Provided by: apt-file_2.5.5ubuntu1_all bug


       apt-file - APT package searching utility -- command-line interface


       apt-file [ options ] [ action ] [ pattern ]

       apt-file -f [ options ] search [ file ... ]

       apt-file -D [ options ] search [ binary-packet.deb ... ]


       apt-file  is  a  command  line  tool  for  searching files in packages for the APT package
       management system.

       Some actions are required to run the search:

       find   Alias for search.

       list   List the contents of a package matching the pattern pattern. This  action  is  very
              close  to  the  dpkg -L command except the package does not need to be installed or

       purge  remove all Contents-* files from the cache directory.

       search Search in which package a file is included. A list of all packages  containing  the
              pattern pattern is returned.

              apt-file  will  only search for filenames, not directory names.  This is due to the
              format of the Contents files it searches.

       show   Alias for list.

       update Resynchronize the package contents from their sources. The lists of the contents of
              packages  are fetched from the location(s) specified in /etc/apt/sources.list. This
              command attempts to fetch the Contents-<ARCH>.gz files  from  remote  sources.  For
              downloading  these  uses  either  the  curl  or  wget commands as specified in apt-


          -a, --architecture architecture
              Sets architecture to architecture. This option is useful if you  search  a  package
              for  a different architecture from the one installed on your system.  It determines
              how the $ARCH variable in sources.list is expanded (but it does not  influence  the
              search in any other way).

          -c, --cache cache-directory
              Sets  the cache directory to cache-directory instead of its default. If executed as
              non-root  user,  the   default   is   $HOME/.cache/apt-file   with   fall-back   to
              /var/cache/apt/apt-file.  The  latter  is also the default if apt-file is called as

          -d, --cdrom-mount cdrom-mount-point
              Use cdrom-mount-point instead of apt's.

          -D, --from-deb
              Use contents of the given .deb archives(s) as patterns.  Useful for  searching  for
              file conflicts with other packages.  Implies -F.

          -f, --from-file
              Read  patterns  from the given file(s), one per line.  Use - as filename for stdin.
              If no files are given, then the list will be read from stdin.  This is much  faster
              than invoking apt-file many times.

          -F, --fixed-string
              Do not expand search pattern with generic characters at pattern's start and end.

          -i, --ignore-case
              Ignore case when searching for pattern.

          -l, --package-only
              Only display package name; do not display file names.

          -N, --non-interactive
              Skip  schemes  that  are  listed in the interactive line in apt-file.conf.  This is
              useful if you want to call 'apt-file update' in cron jobs and skip all schemes that
              may require user input.

          -s, --sources-list sources.list
              Sets   the   sources.list   file   to   a   different   value   from   its  default

          -v, --verbose
              Run apt-file in verbose mode.

          -x, --regexp
              Treat pattern as a (perl) regular expression. See perlreref(1) for details. Without
              this option, pattern is treated as a literal string to search for.

          -y, --dummy
              Run in dummy mode (no action).

          -h, --help
              Display a short help screen.


       The apt-file configuration file can be found in /etc/apt/apt-file.conf.

       A string expansion is done on several values. See the string expansion section.

              This variable describes how cached files will be named.

       http | ftp | ssh | rsh | file | cdrom
              Defines the commands used to fetch files.

       A sources.list entry is defined as:

              deb uri dist component1 component2 ...

       A uri is defined as:


       <host> replace with the hostname

       <port> replace with the port number

       <uri>  replace with full uri

       <path> replace with full path (relative to / on the host)

       <dist> replace with distribution name

       <comp> replace with component name

              replace with cache directory

       <dest> replace with destination expanded value.

              replace with cdrom-mount-point.


       The cdrom backend has not been tested.

       Non-release lines in sources.list are not handled by apt-file.

       There  is only one Contents file per distribution that contains all components (i.e. main,
       contrib, and  non-free).  Threrefore,  apt-file  will  display  search  results  from  all
       components, even if not all components are included in the sources.list file.

       When  a  new line has been added to the sources.list and apt-file update has not been run,
       apt-file does not print a warning message.

       Complex regular expressions that match the leading slash may  not  work  correctly.  As  a
       workaround,  try to pull the leading slash to the beginning of the regular expression. For
       example, use "/(usr/bin/vim|sbin/lvm)" instead of "/usr/bin/vim|/sbin/lvm".


              Locations to fetch package contents from.

              Directory with additional sources.list snippets

              Configuration file for apt-file.


       auto-apt(1),   apt-cache(8),   apt-cdrom(8),   dpkg(8),    dselect(8),    sources.list(5),
       apt.conf(5), apt_preferences(5).

       The APT users guide in /usr/share/doc/apt/


       apt-file was written by Sebastien J. Gross <>.

                                             May 2003                                 APT-FILE(1)