evolution of a set of packages in the Debian’s archive. All frontends share a common list of options described below.


Dry run


Quiet mode


Verbose mode

--mirror uri

Package mirror to use

--mirror-binaries uri

Package mirror to use for binaries

--mirror-sources uri

Package mirror to use for sources

--areas a,…

Areas to consider (comma separated)

--archs a,…

Architectures to consider (comma separated)

--suite a


--cache-dir d

Path to cache dir

--cache-file|-C f

Specify the name of the cache file


Use cache whenever possible

--config|-c c

Config file

--more-binary-keys l

Comma separated list of further relevant binary keys

--more-source-keys l

Comma separated list of further relevant source keys

--preferred-compression-format f

Preferred compression format (Default: Gzip)


has no command-line options, except the shared ones. It downloads all Sources.gz files and all Packages.gz files for selected architectures and areas.


This utility is pretty much like grep-dctrl(1). Given a list of Packages or Sources files, it performs a query and outputs the result.


The frontend monitor builds a monitor page for a transition that is described by few criteria (the list of affected packages, a description of good package and the description of a broken package).


This frontend uses the monitor to generate a summary page about all known transitions. An example of such summary can be found at <>.


This frontend rebuilds all packages matching a criterion, respecting the order of build-dependencies.


This frontend simulates a migration of some packages from unstable to testing, and outputs an easy hint for Britney.

For more information about ben’s frontends, please refer to the reference manual.

Ben was originally written by Stéphane Glondu.

Main web site: <>

Mehdi Dogguy and Stéphane Glondu