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apt−rdepends − performs recursive dependency listings similar to apt−cache


apt-rdepends [options] [pkgs ...]


apt-rdepends searches through the APT cache to find package dependencies. apt-rdepends knows how to emulate the result of calling apt-cache with both depends and dotty options.

By default, apt-rdepends shows a listing of each dependency a package has. It will also look at each of these fulfilling packages, and recursively lists their dependecies.


−b, −−build−depends

Show build dependencies instead of normal package dependencies.

−d, −−dotty

dotty takes a list of packages on the command line and generates output suitable for use by springgraph. The result will be a set of nodes and edges representing the relationships between the packages. By default the given packages will trace out all dependent packages which can produce a very large graph.

Blue lines are pre−depends, green lines are conflicts, yellow lines are suggests, orange lines are recommends, red lines are replaces, and black lines are depends.

Caution, dotty cannot graph larger sets of packages.

−p, −−print−state

Shows the state of each dependency after each package version. See −−state−follow and −−state−show for why this is useful.

−r, −−reverse

Shows the listings of each package that depends on a package. Furthermore, it will look at these dependent packages, and find their dependers.

−f, −−follow= DEPENDS

A comma-separated list of DEPENDS types to follow recursively. By default, it only follows the Depends type.

The possible values for DEPENDS are: Depends, PreDepends, Suggests, Recommends, Conflicts, Replaces, and Obsoletes.

In −−build−depends mode, the possible values are: Build-Depends, Build-Depends-Indep, Build-Conflicts, Build-Conflicts-Indep.

−s, −−show= DEPENDS

A comma-separated list of DEPENDS types to show, when displaying a listing. By default, it only shows the Depends type.

−−state−follow= STATES

These two options are similar to −−follow and −−show. They both deal with the current state of a package. By default, the value of STATES is Unknown, NotInstalled, UnPacked, HalfConfigured, HalfInstalled, ConfigFiles, and Installed.

These options are useful, if you only want to only look at the dependencies between the Installed packages on your system. You can then call:

apt-rdepends −−state−follow=Installed libfoo

Or if you want to only show the packages installed on your system:

apt-rdepends −−state−follow=Installed −−state−show=Installed libfoo


The list of packages on which to discover dependencies.


apt.conf(5), sources.list(5), apt-cache(8), AptPkg(3)


apt-rdepends does not emulate apt-cache perfectly. It does not display information about virtual packages, nor does it know about virtual packages when it is in reverse dependency mode.

apt-rdepends also does not know how to stop after a certain depth has been reached.

apt-rdepends cannot do reverse build−dependencies. This is really difficult, since it would have to load the whole cache into memory before discovering which packages depend on others to build.

apt-rdepends exists. This functionality should really reside in apt-cache itself.


apt-rdepends was written by Simon Law <sfllaw [AT] debian.org>


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