Some (most?) packages in Debian, have tags. For example:

=# apt-cache show squirrelmail | perl -lne 'print if /^Tag:/.../^\S/'
Tag: implemented-in::php, interface::web, mail::imap, mail::smtp,
 mail::user-agent, network::server, protocol::http, protocol::imap,
 protocol::smtp, role::program, scope::application, use::browsing,
 use::editing, use::searching, use::transmission, use::viewing,
 web::TODO, web::application, works-with::mail
Section: web

But, I can't find a way, to list all packages with given tag. Is it possible?


You probably want to take a look at all the documentation surrounding Debtags. It's... not as simple as you might think. No, I don't know why, either.

  • 1
    Just a word of comment - I picked this answer, because debtags seems to do what I need (debtags search "mail::user-agent && interface::web") while axi-cache seems to have problems when searching for multiple tags at once. – user13185 Jul 8 '12 at 19:04

I wonder why peoply doesn't answer:

aptitude search '?tag(protocol::dns)'

aptitude search allow complex search queries with probes on different package description fields and logical operators:

aptitude search '?tag(game::strategy) ?installed'
aptitude search '?tag(protocol::dns) !?installed'

Refer to Search term reference in Aptitude User's Manual from aptitude-doc-en package (/usr/share/doc/aptitude/html/en/index.html).

  • this does it very well – Oliver Aug 29 '18 at 10:34

Use axi-cache from the apt-xapian-index package. You can, for example do axi-cache search --all protocol::smtp. The tab-completion for axi-cache is extremely advanced, so hit tab often. For example, axi-cache search --all protocol::smtp <tab><tab> will show you what other tags you might want based on the fact that you already specified the first.

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