How can I get some details about a package without installing it, (eg. the description and version number) like in Synaptic or Aptitude. The command

dpkg -s PACKAGE

does not work, with this error. It works for installed packages, though

dpkg-query: package 'PACKAGE' is not installed and no information is available

For packages that are in your repositories you can use:

dpkg --print-avail PACKAGE_NAME


apt-cache show PACKAGE_NAME


aptitude show PACKAGE_NAME

The apt-cache show command can be used, instead of dpkg -s. Like this:

apt-cache show PACKAGE


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