APT-CACHE(8) APT-CACHE(8)

NAME apt-cache - APT package handling utility – cache manipulator

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

DESCRIPTION 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.

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

   add file(s)
      add adds the named package index files to the package cache. This is
      for debugging only.

   gencaches
      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:
           libreadlineg2,libreadline2
           libreadline2-altdev,libreadline2
         Dependencies:
         2.1-12 - libc5 (2 5.4.0-0) ncurses3.0 (0 (null))
         Provides:
         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
      stats displays some statistics about the cache. No further arguments
      are expected. Statistics reported are:

         ·  Total package names is the number of package names found in
            the cache.

         ·  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.

         ·  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 "mail-transport-agent".

         ·  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
            "X11-text-viewer".

         ·  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 in 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 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
      dump shows a short listing of every package in the cache. It is
      primarily for debugging.

   dumpavail
      dumpavail prints out an available list to stdout. This is suitable
      for use with dpkg(8) and is used by the dselect(8) method.

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

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

   search regex [ regex ... ]
      search performs a full text search on all available package lists
      for the regex pattern given. 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. 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 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 in the system. 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.

   dotty pkg(s)
      dotty takes a list of packages on the command line and generates
      output suitable for use by dotty from the [1]GraphViz 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.

   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
      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).

OPTIONS 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 variations.

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

   -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 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.

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

   --recurse
      Make depends and rdepends recursive so that all packages mentioned
      are printed once. Configuration Item: APT::Cache::RecurseDepends.

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

   -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. See apt.conf(5) for syntax information.

   -o, --option
      Set a Configuration Option; This will set an arbitary configuration
      option. The syntax is -o Foo::Bar=bar.

FILES /etc/apt/sources.list Locations to fetch packages from. Configuration Item: Dir::Etc::SourceList.

   /var/lib/apt/lists/
      Storage area for state information for each package resource
      specified in sources.list(5) Configuration Item: Dir::State::Lists.

   /var/lib/apt/lists/partial/
      Storage area for state information in transit. Configuration Item:
      Dir::State::Lists (implicit partial).

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

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

BUGS [2]APT bug page. If you wish to report a bug in APT, please see /usr/share/doc/debian/bug-reporting.txt or the reportbug(1) command.

AUTHORS Jason Gunthorpe Author.

   APT team
      Author.

REFERENCES 1. GraphViz http://www.research.att.com/sw/tools/graphviz/

   2. APT bug page
      http://bugs.debian.org/src:apt

Linux 29 February 2004 APT-CACHE(8)