search for a debian package

Posted on 2006-04-04
Last Modified: 2010-04-20

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

Question by:bryanlloydharris
    LVL 9

    Accepted 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!

    LVL 95

    Expert Comment

    by:Lee W, MVP
    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.
    LVL 3

    Author Comment

    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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