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I want to save the list of packages that have installed. I figured it might be the best to list all and diff it with the default set.

Edit: Clarification: I don't want to get the list of installed packages that are installed at the moment. Rather I want to get the list of packages that I added since the default install.

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duplicate: askubuntu.com/questions/17823/… –  Rinzwind May 3 '11 at 11:14
You misunderstood my question. I want to get the packages that I installed (without the default selection). So, not the packages that are installed at the moment. –  Tamás Szelei May 3 '11 at 11:25
ok! sorry for misunderstanding :) :) –  Rinzwind May 3 '11 at 11:34

3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted


sudo dpkg-query -Wf '${Installed-Size}\t${Package}\n' | sort -n


sudo sed -ne '/^Package: \(.*\)/{s//\1/;h;};/^Installed-Size: \(.*\)/{s//\1/;G;s/\n/ /;p;}' /var/lib/dpkg/status | sort -n


sudo dpkg --get-selections

will list all the packages. Just re-route the output to a file. The 1st 2 list it from smallest to largest with size in front of the packagename. The 3rd is in alfabetical order.

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Open the ISO CD image file with file-roller and extract the file:


It contains all packages that are installed after the installation.

Just keep in mind that you can also download updates and closed source software during the installation, so you'd have the check for those packages separately.

Ubuntu 12.04

In Ubuntu 12.04 the list is no longer available in a single file. Instead, you you need to unpack two files:

  1. filesystem.manifest
  2. filesystem.manifest-remove

and remove the packages in the latter from the former:

comm -3 <(cat filesystem.manifest | awk '{print $1}' | sort) <(cat filesystem.manifest-remove | sort) > default.txt

You can use this as basis to figure out, what has been added since the install (see this answer for details).

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I'll wait a little if someone has a better suggestion, but this seems good enough. –  Tamás Szelei May 3 '11 at 11:36

I've extracted package marks for you from default Natty Live-CD http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1399037/default-packages

BTW, after updating from 10.04 -> 10.10 -> 11.04 I've lost ~96 default packages, and after reinstalling them, stability of my Natty system increased

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