How to search the apt packages list for a certain package.

Posted: August 29, 2016. At: 8:24 PM. This was 1 year ago. Post ID: 9657

The apt command allows the user to search for a specific package. This is very useful if you do not know the exact name for package installation.

This is one way.

ubuntu ~ $ apt-cache search vim

This will return a long listing of all matching package names.

This is another way. This will return a listing of all matching packages with a short one sentence description.

ubuntu ~ $ apt search vim

This is how to filter the output to get better results. Here I am looking for all VIM editor packages.

ubuntu ~ $ apt-cache search vim | grep editor
vim - Vi IMproved - enhanced vi editor
vim-dbg - Vi IMproved - enhanced vi editor (debugging symbols)
vim-gnome - Vi IMproved - enhanced vi editor - with GNOME2 GUI
vim-tiny - Vi IMproved - enhanced vi editor - compact version
editmoin - edit MoinMoin wiki pages with your favourite editor
elvis-tiny - Tiny vi compatible editor for the base system
vim-addon-manager - manager of addons for the Vim editor
vim-athena - Vi IMproved - enhanced vi editor - with Athena GUI
vim-gtk - Vi IMproved - enhanced vi editor - with GTK2 GUI
vim-lesstif - Vi IMproved - enhanced vi editor (transitional package)
vim-nox - Vi IMproved - enhanced vi editor - with scripting languages support
vim-vimoutliner - script for building an outline editor on top of Vim

Very easy to do.

Another example.

Results of apt cache search.
Results of apt cache search.

This is a very good thing to know when you are stuck with a package that you cannot remember the name of.

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