Listing installed packages using dpkg

It took a long time using RedHat and Fedora distributions before I got proficient with RPM. Moving to Ubuntu requires learning an entirely new package management system, the Debian-based APT (Advanced Packaging Tool) and friends.

One of the more common operations using RPM is to query the packages installed on your system:

$ rpm -qa

It seems the same operation can be done using dpkg:

$ dpkg -l

You can supply dpkg with a pattern to limit the output to something less than all the installed packages. Also, of interest, if you want to see what files just got installed from an 'apt-get install
', you can do this:

$ dpkg -L apache

This will list all the files with full pathnames for where they were installed.

Many thanks to the author of this article for some of the great tips:

apt-get/dpkg Primer


To find out what package a file is in, do this:

$ dpkg -S filename-search-pattern