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.


7 Answers 7


try dpkg -l

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

  • 1
    I like also apt-show-versions since it also shows which one is uptotdate.
    – malat
    May 20, 2015 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'

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
  • This is really nice as it shows the version that a package could be upgraded to. +1. Apr 21, 2015 at 17:26
  • combined with apt-mark showmanual this gives you a nice and easy way to retrieve versions of all manually installed packages, see also this Askubuntu answer apt-mark showmanual > /tmp/versions && apt-show-versions | grep -f /tmp/versions
    – Gregor
    Aug 28, 2017 at 14:32

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.


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

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!


For anyone finding this question years later, like I did:

  • With apt you can do apt list --installed for a pretty printed list.
  • dpkg-query -W without any formating options gives you package name and version.
  • sed -En 's/^(Package|Version): //p' /var/lib/dpkg/status | paste - - Will give you the same output as above. This works without debian/ubuntu tools (say Ubuntu rootfs is mounted from RHEL).

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