Background: I'm trying to build my program but first I need to set up libraries in NetBeans. My project is using GLU and therefore I installed libglu-dev. I didn't note the location where the libraries were located and now I can't find them.

I've switched to Linux just a few days ago and so far I'm very content with it, however I couldn't google this one out and became frustrated. Is there way to find out where files of package were installed without running the installation again? I mean if I got library xxx and installed it some time ago, is there some-command xxx that will print this info?

I've already tried locate, find and whereis commands, but either I'm missing something or I just can't do it correctly. For libglu, locate returns:


The other two commands fail to find anything. Now locate did its job, but I'm sure none of those paths is where the library actually resides (at least everything I was linking so far was in /usr/lib or /usr/local/lib).

libglu was introduced just as example. I'm looking for a general solution for this problem.

2 Answers 2


Easy! dpkg -L packagename. That will list all files (with location) that were brought in by the package.

  • 2
    Wow, exactly what I was looking for, thanks! Just a quick note: the one I was looking for is /usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/libGLU.so.1 (obtained with dpkg) and the actual name of library for the command is libglu1-mesa.
    – Raven
    Mar 23, 2012 at 21:50
  • 3
    Great. I'll also recommend apt-file. It needs to be installed and then you need to do apt-file update. apt-file list does the same as dpkg -L, but without the need to install the package first. apt-file search enables you to find out which package provides a certain file. Cool tools :) Mar 23, 2012 at 21:56
  • 1
    It's complementary but ldd can list the libraries used by a binary and where the system will find them.
    – Sandburg
    Aug 4, 2022 at 12:27

In case if you are not sure about package name you could list all packages and try to find requested:

dpkg --get-selections | grep -v deinstall | grep <packagename>

For example:

$ dpkg --get-selections | grep -v deinstall | grep zip


bzip2 install

And then:

$ dpkg -L zip



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