When using apt list --manual-installed=true, it is hard to read. So, I apt list --manual-installed=true | column -t and it reads pretty good, except I do not see a header for the columns. When I say header for the columns I mean like an html table header. Is there not names for the columns. I read the man apt and no mention; and, I search the internet a long time - igu!

I want to see the names of the columns because I do not understand what the data means in some of those columns:

In the first column there is the name of the package but there is also 'impish' and 'now' subfixed to the name looking like those things are data that should be in separate columns themselves. Those data pieces look like - apport/impish-updates,impish-security,now.

In column three and four it seems maybe understood as column three is archetecture and column four is status but I would like to makes sure. I would like to see the header.

The first question is "does the apt command have headers for the table data? Is there a way to show the headers?

Second question is what is the impish and now data about. what type of data is suppose to be in these columns. Might there be a similar data type with a different name here. I am trying to understand the data type and also do not know what 'impish' is or what that 'now' is for.

Thanks in advance!

  • I don't usually see a question with proper grammar and punctuation. Your post is frickin' eye candy. It's a miracle!
    – Jeff
    Feb 15 at 21:46

1 Answer 1


The column -t command is reformatting the existing outputs to display columnar data in tabular format. The default separator is space, which is why the the columns are split the way they are. Although the first column logically has multiple pieces of data in it, it is separated by forward slash, which column does not (by default) treat as a separator.

To separate this too, you can use the following column command instead:

column -s '/ ' -t

Column headers are not included because they were not present in the output of apt. I am not aware of a parameter to apt to cause it to print them.

For an example output with all columns split:

viewnior                   stable,now              1.6-1+b2                      amd64                 [installed]
vim-tiny                   stable,now              2:8.2.2434-3+deb11u1          amd64                 [installed]
vim                        stable,now              2:8.2.2434-3+deb11u1          amd64                 [installed]

The columns are:

  1. Package name
  2. Source repository. In my example, this is Debian's stable repostory, and now, which means it's installed on my system.
  3. Package version
  4. Package architecture
  5. Package status
  • Yep, that nailed it. Thanks for the help!
    – nobody
    Feb 15 at 21:24

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