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Debian / Ubuntu: Find Information ( Description ) About Installed Packages

I‘m looking for equivalent of yum info httpd command under Debian Linux. How do I display information about the installed packages on the command line under Debian or Ubuntu Linux? How do I see the description of a package under Debian or Ubuntu Linux using command line options?

The easiest way to get this information is to use apt-cache or dpkg command to display details about given package-name on the command line. You will see the following information:

=> Package name.
=> Maintainer name and email.
=> Architecture.
=> Source name.
=> Package version.
=> Package Dependencies.
=> Size.
=> Description.

The syntax is:

dpkg --print-avail packageNameHere


apt-cache show packageNameHere

In this example, show the information of a package called nginx, run:

dpkg --print-avail nginx


apt-cache show nginx

Sample outputs:

Package: nginx
Priority: optional
Section: httpd
Installed-Size: 856
Maintainer: Jose Parrella <bureado@debian.org>
Architecture: amd64
Version: 0.7.67-3+squeeze2
Provides: httpd
Depends: lsb-base (>= 3.2-14), libc6 (>= 2.4), libgeoip1 (>= 1.4.7~beta6+dfsg), libpcre3 (>= 7.7), libssl0.9.8 (>= 0.9.8m-1), zlib1g (>= 1:1.1.4)
Size: 356178
Description: small, but very powerful and efficient web server and mail proxy
 Nginx (engine x) is a web server created by Igor Sysoev and kindly provided to
 the open-source community. This server can be used as standalone HTTP server
 and as a reverse proxy server before some Apache or another big server to
 reduce load to backend servers by many concurrent HTTP-sessions.
 It can also act as a POP3/IMAP mail proxy with SSL and TLS SNI support.
Homepage: http://nginx.net

(Fig.01: Description of a package)

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{ 1 comment… add one }
  • yoander November 8, 2012, 1:44 pm

    sudo aptitude show centerim
    Package: centerim
    New: yes
    State: installed
    Automatically installed: no
    Version: 4.22.10-1
    Priority: optional
    Section: net
    Maintainer: Anibal Avelar
    Uncompressed Size: 2,896 k
    Depends: libc6 (>= 2.7), libcurl3-gnutls (>= 7.16.2-1), libgcc1 (>= 1:4.1.1), libgnutls26 (>= 2.7.14-0), libgpg-error0 (>= 1.6-1), libgpgme11 (>= 1.2.0),
    libncurses5 (>= 5.7+20100313), libstdc++6 (>= 4.4.0), centerim-common
    Recommends: firefox | www-browser, sox
    Description: A text-mode multi-protocol instant messenger client
    Centerim is a fork of the centericq instant messaging client

    Centerim is a text mode menu- and window-driven IM client program that supports the ICQ2000, Yahoo!, AIM, MSN, IRC and Jabber protocols.
    Homepage: http://www.centerim.org/

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