Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

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?

share|improve this question

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

Questions on Server Fault are expected to relate to server, networking, or related infrastructure administration within the scope defined by the community. Consider editing the question or leaving comments for improvement if you believe the question can be reworded to fit within the scope. Read more about reopening questions here.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Why do you need this? – Zoredache Nov 23 '11 at 19:28
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 – Zoredache Nov 23 '11 at 19:33
up vote 6 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.

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

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.