GUI update-manager is able to show the "changelog" of packages to-be installed (not downloaded yet).

I also found out how to provide the .changelog files in the right place for update-manager to show them, and now I'm happy since I'm able to tell my clients that they can see changelogs of my custom packages directly from their gui.

Unfortunately I'm not able to find any command line tool to do the same thing and that would be more useful on servers.

From what I saw it seems that this convention (putting .changelog files directly alongside the .deb files in the apt repo) is a ubuntu specific extension.

There are some debian resources (the reprepro man page for example) which point on a different way to store changelogs online, http://packages.debian.org/changelogs

Does anybody know if there already exists a tool like apt-cache to show the changelogs from packages which are not yet installed (nor downloaded) ?

  • 2
    Why is this question marked as a duplicate? The question linked in the duplicate notice was asked 3 years later , and specifically asks for a solution different to this question. That one links to this question in the first line and asks for a different problem.
    – Tejas Kale
    Dec 16, 2016 at 14:00

2 Answers 2


There is also the apt changelog command. It, and probably aptitude as well, pull from http://changelogs.ubuntu.com, which may not have all third party changelog files, if they didn't add them to it.

$ apt changelog  unity
Get:1 Changelog for unity (http://changelogs.ubuntu.com/changelogs/pool/main/u/\
unity/unity_7.0.0daily13.06.19~13.04-0ubuntu1/changelog) [251 kB]
Fetched 251 kB in 0s (350 kB/s)
unity (7.0.0daily13.06.19~13.04-0ubuntu1) raring; urgency=low

  [ William Hua ]
  * Revert 3196 to fix menu highlighting issues with LibreOffice.
    Revision 3196 prevents LibreOffices menu items from highangelog
    See Launchpad bug #1153350. (LP: #1153350)

  [ Chris Townsend ]
  * Fixes issue where minimizing a full screen window would not draw the
t of
    lp:unity revno. 3320. (LP: #1064155)

  [ Marco Trevisan (Treviño) ]
  * SwitcherController: use proper long long types for
  • 1
    Excellent! I never thought that it could be possible to see the changelog from any package in Debian-like OSes :).
    – ivanleoncz
    Jun 8, 2017 at 21:45
  • 1
    on older ubuntu 14, apt-get changelog <package> worked for me whereas apt changelog <package> appeared to be unimplemented Nov 15, 2018 at 20:15
  • 1
    It's weird, because apt changelog <package> is undocumented, but this works on a 20.04 system.
    – Cliff
    May 16, 2020 at 18:07
  • At least with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS the apt-get changelog is documented (see man apt-get) and apt changelog is not documented but forwards to apt-get changelog successfully. Nov 14, 2020 at 14:17

Not sure if I understood what you really need, but

aptitude changelog package-name

will show the changelog for any package in the Ubuntu repos. It doesn't work in the PPAs though.

  • thank you, it's seems a good initial step. All I have to do now is to find out where does aptitude fetch these changelogs. I made my repo compliant with the ubuntu update-manager and I can see the changelogs from there (but I don't see them for the PPAs). Any idea?
    – mkm
    Nov 22, 2010 at 14:28
  • strace -f aptitude changelog bash 2>&1 | grep changelog shows that it will just show changelog for the already installed package from files /usr/share/doc/PACKAGENAME/changelog*. Nov 14, 2020 at 14:21
  • On the other hand strace -f apt changelog bash 2>&1 | grep changelog shows that it will in call to https://changelogs.ubuntu.com to query changelog. Nov 14, 2020 at 14:25

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