I am about to uninstall Ubuntu entirely and reinstall a fresh copy. Before I do that I want to make a list of software/package that I have installed so far. Any way to list out?


The answer by Rinzwind shows how to get the list of all the packages from the time when Ubuntu came and directly installs the packages if they are not present but I want to get the list only; not want to install.

  • Use your imagination :)
    – Rinzwind
    May 13 '12 at 10:36
dpkg --get-selections > installed-software

creates a text file named installed-software with all installed software. Move that file to a backup.

dpkg --set-selections < installed-software

will install all the packages that have not been installed (in case you want to install them)

If you want to make a list of the differences you make another file after you installed Ubuntu again:

dpkg --get-selections > installed-software_new

and you can diff the 2 files.

If you installed the same version Ubuntu the result should be a list of packages from the old version that was not installed in the new version. Newer Ubuntu will have other package versions so it will not work.

  • 2
    Not exactly what I want. a) I don't want to install those packages, I just want to list them. b) Your method list all the packages from the time Ubuntu was made. I only want to see from the time it was installed. May 13 '12 at 10:21

You may try this instead: if you like to backup/restore all your apps, you could try AptOnCd from Ubuntu Software Center.


There is a full list in the manifest file of each distribution at http://releases.ubuntu.com

To get just the list use

source /etc/lsb-release
wget http://releases.ubuntu.com/$DISTRIB_CODENAME/ubuntu-$DISTRIB_RELEASE-desktop-amd64.manifest \
     -q -O - | cut -f 1 > packages.manifest.list
# compare it with the list generated by 
dpkg --get-selections  | cut -f 1 > packages.installed.list
# from moreutils you can use combine:
combine packages.installed.list not packages.manifest.list > packages.diff.list

for 32 bit use another manifest:

wget http://releases.ubuntu.com/$DISTRIB_CODENAME/ubuntu-$DISTRIB_RELEASE-desktop-i386.manifest -q -O - | cut -f 1 > packages.manifest.list  

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