Debian GNU/Linux provides thousands upon daunting thousands of software packages. Sorting them into broad classes then dividing and redividing them into finer, more specific branches, this command ramifies Debian’s packages in much the same manner as a university library ramifies its books. If you know what you want your computer to do but do not yet know the package to do it, you can find the package here.
A ramification is a branch of the Debian archive whose packages serve approximately the same application domain or interest similar groups of users. The first division of the archive follows the traditional GNU/Linux manpage hierarchy, with ram 1000 corresponding roughly to man section (1), ram 3000 to section (3), and so forth. Further subramifications successively focus on tighter domains.
debram(1) works on the ramifications you specify on the command line, defaulting to the umbrella metaramification 0000 if you specify none. The useful -r recursive option causes debram(1) to select the named ramifications plus all subramifications branching recursively from them. Many rams cross-reference other rams across the tree; by default the program concisely prints only cross-reference ram numbers, but with the -x option it prints expanded cross-reference information.
The branch-numbering system needs little explanation, except perhaps in one respect: a ram number’s count of non-zero digits always reveals its ram’s level. Thus, for instance, 5060 and 5600 would each be second-level rams under the top-level 5000, but 5660 would be a third-level ram under the second-level 5600.
If you give fewer than four ramification digits, debram(1) completes the number with zeros. Thus 8 is a valid abbreviation for 8000, for example.