Today’s article is going to be quick and easy, as we simply cover how to show files installed with a package. Because I am reasonably compelled to optimize for search engines, the title just plain sucks. It should be much longer. Even though the exercise is really simple, explaining what we’re doing is a bit more complicated.
NOTE: The ‘dpkg’ may confuse some folks, but it means this article is only valid for those folks who are using .deb files, the apt package manager, and nothing else. So, if you’re using Debian, Ubuntu, Mint, or similar, then this article is meant for you. If you’re using a different distro, maybe I’ll cover those in another article.
So, what exactly are we doing?
Well, when you install software you don’t generally install just a single file. At least not if the software is all that complicated.
Instead, you install all sorts of other files along with the software you’re installing. You don’t just install a single binary file, you install quite a few other files along with it.
Today, we’re going to list the files, the dependencies if you will, that go along with the applications we install. It’s not difficult, just a single command, but you can see why this would make for a very long article title.
Let’s keep this article short, as I’ve done some longer material lately:
Show Files Installed With A Package:
Yeah, you’re going to need a terminal for this. If you want to use ‘dpkg’ then you will need an open terminal. As that’s what we’re using, we need said terminal. In most distros you can just press
The tool we’re using is ‘dpkg’ and the man page describes it like this:
dpkg – package manager for Debian
The ‘Debian’ bit is important. As I mentioned above, this only works for distros that use dpkg to begin with. Anyhow, that’s an accurate description of what dpkg does.
The command we’ll use is simply:
dpkg -L <application_name>
For example, you might try:
dpkg -L firefox
If you have Chrome installed, you might try this command:
dpkg -L google-chrome-stable
As you can see from the output, you’re generally installing a bunch of files when you install a new application. It may not appear that way during the installation process, but you’re most likely installing more than a single file each time you install an application.
If you’ve ever wanted to show files installed with an application, now you know. It’s a pretty handy command to have if you’re into that sort of thing. If you’re playing the game of the lightest-possible-distro, then maybe you want to keep the number of files installed to a minimum and use the lightest software you can. Either way, it’s an informative command that should amuse my readers for five to ten minutes.
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