How to check if an application has been installed on a unix/linux box?

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# 1  
Old 06-26-2011
How to check if an application has been installed on a unix/linux box?

hi, guys,

now I face a problem. I have developed an application, and when it starts, it shall check if an application has been installed on the running linux/unix. If result is positive, i do something with the application command.

just as an example: I want to check if sshd has been installed. this requirement is supposed to be distribution independent. So
on my Arch box, usually "sshd" can be found at /etc/rc.d/sshd
however on a debian/ubuntu box, it usually is located at /etc/init.d/sshd
is there a general way, say give me the "/etc/rc.d" or "/etc/init.d" directory on the system?

# 2  
Old 06-26-2011
There is no "universal" command that is guaranteed to work on *ALL* UNIX/Linux flavors.

RHEL-based have rpm, Solaris has pkginfo, Debian-based have dpkg, I don't know about Arch but you get the point.

A simpler generic approach would be to find / -type f -name "sshd" but it's not bulletproof.

Another option would be to match your commands against /etc/*release but -again- it's not bulletproof either; I've seen several sysadmins modify this file in order to trick the system so that they can install unsupported applications (Oracle for example). Something like this:

if [ -n "$(egrep -i "(red hat|rh|rhel)" /etc/*release 2>/dev/null)" ];then
	# "service" or "rpm -q" or look for sshd in /etc/init.d
elif [ -n "$(egrep -i "(debian)" /etc/*release 2>/dev/null)" ];then
	# look for sshd in /etc/init.d
elif [ -n "$(egrep -i "(solaris|sunos)" /etc/*release 2>/dev/null)" ];then
	# svcadm or look for sshd in /etc/init.d
elif [ -n "$(egrep -i "(arch)" /etc/*release 2>/dev/null)" ];then
	# look for file in /etc/rc.d/
	# ...etc...

The above code for instance won't work on a Linux minimal installation as it relies on "egrep" command.

It would be easier if you were looking for running processes; ps almost works the same in all Unix/Linux (either ps -A or ps -e should do).
# 3  
Old 06-26-2011
thx for your explaination.
what I want to do is, when my toy starts, check if the certain service/software startup script, say sshd, under /etc/init.d/ or /etc/rc.d/, if it is there, I will run that start-up script, like sshd start|stop|....

However I am not sure if all unix/linux distributions place those start-up scripts under etiher /etc/init.d or /etc/rc.d then invoking some of them in certain runlevel setting.

if it was so, i can just test if "sshd" is under either of above 2 directories.
# 4  
Old 06-26-2011
Not as simple as you think. Many Linux distributions are moving away from BSD or SysV startup scripts towards systemd or something similar. Solaris 10 went to Service Manager.
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