20

When I type "mc" on my 14.04 Ubuntu terminal I get a

The program 'mc' is currently not installed. You can install it by typing:
sudo apt-get install mc

How can I get details about the program 'mc' before installing it? I want to confirm that that is the file I want, and not some other one.

1
  • 2
    Not sure what you mean. Does apt-cache search <command> help you? – Gui Imamura Dec 15 '15 at 12:09
21

The fastest way is using a terminal and apt-cache and a little bit trust ;)

apt-cache show mc

Package: mc
Priority: optional
Section: universe/utils
Installed-Size: 1434
Maintainer: Ubuntu Developers <ubuntu-devel-discuss@lists.ubuntu.com>
Original-Maintainer: Debian MC Packaging Group <pkg-mc-devel@lists.alioth.debian.org>
Architecture: amd64
Version: 3:4.8.13-3
Provides: mcedit
Depends: e2fslibs (>= 1.37), libc6 (>= 2.15), libglib2.0-0 (>= 2.35.9), libgpm2 (>= 1.20.4), libslang2 (>= 2.2.4), libssh2-1 (>= 1.2.5), mc-data (= 3:4.8.13-3)
Recommends: mime-support, perl, unzip
Suggests: arj, bzip2, catdvi | texlive-binaries, dbview, djvulibre-bin, file, genisoimage, gv, imagemagick, links | w3m | lynx, odt2txt, poppler-utils, python, python-boto, python-tz, xpdf | pdf-viewer, zip
Filename: pool/universe/m/mc/mc_4.8.13-3_amd64.deb
Size: 464160
MD5sum: 8bb8f947d50bcba2f68d2b66a66963c1
SHA1: c61ad7e5581ee46619069c0435c54be5e1fc34c7
SHA256: 21557289003bd195ff5a0212a00365067c5d15f0f9767556512c09da96a012d5
Description-en: Midnight Commander - a powerful file manager
 GNU Midnight Commander is a text-mode full-screen file manager. It
 uses a two panel interface and a subshell for command execution. It
 includes an internal editor with syntax highlighting and an internal
 viewer with support for binary files. Also included is Virtual
 Filesystem (VFS), that allows files on remote systems (e.g. FTP, SSH
 servers) and files inside archives to be manipulated like real files.
Description-md5: 252a5c5aeeb7425db45357d4ab8aa55f
Homepage: http://www.midnight-commander.org
Bugs: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+filebug
Origin: Ubuntu

an other possibility is aptitude, but usually you have to install them first:

sudo apt-get install aptitude

And show the package information with aptitude show aptitude

Package: aptitude                        
State: installed
Automatically installed: no
Multi-Arch: foreign
Version: 0.6.11-1ubuntu3
Priority: optional
Section: admin
Maintainer: Ubuntu Developers <ubuntu-devel-discuss@lists.ubuntu.com>
Architecture: amd64
Uncompressed Size: 4.990 k
Depends: aptitude-common (= 0.6.11-1ubuntu3), libapt-pkg4.12 (>= 0.9.16), libboost-iostreams1.55.0, libc6 (>= 2.14), libcwidget3, libgcc1 (>= 1:4.1.1), libncursesw5 (>= 5.6+20070908), libsigc++-2.0-0c2a (>= 2.2.0), libsqlite3-0 (>=
         3.6.5), libstdc++6 (>= 4.9), libtinfo5, libxapian22
Recommends: aptitude-doc-en | aptitude-doc, sensible-utils, libparse-debianchangelog-perl
Suggests: tasksel, debtags, apt-xapian-index
Conflicts: aptitude
Provides: aptitude
Provided by: aptitude
Description: terminal-based package manager
 aptitude is a package manager with a number of useful features, including: a mutt-like syntax for matching packages in a flexible manner, dselect-like persistence of user actions, the ability to retrieve and display the Debian
 changelog of most packages, and a command-line mode similar to that of apt-get. 

 aptitude is also Y2K-compliant, non-fattening, naturally cleansing, and housebroken.
Homepage: http://aptitude.alioth.debian.org/
1
9

Using GUI you can open "Ubuntu Software Center" and search for mc or Midnight Commander.

enter image description here

It will give you full description of the package. It is also useful, if you do not know exact package name.

