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This page is about the ways to list the installed packages in a Debian system and how to create a file with this list. This file can be uploaded to the web (i.e. from other computer with Internet connection) to download new packages.

List all packages installed

dpkg-query -l

List packages using a search pattern

It is possible to add a search pattern to list packages:

dpkg-query -l 'foo*'

Show status of all packages on the system

To check the status of all packages on your system:

dpkg -l | more

This will show all packages (1 line each) that are in various stages of install (this includes packages that were removed but not purged). To show only the installed:

dpkg -l | grep '^i'

to filter through grep to get results for "i"

You can also use:

apt-cache pkgnames

You can if you are using Debian Linux use dpkg command to list installed software:

dpkg --get-selections

And store the list installed software to a file called /backup/installed-software.log

dpkg --get-selections > /backup/installed-software.log

You can also find package information in the next directories (you can use mc or other FileManager to browse them):

Restore installed software

After re-installing base system you can immediately re-install all software. You need dselect:

apt-get install dselect

Then you have to type following commands:

dpkg --get-selections > /backup/installed-software.log
dpkg --set-selections < /backup/installed-software.log

Now your list is imported use apt-get, Synaptic or other PackageManagement tools. To install the package:

apt-get dselect-upgrade

All this with a single command:

aptitude install $(cat /backup/installed-software.log | awk '{print $1}')

See also