This is similar to How can I list all files which have been installed by an APT package? However, I want to know which files will be installed as the package has not been installed, yet.

Example: I wanted to list all files which will be installed by APT package xorg. In other words: all files which will possibly be created when I type apt install xorg. However, apt-file listed only the immediate files of xorg - not of its dependencies:

$ apt-file list xorg
xorg: /usr/share/bug/xorg/script
xorg: /usr/share/doc/xorg/changelog.gz
xorg: /usr/share/doc/xorg/copyright
xorg: /usr/share/lintian/overrides/xorg

How can I list all associated files?

(I will add an awful bash pipe combination as an answer. This is what I'm using right now, but its just a loop with many calls to apt-file and therefore very, very slow. I'm looking for a better answer.)


This is what I'm using right now, but it might be buggy and is definitely not very performant:

apt-cache depends xorg | grep '..\(Depends\|Recommends\): [^<]' | sed 's/[^:]*: //' | while read LINE; do [[ -z "$LINE" ]] || apt-file list "$LINE"; done | sed 's/[^:]*: //' | sort


Get list of packages which will be installed:

apt-cache depends xorg

Select the "depends" and "recommends" entries:

grep '..\(Depends\|Recommends\): [^<]'

Strip everything except the package name:

sed 's/[^:]*: //'

If the line isn't empty, run apt-file with each package name:

while read LINE; do [[ -z "$LINE" ]] || apt-file list "$LINE"; done

apt-file list returns lines where each line begins with the corresponding package name for the file. Remove package name from line, which leaves only the filename:

sed 's/[^:]*: //'

Sort lines:


You can feed apt-file list a list of packages to process in one go, using

apt-file -f-

(to read from standard input). My measurements suggest that

apt-get -s install xorg | awk '/^Inst / { print $2 }' | apt-file -f- list

is over twice as fast as the same process with an apt-file loop (using xargs).

I post-process that with sort -k2,2 since I quite like to see the package involved.

Using apt-get -s install instead of post-processing apt-cache depends xorg means that all the packages which would be installed on your system are taken into account, and only those packages, including recursive dependencies. apt-cache depends xorg only shows xorg’s immediate dependencies and your post-processing doesn’t handle alternatives.

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