In the world of Ubuntu, sometimes you may need to find out which package provides a certain file. This knowledge can be particularly useful when you’re troubleshooting, or when you want to install a specific package but don’t know its name. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of finding which package provides a file in Ubuntu.
To find which package provides a file in Ubuntu, you can use the
dpkg command with the
-S parameter followed by the full path of the file. Alternatively, you can use the
apt-file command to search for files, even those that are not installed on your system. If you prefer a web-based solution, you can use the Ubuntu Packages Search website to search for packages based on a specific filename.
Using dpkg Command
dpkg command is a powerful tool for managing packages in Ubuntu. One of its functionalities is to find out which package a file belongs to. The syntax for this command is
dpkg -S <file_path>.
-S is the parameter that tells
dpkg to search for the file, and
<file_path> is the full path of the file you’re looking for.
For example, if you want to find out which package provides the
ls command, you would type:
dpkg -S /bin/ls
The output will look something like this:
This indicates that the
ls command is provided by the
If you don’t know the full path of the file, you can use the
which command to find it. The
which command returns the full path of the program. For instance,
which firefox will return the full path of the
firefox command. You can then pass this to
dpkg like so:
dpkg -S $(which firefox)
Using apt-file Command
Another option is to use the
apt-file command. This command can find files that are not yet installed on your system, as well as those that are.
First, you need to install
apt-file by running:
sudo apt-get install apt-file
Then, update its database with:
sudo apt-file update
Now you can search for a file using
apt-file find <file_name>. For example:
apt-file find kwallet.h
This will return something like:
This indicates that the
kwallet.h file is provided by the
Using Ubuntu Packages Search
If you want to search for files that are not installed on your system, you can use the Ubuntu Packages Search website. This website allows you to search for the contents of packages based on a specific filename.
Simply enter the filename in the “Search the contents of packages” field and click “Search”. The website will return a list of packages that contain the file.
Finding which package provides a file in Ubuntu can be done using the
apt-file commands, or by using the Ubuntu Packages Search website. These tools are extremely useful for troubleshooting and for discovering new packages. We hope this guide has been helpful in your journey to mastering Ubuntu package management.
To install the
dpkg command in Ubuntu, you don’t need to do anything as it comes pre-installed with the operating system.
To install the
apt-file command in Ubuntu, you can run the command
sudo apt-get install apt-file in the terminal. This will install the
apt-file package on your system.
To update the
apt-file database in Ubuntu, you can run the command
sudo apt-file update in the terminal. This will update the package information used by
apt-file to search for files.
To use the
which command to find the full path of a program, you can simply type
which <program_name> in the terminal. Replace
<program_name> with the name of the program you want to find the path for. The command will return the full path of the program if it is installed on your system.
To search for files using the Ubuntu Packages Search website, you can visit the website here. Once on the website, enter the filename you want to search for in the "Search the contents of packages" field and click "Search". The website will display a list of packages that contain the file you searched for.