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I want to check what licenses all the packages on my system is running under.

It seems like this information is located in /usr/share/doc/package/copyright

However this file seems like it does not have any standard format, I've been going through this manually to record the licenses. is there another way to get this information, through something like dpkg-query?

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closed as off topic by RobM, Zoredache, Iain, MDMarra, voretaq7 Dec 7 '11 at 21:10

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Why do you need this? –  Zoredache Nov 23 '11 at 19:28
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Package licensing is far to complex for a simple answer single per-package answer. Some packages, are covered by many licenses, some use non-standard licenses. Do check out debian.org/legal/licenses –  Zoredache Nov 23 '11 at 19:33

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

The answer to this question suggests that automatically pulling the license info out of a single .deb package is non-trivial.

I suspect there is no easy way to do what you want.


Since the answer I linked to has been updated, I'll update mine too.

This is beginning to change, as the debian/copyright file is now required to be machine-interpretable, so you can look forward to this in the future.

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Fair enough, just wanted to see if there was a easy way out :). Thanks –  Pratik Amin Nov 24 '11 at 3:57

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