apt-cache [-agipns] [-o=config_string] [-c=config_file] {gencaches |
                 showpkg pkg...  | showsrc pkg...  | stats | dump | dumpavail
                 | unmet | search regex...  |
                 show pkg [{=pkg_version_number | /target_release}]...  |
                 depends pkg [{=pkg_version_number | /target_release}]...  |
                 rdepends pkg [{=pkg_version_number | /target_release}]...  |
                 pkgnames [prefix]  |
                 dotty pkg [{=pkg_version_number | /target_release}]...  |
                 xvcg pkg [{=pkg_version_number | /target_release}]...  |
                 policy [pkg...]  | madison pkg...  | {-v | --version} |
                 {-h | --help}}

       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

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

           gencaches creates APT's package cache. This is done implicitly by
           all commands needing this cache if it is missing or outdated.

       showpkg pkg...
           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
               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

           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 system is a
               pure virtual package; several packages provide
               "mail-transport-agent", but there is no package named

           o   Single virtual packages is the number of packages with only one
               package providing a particular virtual package. For example, in
               the Debian 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
               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 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 distribution is
               being accessed (for instance, "stable" and "unstable"), this
               value can be considerably larger than the number of total
               package names.

           o   Total dependencies is the number of dependency relationships
               claimed by all of the packages in the cache.

       showsrc pkg...
           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 package.

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

           dumpavail prints out an available list to stdout. This is suitable
           for use with dpkg(1) and is used by the dselect(1) method.
           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 together.

       depends pkg...
           depends shows a listing of each dependency a package has and all
           the possible other packages that can fulfill that dependency.

       rdepends pkg...
           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...
           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 virtual packages are triangles, mixed virtual packages
           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...
           The same as dotty, only for xvcg from the VCG tool[2].

       policy [pkg...]
           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.

       -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:

       -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:

       -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 be displayed (the one
           which would be selected for installation). This option is only
           applicable to the show command. Configuration Item:

       -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.

           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

       -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:

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

           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 (partial will be implicitly appended)

       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
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