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I just did an apt-get upgrade on my Debian 6 development server and noticed that a certain package named tinyproxy was upgraded. I have a particular interest in seeing precisely what changed in that package because modifying it to do some things that it currently does not do is on my list of things to do.

I know that I can fire up my browser, dig a little, find the changelog and see exactly what changed in the version I just went to, but then I wondered if there's a way I could ask apt-get or dpkg to show me a changelog if one was included.

Can I use either tool, or perhaps another to get a summary of what changed between versions of a package via the command line?

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For every package there is a /usr/share/doc/pkgname/changelog.Debian.gz which lists the changes made by the Debian maintainer for the package. If the package has moved to a new upstream version, the upstream changelog should explain those changes, but its location is not perfectly predictable. Look in /usr/share/doc/pkgname for changelog.gz or similar. If you install apt-listchanges then all future upgrades with apt-get will show you the changelog automatically. – Alan Curry Aug 27 '12 at 7:20
@Alan Curry: Is it possible the same using cmdline aptitude? – dash17291 Jun 18 '13 at 21:46
up vote 6 down vote accepted

You're looking for the package apt-listchanges. That will show you the Debian news and/or changelogs (its configurable) of the packages you're about to upgrade, and optionally ask for confirmation before upgrading. It can even open the changelogs in a browser, so you can click on links to bugs, etc.

Also, if you're using aptitude, press C when you have a package selected to see the changelog. As long as you have libparse-debianchangelog-perl installed, it'll even highlight which entries are new (aptitude recommends that Perl package).

Finally, you can read both the Debian and upstream changelogs in /usr/share/doc/packagename/.

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The answer should be in /usr/share/doc/tinyproxy/changelog.Debian.gz. Use zless to view it.

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Nowdays the changelog command within apt-get, download and display a changelog for the given package:

apt-get changelog tinyproxy

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