I'm new to Ubuntu and would like to know where I can find the location of program files for programs installed from the Ubuntu Software Center or the Terminal.

  • If you prefer/use RPM on Ubuntu, you can also use rpm –ql [package] to get a list. This method also happens to work on most Fedora and RHEL distros.
    – Ray Foss
    Dec 19, 2017 at 14:42

6 Answers 6


Also, if you just need to know where the executable is you can run whereis executable or which executable For instance:

$ whereis firefox
firefox: /usr/bin/firefox /etc/firefox /usr/lib/firefox /usr/share/man/man1/firefox.1.gz

$ which firefox

on the command line, you can use dpkg --listfiles packagename. For instance, dpkg --listfiles firefox. If you want to see what files a package contains without installing it, then you can install apt-file and use that.

But you really shouldn't mess with it. There is usually no reason to manually interfere with the contents of a package. All configuration files for normal applications are placed in the users home directory. You don't have savegames in C:\Programfiles\Appname\savegames, for instance. They would be placed in /home/username/.local/share/appname/savegames. That way, if you move your home directory to another machine, it keeps all configurations and user data.

  • This command says "package 'sdl' is not installed"; But this command: "dpkg --get-selections | grep sdl" returned : libsdl-image1.2:amd64 install ---- libsdl1.2debian:amd64 install ---- libsdl2-2.0-0:amd64 install ---- libsdl2-dev install
    – Dr.jacky
    Dec 19, 2015 at 6:48
  • The OP wants to know where the installation directory containing the app files is located. He did not ask for a list of files in a package. Nov 6, 2018 at 8:51
  • @HedleyFinger: There is no such thing as the "installation directory". Each app has files stored in many different directories for different types of files. /etc for default configs, /usr/bin for binaries, /usr/lib for libraries, etc. The command I showed, shows where all app files are installed. Nov 7, 2018 at 16:51



dpkg -L banshee


If you do not find the command with whereis or which then maybe it is an alias. Try


and check if the command is in the list.


Use the synaptic-package-manager:

synaptic Package Manager (GUI)

Assuming that we'd like to locate the files of the autotools-dev package, under 'Quick filter' enter autotools to locate it. The autotools-dev package appears automatically. Select it by clicking on it and then press 'Properties'. In the appearing dialog select the tab 'Installed Files'.

  • 4
    You should also say how to get the desired information!
    – guntbert
    May 5, 2016 at 18:17
  • 2
    I appreciate the screen shot and think this answer is a useful addition. It shouldn't be down voted. Jan 16, 2017 at 21:58

The builtin Bash command, called command is also available:

 command [-pVv] command [arguments …]

Examples of usage:

$ command -v cat
$ command -V cat
cat is /bin/cat

When the searched command is an alias:

$ command -v ll
alias ll='ls -alF'
$ command -V ll
ll is aliased to `ls -alF'

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