search ubuntu packages to find which package contains the executable program programname

apt-file find bin/programname
search ubuntu's remote package source repositories for a specific program to see which package contains it
Sample Output
nick@mylaptop:~$ apt-file search bin/kdialog
kdebase-bin: /usr/bin/kdialog
kdebase-dbg: /usr/lib/debug/usr/bin/kdialog

These Might Interest You

  • Especially useful for latex packages, which are listed in the description of their Ubuntu package E.g. say I want to find the Ubuntu package containing latex package aeguill: aptitude search ~daeguill p texlive-lang-french - TeX Live: French


    -1
    aptitude search ~d<string>
    junkieDolphin · 2011-08-02 05:19:13 0
  • I sometimes want to know what packages are installed on my Ubuntu system. I still haven't figured out how to use aptitude effectively, so this is the next best thing. This allows finding by name. The grep '^ii' limits the display to only installed packages. If this is not specified, then it includes listing of non-installed packages as well. Show Sample Output


    1
    dpkg --list '*linux*' | grep '^ii'
    piyo · 2009-02-13 17:05:37 1
  • This will take the packages matching a given `apt-cache search` query (a collection of AND'd words or regexps) and tell you how popular they are. This is particularly nice for those times you have to figure out which solution to use for e.g. a PDF reader or a VNC client. Substitute "ubuntu.com" for "debian.org" if you want this to use Ubuntu's data instead. Everything else will work perfectly. Show Sample Output


    4
    apt-popcon() { (echo \#rank; apt-cache search "$@" |awk '$1 !~ /^lib/ {print " "$1" "}') |grep -Ff- <(wget -qqO- http://popcon.debian.org/by_inst.gz |gunzip); }
    adamhotep · 2012-09-08 00:29:31 0
  • The other commands were good, but they included packages that were installed and then removed. This command only shows packages that are currently installed, sorts smallest to largest, and formats the sizes to be human readable. Show Sample Output


    0
    dpkg-query --show --showformat='${Package;-50}\t${Installed-Size}\n' `aptitude --display-format '%p' search '?installed!?automatic'` | sort -k 2 -n | grep -v deinstall | awk '{printf "%.3f MB \t %s\n", $2/(1024), $1}'
    EvilDennisR · 2013-07-26 23:18:20 0

What Others Think

this will be useful after getting Make errors, "libblabla-5.so not found".. now i can find which package i need to install.. thanks..
alperyilmaz · 449 weeks and 1 day ago
uhhhhhhhhhh of course ubuntu users would find this useful
nottings · 448 weeks and 6 days ago

What do you think?

Any thoughts on this command? Does it work on your machine? Can you do the same thing with only 14 characters?

You must be signed in to comment.

What's this?

commandlinefu.com is the place to record those command-line gems that you return to again and again. That way others can gain from your CLI wisdom and you from theirs too. All commands can be commented on, discussed and voted up or down.

Share Your Commands



Stay in the loop…

Follow the Tweets.

Every new command is wrapped in a tweet and posted to Twitter. Following the stream is a great way of staying abreast of the latest commands. For the more discerning, there are Twitter accounts for commands that get a minimum of 3 and 10 votes - that way only the great commands get tweeted.

» http://twitter.com/commandlinefu
» http://twitter.com/commandlinefu3
» http://twitter.com/commandlinefu10

Subscribe to the feeds.

Use your favourite RSS aggregator to stay in touch with the latest commands. There are feeds mirroring the 3 Twitter streams as well as for virtually every other subset (users, tags, functions,…):

Subscribe to the feed for: