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Re: dpkg -l format

On Tue, 5 Oct 1999, Colin Walters wrote:

> The output format of dpkg -l is terrible.  Many package names exceed
> the measly 16 characters allotted.  Many, many times when trying to


> what I really want to do is dpkg -l '*netscape*' | xargs dpkg --purge.

I recommend dpkg --get-selections '*netscape*' instead. But the whole
bunch of 'informative' dpkg options is rather weird:

* dpkg --list doesn't list all available packages, but just the ones that
  have been 'touched' by a selection. dpkg -- list '*' lists all available
  and some unavailble (old cruft) packages. (not documented)
* same with dpkg --get selections. (not documented)
* dpkg -l '*netscape*' lists (on my system, continuously upgraded
  since Debian 1.3) MORE packages than dpkg --get-selections '*netscape*'
  but the difference is again never-installed cruft. (not documented)
* there is no obvious reason (except that the dpkg developers may have
  more important things to fight with) why dpkg --status and
  dpkg --print-avail shouldn't accept wildcards, too, but they don't.

Bj"orn Brill <brill@fs.math.uni-frankfurt.de>
Frankfurt am Main, Germany

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