Provided by: appstream_0.12.9-1_amd64 bug


       appstreamcli - Handle AppStream metadata and the AppStream index


       appstreamcli [COMMAND]


       This manual page documents briefly the appstreamcli command.

       appstreamcli is a small helper tool to work with AppStream metadata and access the
       AppStream component index from the command-line. The AppStream component index contains a
       list of all available software components for your distribution, matched to their package
       names. It is generated using AppStream XML or Debian DEP-11 data, which is provided by
       your distributor.

       For more information about the AppStream project and the other components which are part
       of it, take a look at the AppStream pages at[1].


           Display various information about the installed metadata and the metadata cache.

       get ID
           Get a component by it's identifier.

       s, search TERM
           Search the AppStream component database for a given search term.

       what-provides TYPE TERM
           Return components which provide a given item. An item type can be specified using the
           TYPE parameter, a value to search for has to be supplied using the TERM parameter.


           Get components which handle the "text/xml" mediatype.

           appstreamcli what-provides mediatype "text/xml"

           Get component which provides the "" library.

           appstreamcli what-provides lib

       refresh, refresh-cache
           Trigger a database refresh, if necessary. In case you want to force the database to be
           rebuilt, supply the --force flag.

           This command must be executed with root permission.

       dump ID
           Dump the XML description of a component with the given ID.

       validate FILES
           Validate AppStream XML metadata for compliance with the specification.

           Both XML metadata types, upstream and distro XML, are handled. The filetype which
           should be validated is determined automatically.

           The --pedantic flag triggers a more pedantic validation of the file, including minor
           and style issues in the report.

       validate-tree DIRECTORY
           Validate AppStream XML metadata found in a file-tree.

           This performs a standard validation of all found metadata, but also checks for
           additional errors, like the presence of .desktop files and validity of other
           additional metadata.

       install ID
           Install a software component by its ID.

           This resolves the AppStream component ID to the package name which provides it and
           then calls the distribution's package manager to install the software.

           This feature is experimental.

       put FILE
           Install a metadata file into the right directory on the current machine.

       compare-versions VER1 [CMP] VER2
           Compare two version numbers. If two version numbers are given as parameters, the
           versions will be compared and the comparison result will be printed to stdout.

           If a version number, a comparison operator and another version number are passed in as
           parameter, the result of the comparison operation will be printed to stdout, and
           appstreamcli will exit with a non-zero exit status in case the comparison failed. The
           comparison operator can be one of the following:

           ·   eq - Equal to

           ·   ne - Not equal to

           ·   lt - Lesser than

           ·   gt - Greater than

           ·   le - Lesser than or equal to

           ·   ge - Greater than or equal to

       new-template TYPE FILE
           Create a metainfo file template to be used by software projects. The --from-desktop
           option can be used to use a .desktop file as template for generating the example file.

           The generated files contain example entries which need to be filed in with the actual
           desired values by the project author.

           The first TYPE parameter is the name of an AppStream component type. For a complete
           list check out the documentation[2] or the help output of appstreamcli for this

       make-desktop-file MI_FILE DESKTOP_FILE
           Create a XDG desktop-entry file from a metainfo file. If the desktop-entry file
           specified in DESKTOP_FILE already exists, it will get extended with the new
           information extracted from the metainfo file. Otherwise a new file will be created.

           This command will use the first binary mentioned in a provides tag of the component
           for the Exec= field of the new desktop-entry file. If this is not the desired
           behavior, the --exec flag can be used to explicitly define a binary to launch. Other
           methods of launching the application are currently not supported.

           In order to generate a proper desktop-entry, this command assumes that not only the
           minimally required tags for an AppStream component are set, but also that it has an
           <icon/> tag of type "stock" to describe the stock icon that should be used as well as
           a <categories/> tag containing the categories the application should be placed in.

       news-to-metainfo NEWS_FILE MI_FILE [OUT_FILE]
           This command converts a NEWS file as used by many open source projects into the XML
           used by AppStream. Since NEWS files are free text, a lot of heuristics will be applied
           to get reasonable results. The converter can also read a YAML version of the AppStream
           release description and convert it to XML as well. If the metainfo file MI_FILE
           already exists, it will be augmented with the new release entries, otherwise the
           release entries will be written without any wrapping component. If [OUT_FILE] is
           specified, instead of acting on MI_FILE the changed data will be written to the
           particular file. If any of the output filenames is set to "-", the output will instead
           be written to stdout.

           The --format option can be used to enforce reading the input file in a specific format
           ("text" or "yaml") in case the format autodetection fails. The --limit option is used
           to limit the amount of release entries written (the newest entries will always be

       metainfo-to-news MI_FILE NEWS_FILE
           This command reverses the news-to-metainfo command and writes a NEWS file as text or
           YAML using the XML contained in a metainfo file. If NEWS_FILE is set to "-", the
           resulting data will be written to stdout instead of to a file.

           The --format option can be used to explicitly specify the output format ("yaml" or
           "text"). If it is not set, appstreamcli will guess which format is most suitable.

           Print out more information about a found component.

           Don't print colored output.

           Do not access the network when validating metadata.

           The same effect can be achieved by setting the AS_VALIDATE_NONET environment variable
           before running appstreamcli.

           Display the version number of appstreamcli


       pkcon (1).


       This manual page was written by Matthias Klumpp <>.


       Copyright © 2012-2019 Matthias Klumpp



        2. the documentation