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search for a debian package


I tried this command to install xfree86, but it didn't work.  Does anybody know how to search for a package by name?  Or is there a directory of packages I can browse so I can find the ones I want without having to know the exact name?

# apt-get install xfree86
Reading Package Lists... Done
Building Dependency Tree... Done
E: Couldn't find package xfree86

1 Solution
Hi bryanlloydharris,

to search in the name and the package descriptions
apt-cache search xfree86

to search only in the name
apt-cache search xfree86 --names-only

Hope this helps!

Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
I've forgotten the exact steps required, but it's just a tad tricky.

Look through the packages by bbrowsing them with apt-cache search - for example:

apt-cache search x
And don't forget, some things can be case sensitive, so review
apt-cache search X
as well.
bryanlloydharrisAuthor Commented:
Thank you!

I was having to compile it from source, but in much less time it was able to do it this way.
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