I'm trying to create a graphical program to deal with packages easily for end-users. However, I'm facing a problem in retrieving the package's description beside some other information.

I've seen the python-apt API here and i understood that i have to deal with the apt.package.Version() class.

But when i tried to use it, all what i got is some errors like:

Traceback (most recent call last):
File "./myprogram", line 6, in <module>
print package.description
File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/apt/package.py", line 374, in description
dsc = self._translated_records.long_desc
File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/apt/package.py", line 315, in _translated_records
desc_iter = self._cand.translated_description
AttributeError: 'list' object has no attribute 'translated_description'

So, is there any body who can create a running example for the apt.package.Version() class please?


  • Verify that you do have long descriptions (do apt-cache show for some package). The documentation says long descriptions, so askubuntu.com/a/558389/158442 might be relevant.
    – muru
    Jan 27, 2015 at 6:03

1 Answer 1


The following python commands should give you the long description when available:

$ python
Python 2.7.6 (default, Mar 22 2014, 22:59:56) 
[GCC 4.8.2] on linux2
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> import apt
>>> cache = apt.Cache()
>>> pkg = cache['python2.7']
>>> pkg
<Package: name:'python2.7' architecture='amd64' id:1247L>
>>> pkg.versions
<VersionList: ['2.7.6-8']>
>>> pkg.versions[0]
<Version: package:'python2.7' version:'2.7.6-8'>
>>> pkg.versions[0].description
u'Python is a high-level, interactive, object-oriented language. Its 2.7 version
includes an extensive class library with lots of goodies for network programming, 
system administration, sounds and graphics.'

Note: My locale are set to LANG=en_US.UTF-8 so translated strings may not be a problem here.

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