Finding executable files

Leonard Chatagnier lenc5570 at
Thu Jan 15 21:36:44 UTC 2009

--- On Thu, 1/15/09, Pierre Frenkiel <pierre.frenkiel at> wrote:

> From: Pierre Frenkiel <pierre.frenkiel at>
> Subject: Re: Finding executable files
> To: "Ubuntu user technical support, not for general discussions" <ubuntu-users at>
> Date: Thursday, January 15, 2009, 11:42 AM
> On Tue, 13 Jan 2009, Leonard Chatagnier wrote:
> > Ok. I couldn't get wajig whichpkg esmtp to output
> what apt-cache search
> > esmtp did. However, that's because they are doing
> different things. The
> > search command is looking for any path that has the
> characters esmtp
> > in it and whichpkg is *looking for any package which
> has the file esmtp
> > in it* which is totally different outputs. I think
> whichpkg's output of
> > nothing shown is correct as there is no package which
> contains the file
> > esmtp except the file itself.  Esmtp is the file and
> no other package
> > contains the file esmtp within it.
> Hi Leonard,
>    it seems you are wrong:
>    the package esmtp contains a file /usr/bin/esmtp ...
>     an other example:
>       ==> wajig whichpkg gnuclient.xemacs21
>     gives nothing, neither in INSTALLED (package
> xemacs21-bin is not installed), nor in AVAILABLE
>       ==> apt-file search gnuclient.xemacs21
>     gives:
>       xemacs21-bin: /usr/bin/gnuclient.xemacs21
>       xemacs21-bin:
> /usr/share/man/man1/gnuclient.xemacs21.1.gz
>     So, wajig shows ONLY the installed packages, and
> apt-file both installed AND available,
>     which makes a big difference! In addition, you
> don't have to know the exact name. With
>       ==> apt-file search xemacs
>     you get everything and more :)
Hello Pierre,
You may be totally right about whichpkg only showing the
installed package containing the file in question. I don't
know and don't have the time to check it out now.  However,
many of the files/packages you list in your output are not
the file in question but packages of some sort that only 
contain the name of the package in question, not the file
itself. If you are looking for a file in a package that
you needed for the OS to work; it's a big difference.
There may be a bug in the current wajig whichpkg, I don't
know for sure but I do know that whichpkg is supposed to
show the package that contains the "object file name".
See the definition in wajig commands to determine what
it's suppose to do.

whichpkg       Find the package that supplies the given command or file.

There is probably more detail on the wajig home site:

Assuming were both right or partially so, it wont be the first
time that a linux package doesn't do what it is expected or supposed
to do. I do get the same output with apt-file as you do, /usr/bin/gnuclient.xemacs21, which is installed supposedly so someone
should file a bug against wajig whichpkg as it doesn't show anything.
My past experienced with wajig whichpkg was much better allowing me
to install the correct package contained the file I had no idea
what to install to get it.  It apparently is broken in the current
wajig.  Care to file a bug report on it as I don't have the time or
inclination at the moment.
Leonard Chatagnier
lenc5570 at

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