How do I know what programming languages (I mean their compilers and interpreters) are already pre-installed in Ubuntu? For example, I see that Python is here. If I type python command in the terminal, it turns out that I have python version 2.7.12. But what about other popular programming and scripting languages like Ruby, Perl, C, Lua, awk, Java, PHP, etc. etc. Should I try to launch them in the terminal or try something like language --version one by one, or is there a better way to know this?

  • You cannot "install" a language on any system .. there are interpreters and compilers you install and since they are sometimes similar sometimes really different I don't think there is a simple way to check for all of them rather than checking one by one
    – derHugo
    Jul 3, 2017 at 13:46

4 Answers 4


An article in Ubuntu's own help pages points out five (perl, python, ruby, awk, and sed) are installed by default.

  • Ruby? Note that the community wiki used to be editable by anyone, so it's not authoritative.
    – muru
    May 22, 2018 at 1:05

As of latest LTS release , 16.04, Ubuntu comes with Perl 5, GNU awk (used to be mawk), Python 2 and 3 by default. Not entirely sure about C compiler. You may need build-essential package installed

For everything else, use apt-cache policy **package-name** to see if it is installed. You can also view the release manifest files as described in this answer:https://askubuntu.com/a/48894/295286

  • 1
    There are also Bash and dash. May 22, 2018 at 7:05
  • @ChaiT.Rex Well, they're shells technically, both conforming to standard Shell Command Language specifications, but bash having more advanced syntax. So technically they're not "programming languages" as in C or Python sense, but yes good mention of the two. May 22, 2018 at 7:40

I wrote a small bash script. Its very basic but its something

#!/usr/bin/env bash

languages="php python go perl mysql c c++ java"
binaries="ls /usr/bin"

for i in $languages ; do
    for j in $($binaries); do
        if [[ $i == $j ]]; then
            echo $i

type whereis [program]. if nothing shows up then it is not installed. A rather silly way,but still usable.

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