Also you can install Synaptic and do a similar search there.

enter image description here

Software can be installed in Software Center or Synaptic as well without using command line.

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  • 1
    Add a screenshot ;) – A.B. Jul 17 '15 at 19:11
  • @A.B. Done. Thx – Pilot6 Jul 17 '15 at 19:19
4

There are a whole load of ways you can do this. The easiest by default is apt-cache search.

apt-cache search <regex>

It'll give you something like this:

$ apt-cache search cheese
cheese - tool to take pictures and videos from your webcam
gir1.2-cheese-3.0 - tool to take pictures and videos from your webcam - gir bindings
libcheese-dev - tool to take pictures and videos from your webcam - base dev
libcheese-doc - tool to take pictures and videos from your webcam - documentation
libcheese-gtk-dev - tool to take pictures and videos from your webcam - widgets dev
libcheese-gtk23 - tool to take pictures and videos from your webcam - widgets
libcheese7 - tool to take pictures and videos from your webcam - base library
cheese-common - Common files for the Cheese tool to take pictures and videos
python-pyip - Python modules for raw ip packet assembling/disassembling

This is sort of equivilent to:

dpkg-query -Wf '${Package} ${binary:Summary}\n'

Except that dpkg-query only seems to work on things you already have installed.


apt list has glob searching (rather than regex) which is a bit more natural for most users but you can't alter the output format (yet). However, having looked at the source, you can output the summary:

$ apt list -o 'APT::Cmd::List-Include-Summary=1'  *cheese* 
Listing... Done
cheese/trusty 3.10.2-0ubuntu2 amd64
  tool to take pictures and videos from your webcam

cheese-common/trusty 3.10.2-0ubuntu2 all
  Common files for the Cheese tool to take pictures and videos

gir1.2-cheese-3.0/trusty 3.10.2-0ubuntu2 amd64
  tool to take pictures and videos from your webcam - gir bindings

libcheese-dev/trusty 3.10.2-0ubuntu2 amd64
  tool to take pictures and videos from your webcam - base dev

libcheese-doc/trusty 3.10.2-0ubuntu2 all
  tool to take pictures and videos from your webcam - documentation

libcheese-gtk-dev/trusty 3.10.2-0ubuntu2 amd64
  tool to take pictures and videos from your webcam - widgets dev

libcheese-gtk23/trusty 3.10.2-0ubuntu2 amd64
  tool to take pictures and videos from your webcam - widgets

libcheese7/trusty 3.10.2-0ubuntu2 amd64
  tool to take pictures and videos from your webcam - base library

It's a bit of a mouthful with the option argument but you could alias this quite easily if you like it.


And aptitude can help too:

$ aptitude search cheese
p   cheese                                                                       - tool to take pictures and videos from your webcam                                     
p   cheese:i386                                                                  - tool to take pictures and videos from your webcam                                     
p   cheese-common                                                                - Common files for the Cheese tool to take pictures and videos                          
v   cheese-common:i386                                                           -                                                                                       
p   gir1.2-cheese-3.0                                                            - tool to take pictures and videos from your webcam - gir bindings                      
p   gir1.2-cheese-3.0:i386                                                       - tool to take pictures and videos from your webcam - gir bindings                      
p   libcheese-dev                                                                - tool to take pictures and videos from your webcam - base dev                          
p   libcheese-dev:i386                                                           - tool to take pictures and videos from your webcam - base dev                          
p   libcheese-doc                                                                - tool to take pictures and videos from your webcam - documentation                     
p   libcheese-gtk-dev                                                            - tool to take pictures and videos from your webcam - widgets dev                       
p   libcheese-gtk-dev:i386                                                       - tool to take pictures and videos from your webcam - widgets dev                       
p   libcheese-gtk23                                                              - tool to take pictures and videos from your webcam - widgets                           
p   libcheese-gtk23:i386                                                         - tool to take pictures and videos from your webcam - widgets                           
p   libcheese7                                                                   - tool to take pictures and videos from your webcam - base library                      
p   libcheese7:i386                                                              - tool to take pictures and videos from your webcam - base library  

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