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I want to find packages whose names contains characters in a specified search string. Something similar to apt-cache search, but I also want the output to show whether the package is installed on my system by marking with a flag ii (installed) or un (not installed).

$ dpkg -l *skype*

||/ Name               Version            Description
un  skype              <none>             (no description available)
un  skype-common       <none>             (no description available)
un  skype-mid          <none>             (no description available)

So Ubuntu finds skype in its software center and it passes the flag un, indicating its not installed on my system.

Well, actually it is installed on my system:

$ apt-cache policy skype

So why was the un flag associated with skype in the above example?

In fact, whenever I use the dpkg command, it thinks the package is not installed:

dpkg -L skype
Package `skype' is not installed.
share|improve this question
Looks like you're on a 64-bit system with a 32-bit skype installed. Does this work? dpkg -l skype:i386 –  Dennis Kaarsemaker Nov 11 '12 at 9:18
yes it did work thanks –  JohnMerlino Nov 11 '12 at 15:23
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