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In other words, is there a website where I can find a simple list of all the packages that apt-get install searches through, along with descriptions of what each package does?

When I run apt-get update, I see that my computer hits http://security.ubuntu.com and finds something called oneiric-updates. Is there a human-friendly version of this website?

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You can find all the packages depending on the build installed here:

Ubuntu Packages Search

But Oneiric Ocelot is the Codename for 11.10, so it is probably just downloading the security updates for your version. I wouldn't be worried about anything.

EDIT: After looking here: Ubuntu oneiric-updates. It possibly looks like a pack of drivers but I may be mistaken

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Depends on what you mean by "human-friendly"

You can browse here:

http://packages.ubuntu.com/

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I guess what you are looking for is software manager.

It has GUI and categorized package lists. It is in your ubuntu by default. Try may be.

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