Is there a Linux (and specifically Raspbian) equivalent to the Windows OS programs "Add/Remove Programs" and/or "Programs & Features"?

Android has it's own Application Manager as well. Back in the day, there were even 3rd party applications like this for Windows.

In this question I asked if it were possible to find out if there was a specific package installed. However, in that circumstance I would already know the name of the package. For this question, I want to just open a program and see what's installed on the machine.

Does something like that exist in the Linux world? Does it run on Raspbian? If so, what is it called?


Each distribution or distribution family has its own package management programs. Package management is one of the main differentiators between distribution families.

Debian and derivatives (Ubuntu, Linux Mint, elementary OS, Raspbian, etc.) use two program families to manage programs:

  • dpkg as the low-level package management tool, handling commands such as “what's installed now on my system?” and “install the package in this file”
  • APT as the high-level package management tool, handling commands such as “what packages are available for installation?” and “install the package by this name and its dependencies”.

APT itself is a command line program and doesn't offer a convenient interface to browse installed or available programs. For that, you can use several interactive programs (they may not be part of the default installation):

  • Aptitude (package: aptitude) is basically apt-get plus a search feature plus a text mode user interface. If you're on a text terminal, it's the best way to browse installed or available packages. You can use the / command to search packages and the l command to limit the display to certain packages. Both commands support many search terms beyond package names, such as ~i ~d"foo bar" to search only for installed packages whose description contains the text foo bar.
  • Packagesearch and Synaptic are GUI interfaces to browse and install packages. Packagesearch has more direct access to search option. Synaptic is much more friendly to just browse.
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