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Is there a way to show the history of installed packages that were installed by apt-get via commandline?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 62 down vote accepted

All actions with apt (apt-get) are logged. These files are available in /var/log/apt/. To view the most recent history log, execute:

less /var/log/apt/history.log

These logs gets rotated (every month I guess), old files will be suffixed with a number and compressed. So to view the next history log, use:

zless /var/log/apt/history.log.1.gz

To view the logs available:

ls -la /var/log/apt/
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This is excellent. The only thing missing is who ran the commands. – Limited Atonement Apr 3 '12 at 17:33
@LimitedAtonement Have a look at /var/log/auth.log, it may contain the user running the installation. (this won't help if the installation was invoked through a shell/program running as root) – Lekensteyn Apr 3 '12 at 17:41
Also useful: zgrep, zcat – ishmael Sep 1 at 23:33

I find this one better:

  • add custom fun in ~/.bashrc
    ### pars for fun: install | remove | rollback
    function apt-history(){
          case "$1" in
                  grep 'install ' /var/log/dpkg.log
                  grep $1 /var/log/dpkg.log
                  grep upgrade /var/log/dpkg.log | \
                      grep "$2" -A10000000 | \
                      grep "$3" -B10000000 | \
                      awk '{print $4"="$5}'
                  cat /var/log/dpkg.log
  • and call it in terminal like this:

    kreso@h17:~$ apt-history install
    2013-08-06 14:42:36 install gir1.2-nautilus-3.0:amd64 <none> 1:3.8.2-0ubuntu1~ubuntu13.04.1
    2013-08-06 14:42:36 install python-nautilus:amd64 <none> 1.1-3ubuntu1
    2013-08-06 14:42:37 install insync-nautilus:all <none> 1.0.20
    2013-08-07 14:41:37 install powertop:amd64 <none> 2.1-0ubuntu1
    2013-08-07 18:44:10 install libdiscid0:amd64 <none> 0.2.2-3build1
    2013-08-07 18:44:11 install sound-juicer:amd64 <none> 3.5.0-0ubuntu1

Taken from here

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You can also use the following command to list recently installed packages

grep "\ install\ " /var/log/dpkg.log
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even better: grep "\ install\ " /var/log/apt/history.log in case you need to copy and paste a list into apt-get – mchid Jul 27 at 19:53

If you want those packages that were installed and not subsequently uninstalled, try this:

comm -23 <(grep "apt-get install" /var/log/apt/history.log | sed 's/.* //' | sort) \ 
<(grep "apt-get remove" /var/log/apt/history.log | sed 's/.* //' | sort) 

This is the installs minus any matching removes.


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