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How To List Installed Packages and Their Details on Ubuntu

Ubuntu 12

In this article, we will be discussing how you can list installed packages and their details on an Ubuntu system. This might be useful in various scenarios such as troubleshooting, system maintenance, or even when you want to replicate the same software environment on another machine.

Quick Answer

To list installed packages and their details on Ubuntu, you can use the dpkg -l command to display a list of all installed packages with their version and description. Additionally, you can use the dpkg-query command with the -W and -f options to format the output. To retrieve the installation time of a package, you can grep the dpkg.log file. The apt-cache show command can be used to find the category or section of a package. Finally, the apt command can also be used to list installed packages with options such as --manual-installed and --all-versions.

Listing Installed Packages

The most straightforward way to list all installed packages on Ubuntu is by using the dpkg -l command. The dpkg command is a package manager from Debian that is also used in Ubuntu. The -l option stands for –list, which instructs dpkg to list packages.

dpkg -l

This command will display a list of all installed packages along with their version and a brief description. However, it doesn’t provide information about the installation time or the category of the package.

If you want to display the installed packages in a more formatted way, you can use the dpkg-query command with the -W and -f options. The -W or –show option will display the package name and version. The -f or –showformat option allows you to specify the output format.

dpkg-query -W -f='${PackageSpec}\t${version}\t${Description}\n'

Retrieving Installation Time

To find out when a package was installed, you can grep the dpkg.log file. This log file contains all actions made by dpkg, including installations.

cat /var/log/dpkg.log | grep " install "

This command will display the date and time of package installations. If you want to find the installation time of a specific package, you can add another grep command with the package name.

cat /var/log/dpkg.log | grep " install " | grep <package_name>

Finding Package Category

To find out the category or section of a package, you can use the apt-cache show command.

apt-cache show <package_name> | grep Section

The apt-cache show command displays a detailed record for the package. The grep Section part filters out the line that contains the category of the package.

Using the apt Command

The apt command is a user-friendly command-line tool for managing packages on Ubuntu. It can also be used to list installed packages.

apt list --installed

This command lists all installed packages. If you want to list packages that were manually installed, you can use the --manual-installed option.

apt list --manual-installed

To list all available versions of installed packages, you can use the --all-versions option.

apt list --all-versions

Conclusion

In this article, we have covered different ways to list installed packages and their details on Ubuntu. We have used dpkg, dpkg-query, apt-cache, and apt commands to retrieve information such as the package name, version, description, installation time, and category. These commands can be very useful for system administration tasks and troubleshooting. Remember to replace <package_name> with the actual name of the package you’re interested in when using these commands.

How can I list all installed packages on Ubuntu?

To list all installed packages on Ubuntu, you can use the dpkg -l command. This will display a list of all installed packages along with their version and description. Use the following command: dpkg -l.

How can I retrieve the installation time of a package?

To find out when a package was installed, you can grep the dpkg.log file. Use the command cat /var/log/dpkg.log | grep " install " to display the date and time of package installations. If you want to find the installation time of a specific package, you can add another grep command with the package name.

How can I find the category or section of a package?

To find out the category or section of a package, you can use the apt-cache show command. Use the command apt-cache show <package_name> | grep Section to display the category of the package.

Can I use the `apt` command to list installed packages?

Yes, you can use the apt command to list installed packages. Use the command apt list --installed to list all installed packages. If you want to list packages that were manually installed, you can use the --manual-installed option. To list all available versions of installed packages, you can use the --all-versions option.

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