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I need a markdown library for development - based on package names I could not understand which one I should install...

den@playground:~$ sudo aptitude search markdown
p   html2markdown                                                          - convert HTML page into ascii markdown format
p   libhtml-wikiconverter-markdown-perl                                    - HTML to wiki markup converter - MoinMoin dialect
p   liblua5.1-markdown0                                                    - A pure lua5.1 implementation of the Markdown text-to-html markup
p   libmarkdown-php                                                        - PHP library for rendering Markdown data
p   libpod-markdown-perl                                                   - module to convert POD to the Markdown file format
p   libtext-markdown-perl                                                  - Markdown and MultiMarkdown markup languages library
p   libtext-multimarkdown-perl                                             - Perl module to convert MultiMarkdown syntax to (X)HTML
p   markdown                                                               - Text-to-HTML conversion tool
p   python-markdown                                                        - text-to-HTML conversion library/tool
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You don't need sudo here, that's only needed when you change something on the system (e.g. install a package), not when you're just looking. – Gilles Apr 5 '12 at 23:38
up vote 7 down vote accepted

apt-file can do this. Install it with aptitude, update the database (with apt-file update), and then list the contents with apt-file list package.

Also, all packages have a description which you can view with e.g. aptitude show html2markdown. If you don't have the aptitude command, you can use apt-cache instead.

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In addition to apt-file, you can also do this with dpkg:

dpkg --contents somefile.deb

Also, if you need to search for a particular file in any package:

dpkg-query -S file # just the file, or...
dpkg-query -S usr/lib/libsomelib.so # a bit more specific.
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This does require, however, that you have already downloaded the package. – Chris Down Apr 5 '12 at 17:56

If you start up aptitude without any arguments, you get a really nice curses-style user interface where you can search for the each package, and see lots of great information about what's in it.

For example, press / then enter markdown to move to the next package whose name contains markdown. Press l then enter markdown to limit the display to packages whose name contains markdown. Choose “Un-Limit Display” in the “Search” menu to remove the display filter, or press l then enter ~A meaning “limit to all packages”.

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You can search for the contents of packages (any distribution and architecture) at the web site packages.debian.org : Search package directories.

Step 1: Enter the package name in the Keyword box below "Search package directories", e.g. slrn. There is a choice of distribution, and a choice between searching on package names only (binary package names) and source package names. Say we select stable and search on binary packages.

Step 2. We obtain slrn, slrnface, slrnpull. Selecting slrn we then go to the list of files at the bottom right. Selecting amd64 we obtain Filelist of package slrn in squeeze of architecture amd64.

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