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I was wondering how to get the information about a package in terminal, before installation with apt-get install so that I can decide whether to install it, based on the description.

Thanks and regards!

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up vote 28 down vote accepted


 apt-cache show PACKAGE

to see the description and some other information about package PACKAGE.

 dpkg -L package_name

to see what files the package contains.

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The second hint with listing the package content ie. files doesn't work for me. It always says dpkg-query: package 'package_name' is not installed so it can't be used for inspecting the file before installing it. The apt-file utility seems to be a more viable option for that, although I can't refer from my own experience yet. – Huge Mar 2 at 16:05

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