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In this answer, I came across this command:

aptitude why firefox

aptitude whylooks like an useful command but I don't want to install aptitude just for that. What is the apt-get equivalent of aptitude why?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Instead of apt-get I would have a look at apt-cache, though not one on one the same but close will be:

apt-cache --installed rdepends firefox
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This is not right answer. There is no similar for aptitude why –  Ask Feb 21 at 12:28
    
Thanks! I mentioned apt-get but apt-cache will do just as well because it is installed by default. I should have made my question clear on this point! –  DK Bose Feb 21 at 12:29
    
Even though these two commands are not the same –  Ask Feb 21 at 12:32
    
@maythux, as mentioned in my answer. But it comes close and gives reverse dependencies so it is useful for most users who ask this, so why not mention it? –  Requist Feb 21 at 12:34
    
The command aptitude why firefox gives i firefox-gnome-support Depends firefox The command apt-cache --installed rdepends firefox gives: firefox Reverse Depends: |rhythmbox-mozilla firefox-gnome-support flashplugin-installer xul-ext-ubufox xul-ext-ubufox ubuntu-desktop |totem-mozilla |rhythmbox-mozilla flashplugin-installer xul-ext-ubufox xul-ext-ubufox ubuntu-desktop |totem-mozilla |rhythmbox-mozilla hunspell-en-us hunspell-en-ca firefox-gnome-support –  Ask Feb 21 at 12:35
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People might want to know why an automatically installed package is present on the system. To get this information from the command line, you can use aptitude why package

apt-get has no similar feature

source:debian-handbook

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It was my mistake. I mentioned apt-get but main thing is I didn't want new software. apt-cache is there already! Sorry about confusion :) –  DK Bose Feb 21 at 12:32
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