Saturday, January 5, 2008

Find all package from a repository that install a file somewhere

As I'm trying to provide a much cleaner way to wrap java programs into scripts for Debian, I need to know how many of the package maintained by the Debian Java Team install scripts in /usr/bin/. I first thought that the way to go was to use apt-file for doing so, running apt-file show on each package found in the repository. Bad idea: it takes, say, 10 seconds to run apt-file show on my machine. Mutliply that by around 600 binary packages, it takes some time.

So, I wrote a script based on the same idea (using Contents files, see apt-file(1)) that does the both the lookup of all binary packages produced by source trees present in the current directory and looking up a pattern in the Contents file. You can download it here. Typical uses:

  • find all binary packages generated from source tree in the current directory:
  • find all of them that install a file in /usr/bin:
    find-packages usr/bin ~/.apt-file/
    The file ~/.apt-file/ or a similar one can be found in apt-file's cache.

Meanwhile, out of nearly 600 packages, there are only 61 binaries out of 35 packages. Java packages are mostly libraries, then.

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