Simple PHP helper class for comparing Debian/Ubuntu package version strings.

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1.2 2012-11-05 03:39 UTC


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Simple PHP helper class for working with Debian/Ubuntu package version strings.


The easiest way to install Debver is to use Composer, the awesome dependency manager for PHP. Once Composer is installed, run composer.phar require valorin/debver:1.* and composer will do all the hard work for you.


If you are using the autoloader in Composer (or your framework ties into it), then all you need to do is add a use Debver\Version; statement at the top of each file you wish to use Debver in and us e it like a normal class:

namespace YourApplication;
use Debver\Version;

$version1 = "5.1.2-1ubuntu3.9";
$version2 = "3.9.4-4ubuntu0.2";

$compare = Version::compare($version1, $version2);

Compare two version strings:

$result = Version::compare($version1, $version2);

if ($result == -1) {
    echo "{$version1} < {$version2}";
} elseif ($result == 0) {
    echo "{$version1} == {$version2}";
} elseif ($result == 1) {
    echo "{$version1} > {$version2}";

Extract version string components:

The three components to a version string can be extracted easily: Epoch, Upstream Version, and Debian Revision:

$version = new Version($version1);

$epoch    = $version->getEpoch();
$upstream = $version->getUpstream();
$revision = $version->getRevision();

Ubuntu manual: deb-version

Compare two version strings using dpkg:

If you are running on a Ubuntu/Debian box, you can use dpkg directly to compare two packages (100% accuracy for all of the really wacky version strings). This option was added for testing the custom functions, and I decided to leave it in just in case. Internally it uses dpkg --compare-versions {$version1} lt {$version2} via a system() call.

$result = Version::compareWithDpkg($version1, $version2);

if ($result == -1) {
    echo "{$version1} < {$version2}";
} elseif ($result == 0) {
    echo "{$version1} == {$version2}";
} elseif ($result == 1) {
    echo "{$version1} > {$version2}";

Retrieve a "compare string" for storing in a database

Occasionally you need to store a large amount of version numbers in a database and then compare them in bulk using the database itself, rather than extracting the data and manipulating it in code. A "compare string" is a verbose version of the version string that can be compared using basic string comparison functions (> < ==), making it perfect for use in a database..

$string = Version::getCompareString($version);