The apt-file is a Linux bash tool that can search for and list, individual files in the Linux packages used by APT. Unlike dpkg -L, apt-file will search all available packages in the Linux repositories, not just the files that have already been installed. apt-file maintains a local cache of package contents. That cache is used as the source of the search.
sudo apt update && sudo apt install apt-file
After installation, you will receive a message about creating the apt-file cache:
"The system-wide cache is empty. You may want to run 'apt-file update'
as root to update the cache. You can also run 'apt-file update' as
normal user to use a cache in the user's home directory."
You may also receive a notification window:
Apt-file notification window
To update your user cache, you can click Run this action now, and then Close.
Or, in a terminal you can run:
sudo apt-file update && apt-file update
To update both the system-wide cache and your user cache.
When the update is complete, you are ready to use apt-file.
apt-file [options] [action] [pattern]
apt-file -f [options] search [file...]
apt-file -D [options] search [debian-package-name.deb...]
find The same as search. list List all the files contained in packages whose names match pattern. One file per line is listed. purge Clear "Contents-" files from the apt-file cache directory. If you receive any errors listing or searching, it's a good idea to perform a purge and then an update. search Search for a file, whose name matches pattern, inside all available packages. Directory names are not searched, only file names. show The same as list. update Update apt-file's user cache of package contents from all configured APT sources. Options: -a arch, --architecture arch Different packages exist for different computer architectures. Use this option to specify which architecture's packages should be searched. -c cache-dir, --cache cache-dir Set the cache directory to cache-dir, instead of the default. If you run apt-file as a regular user, the default cache directory is $HOME/.cache/apt-file/. If you run apt-file as root, or if your user cache does not exist, the default cache directory is /var/cache/apt/apt-file/. -d mnt-point, --cdrom-mount mnt-point Use mnt-point as a CD-ROM mount point for reading package information. -D, --from-deb When this option is specified with the search action, apt-file reads the contents of a specific Debian package file, debian-package-file.deb, as the search pattern. This can be useful if you need to compare the contents of a broken package. This option implies -F. -f, --from-file Read the search pattern from the given file or files, one per line. To read patterns from standard input, use a single dash ("-") as the file name. -F, --fixed-string Interpret all search pattern characters literally. Use this to match pattern exactly. -i, --ignore-case Treat uppercase and lowercase letters the same when matching the search pattern. -l, --package-only Only display the package names, and omit file names. -N, --non-interactive If using one of the connection methods listed in the interactive value in the configuration file, skip all interactive prompts. This is useful when running apt-file in non-interactive modes such as a cron job. -s sources.list, --sources-list sources.list Use a custom list of APT sources. The default APT sources.list is typically located at /etc/apt/sources.list. -v, --verbose Display additional information when running. -x, --regexp Treat the pattern as a perl regular expression. -y, --dummy Run in "dummy" mode — simulate all actions. For instance, apt-file -y update will download nothing and create no cache files, but will still examine existing caches and return some output. -h, --help Display a brief help message, summarizing actions and options. -- The special option of two dashes ("--") indicates the end of options. This is necessary if your search pattern begins with a dash. apt-file examples apt-file purge Purge the user cache. An apt-file update will be needed before a search can be performed on the user cache. If the user cache doesn't exist, the system-wide cache can be used for user searches. apt-file update Download information from sources, and create or update the user cache. sudo apt-file purge Purge the system-wide cache. sudo apt-file update is required before the systemwide cache can be used. sudo apt-file update Download information from sources, and create or update the system-wide cache. apt-file search gimp Show every file that has "gimp" in its name, in every available APT package. apt-file --package-only search gimp Perform the same search as above, but list only the names of matching packages. apt-file list gimp List every file contained in every package that has "gimp" in its name. apt-file --package-only list gimp Perform the same search as above, but list only the matching package names. Running this command provides output similar to apt-cache --names-only search gimp. Relevant files and directories /etc/apt/apt-file.conf The default apt-file configuration file. /var/cache/apt/apt-file/ The system-wide apt-file cache. ~/.cache/apt-file/ The user apt-file cache. /etc/apt/sources.list[.d] The default APT sources list.