APT-FILE(1)           User Contributed Perl Documentation          APT-FILE(1)

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

       apt-file [options] search pattern

       apt-file [options] show package

       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:

           Alias for search.

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

           By default, the list action interprets its pattern as if
           --fixed-string was specified.

           List the known Content indices and their status in a human readable
           format.  These indices can be searched via the -I option (when
           enabled and after fetching the indices).  The output is subject to
           change without notice and is therefore unsuited for script usage /

           For a machine-readable formats (e.g. automation), please use apt-
           config dump (search for options starting with
           Acquire::IndexTargets) and apt-get indextargets for checking the
           cache (Look for entries with an Identifier field starting with

           Note that individual sources.list entries can override the global
           default.  Please consult sources.list(5) for more information on
           advanced configuration of the sources.list files.

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

           Since Contents files does not contain directories, the pattern must
           match (part of a) file name.

           By default, the search action interprets its pattern as if
           --substring-match was specified.

           Alias for list.

           This action that just calls apt update or apt-get update (depending
           on whether a tty is available).

           The only advantage using this over a regular apt update or apt-get
           update directly is for the case where you have configured an apt-
           file specific configuration (via the Dir::Etc::apt-file-main
           configuration option).  In that case, said configuration will be
           included automatically.

       The following options are available:

       -a, --architecture architecture[,...]
           This option is useful if you search a package for a different
           architecture from the one installed on your system.

           It can be a comma-separated list for searching on multiple

       -c, --config-file APT 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

           The configuration file will be read relative to when it appears on
           the command line and can overwrite options that appear before it.

           Note that the config file will also be passed to all APT tools
           called by apt-file.

       -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

       --filter-origins origin[,...]
           Only search indices from the listed origins (e.g. "Debian").

           This filter matches against the name listed in the Origin field
           from the Release file.

           If set to '*', this filter will be disabled (mostly useful for
           overriding the setting in a configuration file)

           Alias of the APT config option: apt-file::Search-Filter::Origin

       --filter-suites suite[,...]
           Only search indices from the listed suites or codenames (e.g.

           This filter matches against the name listed in the Codename and
           Suite fields from the Release file.  This means that either
           "unstable" or "sid" will match Debian's unstable suite.

           If set to '*', this filter will be disabled (mostly useful for
           overriding the setting in a configuration file)

           Alias of the APT config option: apt-file::Search-Filter::Suite

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

           This is default for show and list actions.

       --index-names type[,...], -I type[,...]
           Only search indexes of the given name(s). If set to the special
           value ALL (case-sensitive), then all apt-file indices are searched.

           The name(s) must match one or more of the identifiers used in the
           APT configuration (minus leading "Contents-").  Example if the
           configuration has the following snippets:

            Acquire::IndexTargets::deb::Contents-deb { ... };
            Acquire::IndexTargets::deb-src::Contents-dsc { ... };
            Acquire::IndexTargets::deb::Contents-udeb { ... };
            Acquire::IndexTargets::deb::Contents-deb-legacy {
               # Explicitly named to "Contents-deb"
               Identifier "Contents-deb";

           Then, apt-file will recognise "deb", "dsc" and "udeb" as index

           This option defaults to the value of the "apt-file::Index-Names"
           apt config option (or "deb" if omitted).

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

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

       -o, --option APT::Option=Value
           Set a Configuration Option; This will set an arbitrary
           configuration option. The syntax is -o APT::Option=Value.  -o and
           --option can be used multiple times to set different options.

           This option can be used to overwrite other command line options
           (e.g. "-o apt-file::Search-Filter::Origin=Debian" is effectively
           the same as "--filter-origins Debian").

           Note that the config options passed via this option will also be
           passed to all APT tools called by apt-file.

           Match if the given search pattern is a substring of a path or

           This is default for search and find actions.

       -v, --verbose
           Run apt-file in verbose/debug 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.

           Be advised that this option can be rather slow.  If performance is
           an issue, consider giving apt-file non-regex pattern matching too
           much and pipe the output to perl -ne '/<pattern-here>/'.  This
           enables apt-file to use more optimizations and leaves less work to
           the "slower" regex.

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

       The apt-file command relies on the APT configuration.  Notably, the
       default configuration makes apt fetch Contents files by default during
       a call to apt update.

       For information on how to configure APT to fetch more or fewer Contents
       files, please refer to /usr/share/doc/apt-file/README.md.gz.

       The following files are notably interesting:

           Note this path is actually configurable by changing the value of
           the APT configuration called "Dir::Etc::apt-file-main".  The listed
           value is merely the default value of that option.

