About to lose my mind on this one. I'm trying to install Xapian on an Ubuntu 11.04 box. All the docs say that I need to install the xapian-core package, but apt-get can't find it. I even installed the Xapian backports ppa, and still no xapian-core package. Anyone know what's up here? Forgot to mention that yes, I have ran sudo apt-get update both before and after installing the xapian ppa.

3 Answers 3


Debian (and thus Ubuntu) does not seem to have a package called "xapian-core" as you have noticed (at least not in every available version). Looking at http://packages.debian.org/sv/source/sid/xapian-core, it seems that the upstream source package named xapian-core is used to build the Debian packages:

  • libxapian-dev
  • libxapian22
  • libxapian22-dbg
  • xapian-doc
  • xapian-examples
  • xapian-tools

, so installing that bunch should be equivalent to what upstream calls "install xapian-core".

If you are on an older Ubuntu revision, you might only have libxapian15/libxapian15-dbg, but it should be similar in other respects.

(Usually a splitting of upstream like this implies the existence of a meta package that would install all of the above, but it doesn't seem to exist.)

  • Beat me to it, so upvoted :) You can see the exact details of the elements of this group package for Natty (11.04) here: ubuntuupdates.org/package/core/natty/main/base/xapian-core
    – Adam C
    Apr 23, 2012 at 15:07
  • Well perhaps it's outside the bounds of this question, but the python app I'm dealing with can't locate Xapian still after installing all those packages above (actually had already tried that). Based on the package descriptions, none of those actually contain the Xapian "core", as in the actual meat. They're just helpers or tools required for compiling bindings. I should mention that I also have installed the python-xapian package. Apr 23, 2012 at 15:21
  • @ChrisPratt: libxapian22 sounds like the "meat" to me. Perhaps one has to specify the library paths for Xapian to the Python app? Apr 23, 2012 at 16:39

You can find all of the available xapian packages for Natty (11.04) at: http://packages.ubuntu.com/natty/allpackages

$ sudo apt-get install libxapian-dev libxapian22 libxapian22-dbg xapian-doc xapian-examples xapian-tools python-xapian 

Additionally, see the http://packages.ubuntu.com/source/raring/xapian-bindings for the full list of xapian bindings.

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