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           apt-cache [-hvsn] [-o=config string] [-c=file] {[gencaches] |
                     [showpkg pkg...] | [showsrc pkg...] | [stats] | [dump] |
                     [dumpavail] | [unmet] | [search regex] | [show pkg...] |
                     [depends pkg...] | [rdepends pkg...] | [pkgnames prefix] |
                     [dotty pkg...] | [xvcg pkg...] | [policy pkgs...] |
                     [madison pkgs...]}


           apt-cache performs a variety of operations on APT's package cache.
           apt-cache does not manipulate the state of the system but does provide
           operations to search and generate interesting output from the package
           Unless the -h, or --help option is given, one of the commands below
           must be present.
               gencaches performs the same operation as apt-get check. It builds
               the source and package caches from the sources in sources.list(5)
               and from /var/lib/dpkg/status.
           showpkg pkg(s)
               showpkg displays information about the packages listed on the
               command line. Remaining arguments are package names. The available
               versions and reverse dependencies of each package listed are
               listed, as well as forward dependencies for each version. Forward
               (normal) dependencies are those packages upon which the package in
               question depends; reverse dependencies are those packages that
               depend upon the package in question. Thus, forward dependencies
               must be satisfied for a package, but reverse dependencies need not
               be. For instance, apt-cache showpkg libreadline2 would produce
               output similar to the following:
                   Package: libreadline2
                   Versions: 2.1-12(/var/state/apt/lists/foo_Packages),
                   Reverse Depends:
                   2.1-12 - libc5 (2 5.4.0-0) ncurses3.0 (0 (null))
                   2.1-12 -
                   Reverse Provides:
               Thus it may be seen that libreadline2, version 2.1-12, depends on
               libc5 and ncurses3.0 which must be installed for libreadline2 to
               work. In turn, libreadlineg2 and libreadline2-altdev depend on
               libreadline2. If libreadline2 is installed, libc5 and ncurses3.0
               (and ldso) must also be installed; libreadlineg2 and
               libreadline2-altdev do not have to be installed. For the specific
               meaning of the remainder of the output it is best to consult the
               apt source code.
               ?   Pure virtual packages is the number of packages that exist only
                   as a virtual package name; that is, packages only "provide" the
                   virtual package name, and no package actually uses the name.
                   For instance, "mail-transport-agent" in the Debian GNU/Linux
                   system is a pure virtual package; several packages provide
                   "mail-transport-agent", but there is no package named
               ?   Single virtual packages is the number of packages with only one
                   package providing a particular virtual package. For example, in
                   the Debian GNU/Linux system, "X11-text-viewer" is a virtual
                   package, but only one package, xless, provides
               ?   Mixed virtual packages is the number of packages that either
                   provide a particular virtual package or have the virtual
                   package name as the package name. For instance, in the Debian
                   GNU/Linux system, "debconf" is both an actual package, and
                   provided by the debconf-tiny package.
               ?   Missing is the number of package names that were referenced in
                   a dependency but were not provided by any package. Missing
                   packages may be an evidence if a full distribution is not
                   accessed, or if a package (real or virtual) has been dropped
                   from the distribution. Usually they are referenced from
                   Conflicts or Breaks statements.
               ?   Total distinct versions is the number of package versions found
                   in the cache; this value is therefore at least equal to the
                   number of total package names. If more than one distribution
                   (both "stable" and "unstable", for instance), is being
                   accessed, this value can be considerably larger than the number
                   of total package names.
               ?   Total dependencies is the number of dependency relationships
                   claimed by all of the packages in the cache.
           showsrc pkg(s)
               showsrc displays all the source package records that match the
               given package names. All versions are shown, as well as all records
               that declare the name to be a Binary.
               dump shows a short listing of every package in the cache. It is
               primarily for debugging.
               dumpavail prints out an available list to stdout. This is suitable
               for use with dpkg(1) and is used by the dselect(1) method.
               and if --names-only is given then the long description is not
               searched, only the package name is.
               Separate arguments can be used to specify multiple search patterns
               that are and'ed together.
           depends pkg(s)
               depends shows a listing of each dependency a package has and all
               the possible other packages that can fulfill that dependency.
           rdepends pkg(s)
               rdepends shows a listing of each reverse dependency a package has.
           pkgnames [ prefix ]
               This command prints the name of each package APT knows. The
               optional argument is a prefix match to filter the name list. The
