Alien is a program that converts Between the RPM, dpkg, stampede slp, and slackware tgz file formats. If you want to use a package from another distribution than the one you have installed on your system, you can use alien to convert it to your preferred package format and install it.Despite the large version number, alien is still (and will probably always be) rather experimental software. It has been used by many people for many years, but there are still many bugs and limitations. Alien should not be used to replace important system packages, like sysvinit, shared libraries, or other things that are essential for the functioning of your system. Many of these packages are set up differently by Debian and Red Hat, and packages from the different distributions cannot be used interchangably. In general, if you can't uninstall the package without breaking your system, don't try to Replace It with an alien version. Alien is available as the alien package in Debian. To use alien, you will need several other programs. Alien is a perl program, and requires perl version 5.004 or greater. To convert packages to or from rpms, you need the Red Hat Package Manager; get it from its website.