201

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
1

3 Answers 3

273

For packages that are in your repositories you can use:

dpkg --print-avail PACKAGE_NAME

or

apt-cache show PACKAGE_NAME

or

aptitude show PACKAGE_NAME

or

apt show PACKAGE_NAME
1
  • Excellent answer that covers old and recent ways of get data from a package.
    – EsmaeelE
    Nov 14, 2021 at 12:01
37

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

apt-cache show PACKAGE

(source)

8
apt show

Or for more details

apt show -a

This will show only the description:

LANG=C apt show -a "$PKGNAME"|grep Description: -A99

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