Is there an equivalent to the yum "whatprovides" option in apt-get?

For example on CentOS

yum whatprovides /usr/share/gdm/themes/TreeFlower/background.png

Tells me

redhat-logos-4.9.99-11.el5.centos.noarch : CentOS-related icons and pictures.
Repo        : base
Matched from:
Filename    : /usr/share/gdm/themes/TreeFlower/background.png

Can I get similar functionality on the command line in Ubuntu?


This depends on whether the package containing the file is already installed. If so, use dpkg -S filename.

If your intention is to find out which package to install to get a certain file, one option is to use the online packages.ubuntu.com: scroll down to "Search the contents of packages". Make sure that the right distribution is selected. If you're looking for a files irrespective of the path, check the appropriate option.

There is also apt-file. Because this method required updating the files database, however, I prefer the other, instant option.

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You want the 'apt-file' command.

apt-file search /usr/share/gdm/themes/TreeFlower/background.png

Before using it, you may need to create or update its database by running:

apt-file update
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  • 2
    +1 this does seem to be useful but is not installed by default on my machine so I am modding you up but accepting loevborg answer – Richard Holloway Aug 17 '10 at 16:09

wajig whichpkg /usr/share/gdm/themes/TreeFlower/background.png

You'll have to install wajig, which is a frontend to a bunch of utilities related to apt. If you use wajig, you can use all of those tools without having to memorize their names.

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Isn't this the same question as this How do I find the package that provides a file?

I prefer the dpkg -S <filepath> command

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  • If you believe that a question is the same you should flag it as a duplicate so that the moderators can deal with it appropriately. Thank you! – Elder Geek Jan 11 '17 at 1:51
  • Sorry, I missed that. Consider it for future reference then as you are only 4 points off, a couple of approved edits will get you there. – Elder Geek Jan 11 '17 at 19:25
  • No problem, i was just stating it. i'm relatively new here so the suggestion actually helps me :) – Nande Jan 13 '17 at 19:40
  • I'm glad it helps! That's always my intent. :-) – Elder Geek Jan 13 '17 at 21:52

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