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I'm new to Ubuntu and would like to know where I can find the location of program files for programs installed from the Ubuntu Software Center or the Terminal.

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up vote 18 down vote accepted

on the command line, you can use dpkg --listfiles packagename. For instance, dpkg --listfiles firefox. If you want to see what files a package contains without installing it, then you can install apt-file and use that.

But you really shouldn't mess with it. There is usually no reason to manually interfere with the contents of a package. All configuration files for normal applications are placed in the users home directory. You don't have savegames in C:\Programfiles\Appname\savegames, for instance. They would be placed in /home/username/.local/share/appname/savegames. That way, if you move your home directory to another machine, it keeps all configurations and user data.

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This command says "package 'sdl' is not installed"; But this command: "dpkg --get-selections | grep sdl" returned : libsdl-image1.2:amd64 install ---- libsdl1.2debian:amd64 install ---- libsdl2-2.0-0:amd64 install ---- libsdl2-dev install – Mr.Hyde Dec 19 '15 at 6:48

Also, if you just need to know where the executable is you can run whereis executable or which executable For instance:

whereis firefox
firefox: /usr/bin/firefox /etc/firefox /usr/lib/firefox /usr/share/man/man1/firefox.1.gz
which firefox
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If you do not find the command with whereis or which then maybe it is an alias. Try


and check if the command is in the list.

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If you installed it via RPM, you can also use rpm –ql [package] to get a list. This method also happens to work on Fedora and RHEL.

joe@mainwks ~]$ rpm -ql phpMyAdmin
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Use the synaptic-package-manager:

synaptic Package Manager (GUI).

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You should also say how to get the desired information! – guntbert May 5 at 18:17

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