Ubuntu – find file to package

Ubuntu dpkg-query can be used to find package name given a file name, its full path or partial name. Note that it does not follow symlinks when querying. Here are some scenarios you can use dpkg-query (or dpkg) to find package name from file name.

Fine packages based filename full or partial match

Either using filename or it full path

$ dpkg-query -S apache2.conf
apache2: /etc/apache2/apache2.conf
$ dpkg-query -S /etc/apache2/apache2.conf
apache2: /etc/apache2/apache2.conf
$ dpkg-query -S 2.conf
apache2: /etc/apache2/apache2.conf
upstart: /etc/init/tty2.conf

Find packages using filename wildcard match

$ dpkg-query -S awstats*conf
awstats: /etc/awstats/awstats.conf.local
awstats: /usr/share/doc/awstats/html/awstats_config.html
awstats: /usr/share/doc/awstats/examples/awstats_configure.pl
awstats: /usr/share/doc/awstats/examples/apache.conf
awstats: /usr/share/awstats/icon/mime/conf.png
awstats: /etc/awstats/awstats.conf

Find packages having files in a directory

To list packages which have something in apache mods-available folder

$ dpkg-query -S /etc/apache2/mods-available/
apache2, libapache2-mod-php5, libapache2-mod-python, libapache2-mod-svn: /etc/apache2/mods-available

dpkg-query and symlinks

dpkg-query can not follow symlink. So you should do that manually. e.g. To find package name for /usr/bin/mail

$ ls -l /usr/bin/mail
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 22 Sep  3 18:14 /usr/bin/mail -> /etc/alternatives/mail
ls -l /etc/alternatives/mail
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 23 Sep  3 18:14 /etc/alternatives/mail -> /usr/bin/mail.mailutils
$ dpkg-query -S /usr/bin/mail.mailutils
mailutils: /usr/bin/mail.mailutils
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