In opkg (package manager in OpenWRT) I can get dependents pages of some package. For example


opkg depends vsftpd

will outptut

vsftpd depends on:

Is there any alternative to this command in dpkg (on Debain)?


1 Answer 1


On Debian you can use apt-cache to query the package database. There are several ways of getting a list of dependencies, varying in behaviour and output format:

  • Print dependencies (name only) for a specific package version:

    apt-cache depends <pkg_name>[=version|/target_release]
  • Print package information (including dependency name+version) for each available package version:

    apt-cache showpkg <pkg_name>
  • Print human readable package information for each available package version:

    apt-cache show <pkg_name>[=version|/target_release]

Consult man apt-cache for full syntax and available command line options (such as --no-recommends, --no-suggests, --no-all-versions).

Consider grepping the output (see examples below) but note that in Debian there are several types of dependency and whilst apt-get install <pkg_name> will always try to install ones listed as Depends:, it might also try to install ones listed as Recommends: (a default behaviour).

Example outputs:

  • apt-cache depends vsftpd | grep Depends:

      |Depends: debconf
      Depends: <debconf-2.0>
      Depends: init-system-helpers
      Depends: libc6
      Depends: libcap2
      Depends: libpam0g
      Depends: libssl1.0.0
      Depends: libwrap0
      Depends: adduser
      Depends: dialog
      Depends: libpam-modules
      Depends: netbase
  • apt-cache showpkg vsftpd | grep -A1 Dependencies:

    3.0.3-5 - debconf (18 0.5) debconf-2.0 (0 (null)) init-system-helpers (2 1.18~) libc6 (2 2.15) libcap2 (2 1:2.10) libpam0g (2 libssl1.0.2 (2 1.0.2d) libwrap0 (2 7.6-4~) adduser (0 (null)) libpam-modules (0 (null)) netbase (0 (null)) logrotate (0 (null)) ssl-cert (0 (null)) ftp-server (0 (null)) ftp-server (0 (null))
  • apt-cache show vsftpd | grep Depends:

    Depends: debconf (>= 0.5) | debconf-2.0, init-system-helpers (>= 1.18~), libc6 (>= 2.15), libcap2 (>= 1:2.10), libpam0g (>=, libssl1.0.2 (>= 1.0.2d), libwrap0 (>= 7.6-4~), adduser, libpam-modules, netbase
  • apt-cache depends vsftpd | grep Depends | grep -o '[^ ]*$' works exactly as I want. Thank you very much for help.
    – Misaz
    Commented Aug 9, 2016 at 19:24

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