Ubuntu and other Linux-based systems use client applications to manage software directly. Some software packages come preinstalled by default, while system administrators install other packages when necessary.
Depending on which package manager installed the software, there are various ways to list installed packages on Ubuntu.
This tutorial teaches you to list the installed packages on an Ubuntu system.
- A Debian-based distribution such as Ubuntu.
- A command line/terminal window (CTRL+ALT+T).
- The apt, dpkg, or snap package manager.
List Ubuntu Packages Using apt
By default, newer Ubuntu versions (14.04 or newer) come with the apt package manager. The package manager helps conduct operations relating to software packages.
List All Installed and Available Packages
Use the following command to list all installed and available packages on Ubuntu:
The output shows a long list of packages with the version information and the package architecture. Shorten the list by piping the
apt list | less
Navigate through the list by pressing the up or down arrow keys or space to skip to the next page. Press q to exit the viewer.
List Only Installed Packages
To list only installed packages, run:
apt list --installed
--installed tag ensures only installed packages show on the list. Each installed package has one of the following tags:
- [installed] indicates the package installed manually from the repository list.
- [installed, automatic] means the package installed automatically as a dependency for another installation.
- [installed, local] indicates the package is not from the official repository list.
List Specific Packages
There are three different ways to list a specific package:
1. Add the package name to the
apt list command to fetch a specific package from the list:
apt list <package name> --installed
--installed tag to fetch a package, regardless of installation.
apt list with the
grep command to match a package by name:
apt list --installed | grep -i <package name>
-i tag ignores letter casing, providing a broader search.
3. Another way to get package information is to use the
apt show command:
apt show <package name>
The command shows the package details, including installation information.
List Upgradable Packages
To list packages with available upgrades, run the following command:
apt list --upgradable
--upgradable tag filters packages and lists only the ones ready for an upgrade.
Note: If you've upgraded recently, the list is empty.
Count the Number of Installed Packages
apt list command with the Linux wc command to count the number of lines:
apt -qq list --installed | wc -l
List Ubuntu Packages Using dpkg
The dpkg package manager is included in earlier Ubuntu versions when apt is unavailable.
To list installed Ubuntu packages using the
dpkg command, run:
dpkg --get-selections | grep -w "install"
Alternatively, use the
dpkg-query -l | grep ii
In both cases, the output shows a long list of installed packages.
Create a List of all Installed Packages
To save the installed package names into a text file, use the following command:
dpkg --get-selections | grep -w "install" | cut -f1 > packages_list.txt
The cut command filters the output to only get the first column with the package names and saves the contents to a text file.
Count the Number of Installed Packages
wc command to count the number of lines from the list of installed packages:
dpkg --get-selections | grep -w "install" | wc -l
-l tag counts the number of lines from the
dpkg --get-selections output.
List Installed Packages Sorted by Date and Time
The dpkg logs store the date and time for package installations. To fetch all the information from log files, use the following command:
The output shows the exact timestamp for installed packages. The logs are archived and deleted after a specific time, so the list is not comprehensive.
List Installed Snap Packages
Snap is an alternative package manager system. The previous commands do not show packages installed through Snap.
To list installed Snap packages, run:
Note: Learn about the differences between the Snap packaging system and the apt package manager in Snap vs. Apt.
By following this guide, you should have learned how to list installed packages on Ubuntu and other Debian-based systems. If there is a problem with the installed packages, read our article on fixing broken packages in Ubuntu.