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List all commands of a specific Debian package [Resolved]

I want to know the commands that a specific Debian package offers me.

For example lets say I installed a package called x.deb. This package surely contains some commands that i can use.

How to list these commands.

I know I can use compgen bash command to generate list of all available commands in my system but what i need is just for specific package.

I tried the solutions:

dpkg -L postgresql-9.3 | egrep '(bin|games)/'
/usr/lib/postgresql/9.3/bin/pg_upgrade
/usr/lib/postgresql/9.3/bin/pg_ctl
/usr/lib/postgresql/9.3/bin/pg_resetxlog
/usr/lib/postgresql/9.3/bin/postgres
/usr/lib/postgresql/9.3/bin/pg_xlogdump
/usr/lib/postgresql/9.3/bin/initdb
/usr/lib/postgresql/9.3/bin/pg_controldata
/usr/lib/postgresql/9.3/bin/postmaster

I tried the command postgres

user@userPc:~$ postgres
No command 'postgres' found, did you mean:
 Command 'postgrey' from package 'postgrey' (universe)
postgres: command not found

Question Credit: Maythux
Question Reference
Asked September 17, 2019
Posted Under: Unix Linux
8 views
5 Answers

1. Use a tool designed for the job.

The easiest and probably the most robust way is to install dlocate:

sudo apt-get install dlocate

You can then run

dlocate -lsbin package-name

As explained in man dlocate:

-lsbin List full path/filenames of executable files (if any) in package

2. Parse the package database

This is a similar approach to @Winny's but simplified

apt-file -F list package | cut -d ' ' -f 2 | 
    while read file; do [[ -x $file && -f $file ]] && echo "$file"; done

If you don't have apt-file installed, you can install and set it up with these commands:

sudo apt-get install apt-file
sudo apt-file update

The command above uses apt-file to list a package's contents and then bash's tests -f (is this a file?) and -x (is it executable?) and prints the file's name if both tests are passed.

Note that while something like the command below will get you most executables:

apt-file -L list package | grep -Ew 'bin|sbin'

it will not find all because you also get executables in places like /opt or even /lib (various udev tools for example). So, while using the -w to match whole words increases your chances of identifying the files correctly, parsing the path is not a good approach and you should use one of the methods above instead.


credit: slm
Answered September 17, 2019

If you have dlocate installed, there's an easy way to list all the commands in an installed package:

dlocate -lsbin PACKAGE-NAME

With just dpkg, you can list the files in the standard PATH directories (they're almost all executable programs, with very few exceptions):

dpkg -L PACKAGE-NAME… | sed -n 's!^\(/s\?bin\|/usr/s\?bin\|/usr/games\)/!!p' | sort -u

The exceptions are a couple directories — as of Debian wheezy, just two: /usr/bin/mh and /usr/bin/nu-mh.

If the package isn't installed, replace dpkg -L by apt-file -F list:

apt-file -F list PACKAGE-NAME… | sed -n 's!^\(/s\?bin\|/usr/s\?bin\|/usr/games\)/!!p' | sort -u

While there are executable files in other directories, they are not meant to be executed directly, which makes them irrelevant here.

These methods all miss a set of programs: those that are provided through the alternatives mechanism. For example, for the ftp package, only netkit-ftp and pftp are provided, but this package actually provides the ftp command, because /usr/bin/ftp is a symbolic link to /etc/alternatives/ftp which is a symbolic link to one of the ftp implementations on the system, potentially /usr/bin/netkit-ftp. The following command (which isn't an example of good programming, just a big one-liner) lists the commands provided by a package via the alternatives mechanism, as currently configured.

perl -lwe 'foreach (`dpkg -L @ARGV`) {chomp; ++$p{$_}} foreach (</bin/* /sbin/* /usr/bin/* /usr/sbin/*>) {$e = readlink; next unless defined $e and $e =~ m!^/etc/alternatives/!; $t = readlink $e; print if $p{$t}}' PACKAGE_NAME…

If you want to list the commands that could be provided via an alternative which is currently configured to point to a different package, you need to parse the files in /var/lib/dpkg/alternatives.

Symbolic links and configuration files that implement the alternatives mechanisms are not registered in packages but registered automatically in postinst, which makes it difficult (and in fact technically impossible if a package's installation script doesn't follow conventions) to query the alternatives provided by an uninstalled package.


credit: Community
Answered September 17, 2019
  1. Normally, *bin/ are the most common places to have all programs placed. Even using a link. So there is very little chance that you need to concern commands outside *bin/.
  2. If you have not installed apache2, dpkg -L surely won't give you result. Please try apt-file tool (you need to install it).
  3. The name apache2 is a metapackage, it does not contain any programs.

credit: GAD3R
Answered September 17, 2019

use below one command and replace systemd with your targeted package name. this command will list all available commands with their one-liner intro respectively

dpkg -L systemd | grep 'sbin\|bin' | awk -F "/" '{print $NF}' | xargs man | grep ' - ' 2> /dev/null

credit: linux.cnf
Answered September 17, 2019
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