Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

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

It just occured to me that it would be good to do an 'aptitude search blah' and only have non-graphical applications shown.

I know it's not a biggy but the docs don't seem to mention it and I would find it useful to know.


share|improve this question
up vote 4 down vote accepted
aptitude search \!~Dlibgtk2.0-0

That will search for all packages that don't depend on libgtk2.0-0, but probably you want to look for a way to recursively search for non-dependencies and look for an X library that all graphical programs depend on.

I hope that gets you started. Here's more info on aptitude's search terms.

share|improve this answer
Ok I'll play with this. It's the kind of thing that would be nice if it were built in to aptitude but for now I'll go with your advice and then 'alias' it. Cheers. – gyaresu May 12 '09 at 7:17

This kind of classification is done by Debtags and you can use aptitude to search packages based on debtags. You can exclude all packages tagged interface::x11 by doing:

aptitude search \!~Ginterface::x11

But instead of excluding X11 apps, you can be more specific, you can look for text based interface only:

aptitude search ~Ginterface::text-mode

Or web-based interface with interface::web. And you can mix that with all other search features of aptitude.

You can also do this search on the web by selecting/excluding more and more tags until you have a small set of packages that you can inspect more closely.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

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