APT-CACHE(8)             (04 April 2019)             APT-CACHE(8)

          apt-cache - query the APT cache

          apt-cache [-agipns] [-o=config_string] [-c=config_file]
                    {gencaches | showpkg pkg...  | showsrc pkg...  |
                    stats | dump | dumpavail | unmet | search regex...
                    show pkg [{=pkg_version_number | /target_release}]...
                    depends pkg [{=pkg_version_number | /target_release}]...
                    rdepends pkg [{=pkg_version_number | /target_release}]...
                    | pkgnames [prefix]  |
                    dotty pkg [{=pkg_version_number | /target_release}]...
                    xvcg pkg [{=pkg_version_number | /target_release}]...
                    | policy [pkg...]  | madison pkg...  |
                    {-v | --version} | {-h | --help}}

          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 metadata. The metadata
          is acquired and updated via the 'update' command of e.g.
          apt-get, so that it can be outdated if the last update is
          too long ago, but in exchange apt-cache works independently
          of the availability of the configured sources (e.g.

          Unless the -h, or --help option is given, one of the
          commands below must be present.

              gencaches creates APT's package cache. This is done
              implicitly by all commands needing this cache if it is
              missing or outdated.

          showpkg pkg...
              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,

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              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.

              stats displays some statistics about the cache. No
              further arguments are expected. Statistics reported are:

              +o   Total package names is the number of package names
                  found in the cache.

              +o   Normal packages is the number of regular, ordinary
                  package names; these are packages that bear a
                  one-to-one correspondence between their names and
                  the names used by other packages for them in
                  dependencies. The majority of packages fall into
                  this category.

              +o   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 system is a
                  pure virtual package; several packages provide
                  "mail-transport-agent", but there is no package
                  named "mail-transport-agent".

              +o   Single virtual packages is the number of packages
                  with only one package providing a particular virtual
                  package. For example, in the Debian system,
                  "X11-text-viewer" is a virtual package, but only one
                  package, xless, provides "X11-text-viewer".

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              +o   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 system, "debconf" is
                  both an actual package, and provided by the
                  debconf-tiny package.

              +o   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.

              +o   Total distinct versions is the number of package
                  versions found in the cache. If more than one
                  distribution is being accessed (for instance,
                  "stable" and "unstable"), this value can be
                  considerably larger than the number of total package

              +o   Total dependencies is the number of dependency
                  relationships claimed by all of the packages in the

          showsrc pkg...
              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 package. Use --only-source to display only source
              package names.

              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.

              unmet displays a summary of all unmet dependencies in
              the package cache.

          show pkg...
              show performs a function similar to dpkg --print-avail;
              it displays the package records for the named packages.

          search regex...

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              search performs a full text search on all available
              package lists for the POSIX regex pattern given, see
              regex(7). It searches the package names and the
              descriptions for an occurrence of the regular expression
              and prints out the package name and the short
              description, including virtual package names. If --full
              is given then output identical to show is produced for
              each matched package, and if --names-only is given then
              the long description is not searched, only the package
              name and provided packages are.

              Separate arguments can be used to specify multiple
              search patterns that are and'ed together.

          depends pkg...
              depends shows a listing of each dependency a package has
              and all the possible other packages that can fulfill
              that dependency.

          rdepends pkg...
              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

              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...
              dotty takes a list of packages on the command line and
              generates output suitable for use by dotty from the
              m[blue]GraphVizm[][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 virtual packages are triangles,
              mixed virtual packages are diamonds, missing packages
              are hexagons. Orange boxes mean recursion was stopped
              (leaf packages), blue lines are pre-depends, green lines

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              are conflicts.

              Caution, dotty cannot graph larger sets of packages.

          xvcg pkg...
              The same as dotty, only for xvcg from the m[blue]VCG

          policy [pkg...]
              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...
              apt-cache's madison command attempts to mimic the output
              format and a subset of the functionality of the Debian
              archive management tool, madison. It displays available
              versions of a package in a tabular format. Unlike the
              original madison, it can only display information for
              the architecture for which APT has retrieved package
              lists (APT::Architecture).

          All command line options may be set using the configuration
          file, the descriptions indicate the configuration option to
          set. For boolean options you can override the config file by
          using something like -f-,--no-f, -f=no or several other

          -p, --pkg-cache
              Select the file to store the package cache. The package
              cache is the primary cache used by all operations.
              Configuration Item: Dir::Cache::pkgcache.

          -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

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              Print only important dependencies; for use with unmet
              and depends. Causes only Depends and Pre-Depends
              relations to be printed. Configuration Item:

          --no-pre-depends, --no-depends, --no-recommends,
          --no-suggests, --no-conflicts, --no-breaks, --no-replaces,
              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.

              Per default depends and rdepends print only dependencies
              explicitly expressed in the metadata. With this flag it
              will also show dependencies implicitly added based on
              the encountered data. A Conflicts: foo e.g. expresses
              implicitly that this package also conflicts with the
              package foo from any other architecture. Configuration
              Item: APT::Cache::ShowImplicit.

          -f, --full
              Print full package records when searching. Configuration
              Item: APT::Cache::ShowFull.

          -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 be displayed (the one which would be
              selected for installation). This option is only
              applicable to the show command. Configuration Item:

          -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:

          --names-only, -n
              Only search on the package and provided package names,
              not the long descriptions. Configuration Item:

              Make pkgnames print all names, including virtual
              packages and missing dependencies. Configuration Item:

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              Make depends and rdepends recursive so that all packages
              mentioned are printed once. Configuration Item:

              Limit the output of depends and rdepends to packages
              which are currently installed. Configuration Item:

          --with-source filename
              Adds the given file as a source for metadata. Can be
              repeated to add multiple files. Supported are currently
              *.deb, *.dsc, *.changes, Sources and Packages files as
              well as source package directories. Files are matched
              based on their name only, not their content!

              Sources and Packages can be compressed in any format apt
              supports as long as they have the correct extension. If
              you need to store multiple of these files in one
              directory you can prefix a name of your choice with the
              last character being an underscore ("_"). Example:

              Note that these sources are treated as trusted (see
              apt-secure(8)). Configuration Item: APT::Sources::With.

          -h, --help
              Show a short usage summary.

          -v, --version
              Show the program version.

          -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

              Locations to fetch packages from. Configuration Item:

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              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 (partial will be
              implicitly appended)

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

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

          m[blue]APT bug pagem[][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

           3. APT bug page

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