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Linux 2.6 - man page for apt-cache (linux section 8)

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

       apt-cache - query the APT cache

       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 metadata.

       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.

	   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
	       GNU/Linux 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 GNU/Linux system,
	       "X11-text-viewer" is a virtual package, but only one package, xless, provides

	   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 GNU/Linux 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

	   o   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

	   o   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

	   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(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 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 is.

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

       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 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

       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 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: 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:

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

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

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

	   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. 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 information.

       -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: Dir::Etc::SourceList.

	   File fragments for locations to fetch packages from. Configuration Item:

	   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

	3. APT bug page

Linux					 04 February 2011			     APT-CACHE(8)

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