apt-patterns - Man Page

Syntax and semantics of apt search patterns

Description

Starting with version 2.0, APT provides support for patterns, which can be used to query the apt cache for packages.

Logic Patterns

These patterns provide the basic means to combine other patterns into more complex expressions, as well as ?true and ?false patterns.

?and(PATTERN, PATTERN, ...), PATTERN PATTERN ...

Selects objects where all specified patterns match.

?false, ~F

Selects nothing.

?not(PATTERN), !PATTERN

Selects objects where PATTERN does not match.

?or(PATTERN, PATTERN, ...), PATTERN | PATTERN | ...

Selects objects where at least one of the specified patterns match.

?true, ~T

Selects all objects.

(PATTERN)

Selects the same as PATTERN, can be used to work around precedence, for example, (~ramd64|~ri386)~nfoo

Narrowing Patterns

?all-versions(PATTERN)

Selects packages where all versions match PATTERN. When matching versions instead, same as PATTERN.

?any-version(PATTERN)

Selects any version where the pattern matches on the version.

For example, while ?and(?version(1),?version(2)) matches a package which has one version containing 1 and one version containing 2, ?any-version(?and(?version(1),?version(2))) restricts the ?and to act on the same version.

?narrow(PATTERN...)

Selects any version matching all PATTERNs, short for ?any-version(?and(PATTERN...)).

Package Patterns

These patterns select specific packages.

?architecture(WILDCARD), ~rWILDCARD

Selects packages matching the specified architecture, which may contain wildcards using any.

?automatic, ~M

Selects packages that were installed automatically.

?broken, ~b

Selects packages that have broken dependencies.

?config-files, ~c

Selects packages that are not fully installed, but have solely residual configuration files left.

?essential, ~E

Selects packages that have Essential: yes set in their control file.

?exact-name(NAME)

Selects packages with the exact specified name.

?garbage, ~g

Selects packages that can be removed automatically.

?installed, ~i

Selects packages that are currently installed.

?name(REGEX), ~nREGEX

Selects packages where the name matches the given regular expression.

?obsolete, ~o

Selects packages that no longer exist in repositories.

?upgradable, ~U

Selects packages that can be upgraded (have a newer candidate).

?virtual, ~v

Selects all virtual packages; that is packages without a version. These exist when they are referenced somewhere in the archive, for example because something depends on that name.

Version Patterns

These patterns select specific versions of a package.

?archive(REGEX), ~AREGEX

Selects versions that come from the archive that matches the specified regular expression. Archive, here, means the values after a= in apt-cache policy.

?origin(REGEX), ~OREGEX

Selects versions that come from the origin that matches the specified regular expression. Origin, here, means the values after o= in apt-cache policy.

?section(REGEX), ~sREGEX

Selects versions where the section matches the specified regular expression.

?source-package(REGEX), ~eREGEX

Selects versions where the source package name matches the specified regular expression.

?source-version(REGEX)

Selects versions where the source package version matches the specified regular expression.

?version(REGEX), ~VREGEX

Selects versions where the version string matches the specified regular expression.

Examples

apt remove ?garbage

Remove all packages that are automatically installed and no longer needed - same as apt autoremove

apt purge ?config-files

Purge all packages that only have configuration files left

apt list '~i !~M (~slibs|~sperl|~spython)'

List all manually-installed packages in sections matching libs, perl, or python.

Migrating from Aptitude

Patterns in apt are heavily inspired by patterns in aptitude, but with some tweaks:

See Also

apt-get(8), apt(8)

Bugs

APT bug page[1]. If you wish to report a bug in APT, please see /usr/share/doc/debian/bug-reporting.txt or the reportbug(1) command.

Author

APT was written by the APT team <apt@packages.debian.org>.

Authors

Jason Gunthorpe

APT team

Notes

1.

APT bug page
http://bugs.debian.org/src:apt

Info

04 February 2020 APT 2.1.7