[ubuntu-studio-devel] Getting list of packages

Kaj Ailomaa zequence at mousike.me
Tue Jun 2 08:32:27 UTC 2015

On Tue, May 19, 2015, at 09:38 PM, Ross Gammon wrote:
> Hi,
> What is the best way to retrieve a list of Ubuntu Studio packages in a
> machine readable way ready for manipulation & publishing?
> The last time I needed to do this was for subscribing the US Bugs Team
> to relevant bugs. I did this manually after printing out the "package"
> pages for the US metapackages.
> I am asking because:
> 1. We will need a way to track the menu/desktop information for packages.
> 2. To keep working on Elfy's Manual Test Cases [1]
> 3. I sometimes have the urge to do a merge/sync from Debian and struggle
> to find US packages in the list of required Merges.
> 4. To adjust the list of packages we are interested in over time (I
> browsed over the "seeds" wiki the other day which is probably relevant).

I've been working on this for a while now. It is the way I got the wiki
pages formatted.
I was using aptitude.

To get all packages from a specific section:
$ aptitude search '?section("sound")'

To do a bit of formatting of the output (disabling columns is needed as
soon as you need to redirect to file, otherwise output is truncated),
and the use of more than one search term:
$ aptitude --disable-columns -F "package: "%p" description: "%d search
'?section("sound") ?architecture("amd64")'

aptitude will search among installed packages as well as the ones you
have enabled in /etc/apt/sources.list. To only search from the archive
(not installed), you need to specify the archive:
$ aptitude search '?section("sound") ?archive("wily")'

I was unable to find a way to search only within a release pocket, such
as main, or universe.  I had to manually disable/enable those in
/etc/apt/sources.list when doing searches. If someone finds a better
way, I'd really like to know.

For more reference, check out:

Aptitude Manual: https://aptitude.alioth.debian.org/doc/en/
Search Terms: https://aptitude.alioth.debian.org/doc/en/ch02s04s05.html
Customize Output:

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