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I would like to see a diff. of my Ubuntu system - including all new directories, files, and file changes - comparing the state before vs. after an application installation. How would I do that? Thanks.

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Oct 10 '11 at 16:36

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2 Answers 2

Check these and you may find what your looking for:

/var/lib/dpkg/info
/var/log/dpkg.log
/var/log/aptitude

But aptitude logging is notoriously inadequate.

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This fails to account for the effects of preinst, postinst, and configure scripts. If it's a one-off job, inspect those scripts to see what they do; for a more systematic approach, perhaps hack dpkg to strace them? (Maybe it has already been done.) –  tripleee Oct 10 '11 at 15:21
    
I would like something that is decoupled from any package management tool so that I can see changes after installing software from source. Thanks. –  nbsp Oct 10 '11 at 15:23
    
That would be completely dependant on the source you are installing then, and if that source even creates a log file. Linux does not track these things (by default) like say windows event viewer does. You can have custom logging packages but thats up to the user to install. /var/log holds a lot of good info too, check out /var/log/messages or /var/log/dmesg. –  chown Oct 10 '11 at 15:27
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Isn't that what tripwire does?

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Does anyone have any experience using Tripwire thus? –  nbsp Oct 11 '11 at 17:55
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