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How to list package dependees (reverse dependencies)?

I want to find all the packages in the Ubuntu repository that depends on one particular package. In this case I want that dependency to be libqt4-dev, so I can find all the packages developed with Qt. I know I need to use apt-cache, but I'm not sure what the arguments should be.

marked as duplicate by devav2, Thomas Ward, Eliah Kagan, hhlp, Javier Rivera Jan 4 '13 at 10:58

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  • Looking for reverse dependencies of libqt4-dev will not show you what packages are developed with Qt. -dev packages provide header files. You would see libqt4-dev to compile programs that are developed with Qt4--you would not need it to install them from binary packages. – Eliah Kagan Jan 4 '13 at 5:44

You should get used to using man. Hence,

$ man apt-cache


showpkg pkg...

showpkg displays information about the packages listed on the command line. Remaining arguments are package names. The available versions and reverse dependencies of each package listed are listed, as well as forward dependencies for each version. Forward (normal) dependencies are those packages upon which the package in question depends; reverse dependencies are those packages that depend upon the package in question.

Hence the command you are after is apt-cache showpkg libqt4-dev.

  • I've tried showpkg, but it doesn't seem to list everything. KDE is built on Qt, but there's no K* apps in there. – user2405 Jan 3 '13 at 14:03
  • I assume either you'd probably have to follow the inheritance of dependencies further, or perhaps it's a different package(s) that KDE uses? e.g. I can see plenty of KDE if I try apt-cache showpkg libqt4-dbus. – Sparhawk Jan 3 '13 at 14:07