           If this file is present, apt-file will read this file after all
           default APT configuration files.  Any config file -c or option (-o)
           will be evaluated before this file (and can override options set in

           The file will also be passed on to all APT tools called by apt-

           Chooses which Contents files to download.  Note that apt-file
           recognises only "Acquire" targets that starts with "Contents-".

   Special configurations similar to apt-file 2
       Here are some apt-file 2 related work flows and how to (almost) emulate
       them with apt-file 3.  They are documented as a starting point for
       people, who are attached to these.

       The emulation may not be perfect for you out of the box.  Patches are
       welcome to keep the examples updated as long as the examples remain

       o   Only make apt-file update fetch Contents files

           If you are accustomed to apt update not fetching Contents files,
           then you can run
           /usr/share/doc/apt-file/examples/apt-file-2-update.sh.  This script
           will configure apt and apt-file accordingly after best effort.

           Please read the resulting /etc/apt/apt-file.conf.

       o   Creating/using "user" caches

           Previous versions of apt-file had a "--cache" option, which could
           be used to denote a directory to store the Contents files.  This
           can be emulated by doing:

             # Setup
             $ mkdir -p ~/.cache/apt-file ~/.config
             $ touch ~/.cache/apt-file/dpkg-status
             $ sed '/^Dir::State/ d; /^Dir::Cache/ d;' \
               /usr/share/doc/apt-file/examples/apt-file.conf \
               > ~/.config/apt-file.conf
             $ cat <<EOF >> ~/.config/apt-file.conf
           Dir::State "$HOME/.cache/apt-file";
           Dir::Cache "$HOME/.cache/apt-file";
           Dir::State::status "$HOME/.cache/apt-file/dpkg-status";

             # Update the cache
             $ apt-file -c ~/.config/apt-file.conf update

             # Search using the cache
             $ apt-file -c ~/.config/apt-file.conf show apt-file

             # Removal of the cache + config
             $ rm -fr ~/.cache/apt-file ~/.config/apt-file.conf

           (You will probably want to add an alias apt-file in your ~/.bashrc)

           Please read the resulting ./apt-file-user-cache.conf.

       There are some known issues or "quirks" that are good to keep in mind.

       o   The Contents files do not include a leading slash on paths.  This
           means that /bin/ls is listed as bin/ls in the Contents file.  If
           you are looking for something in a top-level directory, it is often
           better to omit the leading slash.

           The search algorithm will attempt to work around the leading slash,
           but it will not work in all cases.  As a workaround, try to pull
           the leading slash to the beginning of regular expressions.  For
           example, use "/(?:usr/bin/vim|sbin/lvm)" instead of

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

       o   By default, apt-file assumes that Contents files do not include a
           descriptive header (explaining what the file is and how to
           interpret it).  However, some tools have generated them with such a
           header (e.g. for old versions of Contents files for the Debian
           archive or Contents files generated by reprepro prior to version

           If you search such files, you will want to set
           apt-file::Parser::Check-For-Description-Header to true (e.g. in
           /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/50apt-file.conf) to have apt-file properly
           filter out the headers to avoid false matches.

           The reason this is not the default is that it costs a factor 2 in
           overhead while most common Contents files no longer have the
           header.  (see #881405 for more details).

       o   Not all APT repositories have Contents files.  Notably common
           install media (CDs etc.) may omit them to conserve space.

           The default configuration by apt-file marks Contents files as
           optional and will just silently fail to search in Contents files in
           such repositories.

       apt-file has the following defined exit codes, which can be used for
       scripting purposes.

       0   apt-file returned successfully.  If the command was a search, there
           was at least one result.

       1   apt-file completed a search successfully, but it had no results.

       2   An error occurred (including invalid/conflicting user options).

       3   apt-file could not complete the command because the cache was
           empty.  Please ensure there are indices enabled in the APT config
           and run apt update to fetch them.

       4   apt-file could not complete the command because the cache does not
           have any files matching the restrictions.  Either change the
           restrictions (e.g. --index-names) or configure apt to fetch the
           relevant files and run apt update.

       255 There was an internal errors / uncaught exception in apt-file.
           Please file a bug against apt-file.

       Any other exit code is reserved for future use.

       apt(1), apt-cache(8), apt.conf(5)

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

       The example config in /usr/share/doc/apt-file/examples

       The README at /usr/share/doc/apt-file/README.md.gz

perl v5.28.1                      2019-02-09                       APT-FILE(1)

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