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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 avail-
              able 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 depen-
              dencies need not be. For instance,  apt-cache  showpkg  libread-
              line2 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  ncurs-
              es3.0  (and  ldso) must also be installed; libreadlineg2 and li-
              breadline2-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 argu-
              ments 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 correspon-
                 dence between their names and the names used by  other  pack-
                 ages  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 "pro-
                 vide" 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 exam-
                 ple, in the Debian GNU/Linux system, "X11-text-viewer"  is  a
                 virtual  package,  but  only  one  package,  xless,  provides
                 "X11-text-viewer".

              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 in evidence if a full distribution is not ac-
                 cessed,  or  if  a package (real or virtual) has been dropped
                 from the distribution. Usually they are referenced from  Con-
                 flicts statements.

              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 distribu-
                 tion (both "stable" and "unstable", for instance),  is  being
                 accessed, this value can be considerably larger than the num-
                 ber of total package names.

              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   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  suit-
              able for use with dpkg(8) and is used by the dselect(8) method.


       unmet  unmet  displays a summary of all unmet dependencies in the pack-
              age cache.


       show pkg(s)
              show performs a function similar to dpkg --print-availi; it dis-
              plays 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 pat-
              terns 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)
              rdependsshows  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  GraphViz:
              http://www.research.att.com/sw/tools/graphviz/ package. The  re-
              sult will be a set of nodes and edges representing the relation-
              ships 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  dia-
              monds,  missing  packages are hexagons. Orange boxes mean recur-
              sion 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 manage-
              ment 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  re-
              trieved 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  op-
       tions  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 advoid 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, overrid-
              ing 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. Configura-
              tion 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  de-
              fault;  to  turn it off, use --no-all-versions. If --no-all-ver-
              sions 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 men-
              tioned are printed  once.  Configuration  Item:  APT::Cache::Re-
              curseDepends.


       --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 configura-
              tion 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
       APT  bug  page: http://bugs.debian.org/src:apt. 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, APT team.



Linux                          29 February 2004                   APT-CACHE(8)