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       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:

       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-file.conf.

       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.

       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 fetched.

       show   Alias for list.

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


          --cache | -c 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 root.

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

          --cdrom-mount | -d cdrom-mount-point
              Use cdrom-mount-point instead of apt’s.

          --non-interactive | -N
              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.

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

          --regexp | -x
              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.

          --version | -V
              Show version number.

          --architecture | -a 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).

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

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

          --from-file | -f
              Read  patterns  from  the given file(s), one per line.  Use -f -
              for stdin.  This is much  faster  than  invoking  apt-file  many

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

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

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

          --help | -h
              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

              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.


              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/


       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".


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

                                  27 May 2010