Commands to view all installed packages

If you find yourself wanting to list all the packages installed on your system, there’s one of many handy commands to do that:

List packages that are installed

dpkg --get-selections | grep -v deinstall

List package, version, architecture and quick description.

dpkg -l

Alternate list similar to above

apt --installed list
  • Or filter to just show automatically installed packages (most likely dependencies)

      apt --installed list | grep 'automatic'
  • Or filter them out:

      apt --installed list | grep -v 'automatic'

List package and descriptions only

apropos "" | grep "(1)"

(See @ouroumov’s topic)

Other Tips

Can’t see it all?

You may find that not everything is seen in the terminal, you can change this by amending the settings:

  • Edit → Profile Preferences
  • Under “Scrolling” tab, check “Unlimited” for scrollback.

Dump to a file

Sure, just add a > at the end followed by the path or filename:

> packages.txt

Compare with another list

Providing you’ve used the same commands and dumped to file, consider using a graphical diff tool like diffuse or meld to compare the files. These tools will nicely highlight changes between the two lists.