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apt-cache dump --installed doesn't work, it lists uninstalled packages as well.

I want to list the install packages each by one line, with the installed version number.

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bug #775771 restrict apt-cache search results to installed packages – bartolo-otrit Feb 16 '15 at 13:58
up vote 38 down vote accepted

try dpkg -l

it lists you the packages, version and a short description.

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I like also apt-show-versions since it also shows which one is uptotdate. – malat May 20 '15 at 7:54

The simplest way is using dpkg, but it might show a few extraneous packages and it truncates long package names and version numbers:

dpkg -l

To list only correctly installed packages and not truncate names:

dpkg -l | grep '^ii'

To get more control over the output format, you can use dpkg-query:

dpkg-query -W -f '${status} ${package} ${version}\n' | \
sed -n 's/^install ok installed //p'
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Other command can be:


It also gives you info about the package state (up to date, upgradable, ...) and about the origin distribution (wheezy, jessie, ...). One can easily filter out packages which came from backports or other exotic repositories.

This program is packaged separately. Install it first with:

apt-get install apt-show-versions
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This is really nice as it shows the version that a package could be upgraded to. +1. – Randall Cook Apr 21 '15 at 17:26

The following command lists the packages with their versions, and additionally it lets you set up a system with the same packages and versions later, using the pkg-selections.txt file generated here:

aptitude -q -F "%?p=%?V %M" --disable-columns search \~i > pkg-selections.txt

Each line will contain package name, version and an optional "A" if the package was installed automatically.

Source: "Cloning a Debian system - identical packages and versions". Also contains the script that sets up a system from pkg-selections.txt.

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To list the names of each installed package, type as any user:

dpkg --get-selections

You will get an output like this :

accountsservice              install
aclinstall                   install
acpi-supportinstall          install
acpidinstall                 install

To remove the unecessary "install" character string, you can use sed :

dpkg --get-selections | sed 's:install$::'

And if yout want to save it to a file called InstalledPackages, you type this :

dpkg --get-selections | sed 's:install$::' > InstalledPackages
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If you do not have access to live system, and have a backup of root/ partition, you can :

root@backup_server /mnt/old_root/var/lib/dpkg/info # ls -la *.list | awk {'print $9'}| sed 's/.list//' >> /root/installed_app

Now this /root/installed_app contain all installed packages!

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