               output is suitable for use in a shell tab complete function and the
               output is generated extremely quickly. This command is best used
               with the --generate option.
               Note that a package which APT knows of is not necessarily available
               to download, installable or installed, e.g. virtual packages are
               also listed in the generated list.
           dotty pkg(s)
               dotty takes a list of packages on the command line and generates
               output suitable for use by dotty from the GraphViz[1] package. The
               result will be a set of nodes and edges representing the
               relationships between the packages. By default the given packages
               will trace out all dependent packages; this can produce a very
               large graph. To limit the output to only the packages listed on the
               command line, set the APT::Cache::GivenOnly option.
               The resulting nodes will have several shapes; normal packages are
               boxes, pure provides are triangles, mixed provides are diamonds,
               missing packages are hexagons. Orange boxes mean recursion was
               stopped [leaf packages], blue lines are pre-depends, green lines
               are conflicts.
               Caution, dotty cannot graph larger sets of packages.
           xvcg pkg(s)
               The same as dotty, only for xvcg from the VCG tool[2].
           policy [ pkg(s) ]
               policy is meant to help debug issues relating to the preferences
               file. With no arguments it will print out the priorities of each
               source. Otherwise it prints out detailed information about the
               priority selection of the named package.
           madison [ pkg(s) ]
               apt-cache's madison command attempts to mimic the output format and
               the primary cache used by all operations. Configuration Item:
           -s, --src-cache
               Select the file to store the source cache. The source is used only
               by gencaches and it stores a parsed version of the package
               information from remote sources. When building the package cache
               the source cache is used to avoid reparsing all of the package
               files. Configuration Item: Dir::Cache::srcpkgcache.
           -q, --quiet
               Quiet; produces output suitable for logging, omitting progress
               indicators. More q's will produce more quietness up to a maximum of
               2. You can also use -q=# to set the quietness level, overriding the
               configuration file. Configuration Item: quiet.
           -i, --important
               Print only important dependencies; for use with unmet and depends.
               Causes only Depends and Pre-Depends relations to be printed.
               Configuration Item: APT::Cache::Important.
           --no-pre-depends, --no-depends, --no-recommends, --no-suggests,
           --no-conflicts, --no-breaks, --no-replaces, --no-enhances
               Per default the depends and rdepends print all dependencies. This
               can be tweaked with these flags which will omit the specified
               dependency type. Configuration Item: APT::Cache::ShowDependencyType
               e.g.  APT::Cache::ShowRecommends.
           -f, --full
               Print full package records when searching. Configuration Item:
           -a, --all-versions
               Print full records for all available versions. This is the default;
               to turn it off, use --no-all-versions. If --no-all-versions is
               specified, only the candidate version will displayed (the one which
               would be selected for installation). This option is only applicable
               to the show command. Configuration Item: APT::Cache::AllVersions.
           -g, --generate
               Perform automatic package cache regeneration, rather than use the
               cache as it is. This is the default; to turn it off, use
               --no-generate. Configuration Item: APT::Cache::Generate.
           --names-only, -n
               Only search on the package names, not the long descriptions.
               Configuration Item: APT::Cache::NamesOnly.
               Make pkgnames print all names, including virtual packages and
               missing dependencies. Configuration Item: APT::Cache::AllNames.
           -c, --config-file
               Configuration File; Specify a configuration file to use. The
               program will read the default configuration file and then this
               configuration file. If configuration settings need to be set before
               the default configuration files are parsed specify a file with the
               APT_CONFIG environment variable. See apt.conf(5) for syntax
           -o, --option
               Set a Configuration Option; This will set an arbitrary
               configuration option. The syntax is -o Foo::Bar=bar.  -o and
               --option can be used multiple times to set different options.


               Locations to fetch packages from. Configuration Item:
               File fragments for locations to fetch packages from. Configuration
               Item: Dir::Etc::SourceParts.
               Storage area for state information for each package resource
               specified in sources.list(5) Configuration Item: Dir::State::Lists.
               Storage area for state information in transit. Configuration Item:
               Dir::State::Lists (implicit partial).


           apt.conf(5), sources.list(5), apt-get(8)


           apt-cache returns zero on normal operation, decimal 100 on error.


           APT bug page[3]. If you wish to report a bug in APT, please see
           /usr/share/doc/debian/bug-reporting.txt or the reportbug(1) command.


           Jason Gunthorpe
           APT team


            1. GraphViz
            2. VCG tool

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