Find If A Package Is Available For Your Linux Distribution

Find If A Package Is Available For Your Linux Distribution

Some times, you might wonder how to find if a package is available for your Linux distribution. Or, you simply wanted to know what version of package is available for your distribution. If so, well, it’s your lucky day. I know a tool that can get you such information. Meet “Whohas” – a command line tool that allows querying several package lists at once. Currently, it supports Arch, Debian, Fedora, Gentoo, Mandriva, openSUSE, Slackware, Source Mage, Ubuntu, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, Fink, MacPorts and Cygwin. Using this little tool, the package maintainers can easily find ebuilds, pkgbuilds and similar package definitions from other distributions. Whohas is free, open source and written in Perl programming language.

Find If A Package Is Available For Your Linux Distribution

Installing Whohas

Whohas is available in the default repositories of Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint. If you’re using any one of the DEB-based system, you can install it using command:

$ sudo apt-get install whohas

For Arch-based systems, it is available in AUR. You can use any AUR helper programs to install it.

Using Packer:

$ packer -S whohas

Using Trizen:

$ trizen -S whohas

Using Yay:

$ yay -S whohas

Using Yaourt:

$ yaourt -S whohas

In other Linux distributions, download Whohas utility source from here and manually compile and install it.

Usage

The main objective of Whohas tool is to let you know:

  • Which distribution provides packages on which the user depends.
  • What version of a given package is in use in each distribution, or in each release of a distribution.

Let us find which distributions contains a specific package, for example vim. To do so, run:

$ whohas vim

This command will show all distributions that contains the vim package with the available version of the given package, its size, repository and the download URL.

You can even sort the results in alphabetical order by distribution using by piping the output to “sort” command like below.

$ whohas vim | sort

Please note that the above commands will display all packages that starts with name vim, for example vim-spell, vimcommander,  vimpager etc. You can narrow down the search to the exact package by using grep command and space before or after or on both sides of your package like below.

$ whohas vim | sort | grep " vim"
$ whohas vim | sort | grep "vim "
$ whohas vim | sort | grep " vim "

The space before the package name will display all packages that ends with search term. The space after the package name will display all packages whose names begin with your search term. The space on both sides of the search will display the exact match.

Alternatively, you could simply use “–strict” option like below.

$ whohas --strict vim

Sometimes, you want to know if a package is available for a specific distribution only. For example, to find if vim package is available in Arch Linux, run:

$ whohas vim | grep "^Arch"

The distribution names are abbreviated as “archlinux”, “cygwin”, “debian”, “fedora”, “fink”, “freebsd”, “gentoo”, “mandriva”, “macports”, “netbsd”, “openbsd”, “opensuse”, “slackware”, “sourcemage”, and “ubuntu”.

You can also get the same results by using -d option like below.

$ whohas -d archlinux vim

This command will search vim packages for Arch Linux distribution only.

To search for multiple distributions, for example arch linux, ubuntu, use the following command instead.

$ whohas -d archlinux,ubuntu vim

You can even find which distributions have “whohas” package.

$ whohas whohas

For more details, refer the man pages.

$ man whohas

Also read:


All package managers can easily find the available package versions in the repositories.. However, Whohas can help you to get the comparison of available versions of packages across different distributions and which even has it available now. Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed.

And, that’s all for now. Hope this was useful. More good stuffs to come. Stay tuned!

Cheers!

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2 Responses

  1. MarkDubya says:

    It appears to be broken. I tried emailing the developer, but the email address bounces. I built it from the AUR on Manjaro Linux.

    $ whohas whohas | sort
    Tried fetching “http://www.macports.org/ports.php?by=name&substr=whohas” five times. Giving up.
    Tried fetching “http://ftp.openbsd.org/pub/OpenBSD/5.7/packages/i386/” five times. Giving up.
    Tried fetching “http://www.freebsd.org/cgi/ports.cgi?query=whohas&stype=all” five times. Giving up.
    Tried fetching “http://software.opensuse.org/search?q=whohas&baseproject=openSUSE&lang=en&exclude_debug=true” five times. Giving up.
    Tried fetching “http://packages.debian.org/search?keywords=whohas&searchon=names&suite=all&section=all” five times. Giving up.
    Tried fetching “http://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/fedora/linux/releases/21/Everything/i386/os/Packages/w/” five times. Giving up.
    Tried fetching “http://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/fedora/linux/releases/20/Everything/i386/os/Packages/w/” five times. Giving up.
    Tried fetching “http://packages.ubuntu.com/search?keywords=whohas&searchon=names&suite=all&section=all” five times. Giving up.
    Tried fetching “http://www.archlinux.org/packages/?q=whohas” five times. Giving up.
    Tried fetching “http://aur.archlinux.org/packages.php?SeB=n&PP=1000&K=whohas” five times. Giving up.
    Tried fetching “http://packages.slackware.com//?release=slackware-current&mode=package&result=100&extra=on&pasture=on&patches=on&slackware=on&source=on&testing=on&search=whohas” five times. Giving up.
    NetBSD whohas 0.29nb6 190K 2017-11-23 misc http://pkgsrc.se/misc/whohas
    Source Mage whohas 0.29.1 test
    Source Mage whohas

  2. hendrix says:

    Yea, it seems broken. My computer freezed when tried “whohas cherrytree”. Couldn’t even restart X or change to tty but had to poweroff.

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