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List Ubuntu & Debian Package Dependencies In Terminal With apt-rdepends

Sometimes, it can become quite a complicated task to make a package work on an Ubuntu machine. The reason for this is mostly associated with the requirement of installing a few package dependencies. In such a case, you are also likely to come across a pop-up dialog box, informing you that the package cannot be installed as the required package dependencies are not installed. apt-rdepends is a utility that performs recursive dependency listings of any Ubuntu and Debian packages. This tool searches for and lists all the package dependencies by looking through the APT cache.

You can install apt-rdepends by entering the following command in Terminal.

sudo apt-get install apt-rdepends

Now, to list the dependencies of a package, use the following command:

apt-rdepends “package name”

Note: The package name should be replaced by the name of the package, minus quotes (see below screenshot).

Package Dependency

Similarly, to list the dependencies of compressed package, run the apt-rdepends command in the following format.

apt-rdepends tar

An example of the dependency listing that you will get in Terminal is as follows:

“apt-rdepends tar

Reading package lists… Done

Building dependency tree
Reading state information… Done


PreDepends: libc6 (>= 2.8)


Depends: libc-bin (= 2.13-20ubuntu5)

Depends: libgcc1

Depends: tzdata”



For more information about apt-rdepends, check out the man page at Debian Admin.


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