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This question already has an answer here:

I installed a package, i forgot when, using synaptic package manager, i want to know the installation date. I don't know how and Google doesn't seem to be helpful helping today.

marked as duplicate by slm, Rahul Patil, Anthon, jasonwryan, Gilles Oct 18 '13 at 22:56

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • In general, do not expect that every feature of a Microsoft Windows system has a correspondence on a Linux system. For future questions: avoid subjective opinions ("billion times better than") and unnecessary comments (if you already have found an answer, you would not have asked here...). – jofel Oct 18 '13 at 16:11
  • Also note that the features are often implemented very differently across the various Linux distributions, Debian/Ubuntu use apt/dpkg, Redhat/Fedora use RPM. – slm Oct 18 '13 at 16:15
  • @jofel fine, edited my question – Lynob Oct 18 '13 at 17:18
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Method #1 - dpkg.log

You can look through the /var/log/dpkg.log files but this could be problematic since these files are rotated by logrotate and can get deleted over time. So if it's something recent you can look to these files:

Example

$ ls -lt /var/log/dpkg.log*
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 378458 Oct  6 11:38 /var/log/dpkg.log
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  14309 Sep  6 21:29 /var/log/dpkg.log.1
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root   3260 Aug 25 19:07 /var/log/dpkg.log.2.gz
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root   2341 Jul 20 08:43 /var/log/dpkg.log.3.gz
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root   1602 Jun 26 23:19 /var/log/dpkg.log.4.gz
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root   2169 May 27 22:09 /var/log/dpkg.log.5.gz
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root    747 Apr 26 13:23 /var/log/dpkg.log.6.gz
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root    991 Mar 20  2013 /var/log/dpkg.log.7.gz
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  19268 Mar  9  2013 /var/log/dpkg.log.8.gz
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root   2268 Jan 29  2013 /var/log/dpkg.log.9.gz
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  12920 Dec  9  2012 /var/log/dpkg.log.10.gz
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  92929 Nov 26  2012 /var/log/dpkg.log.11.gz

And then grep through them:

$ grep -E "installed.*thunderbird" /var/log/dpkg.log* | head -5    /var/log/dpkg.log:2013-10-06 02:51:40 status installed thunderbird:amd64 1:24.0+build1-0ubuntu0.12.10.1
/var/log/dpkg.log:2013-10-06 02:51:40 status installed thunderbird-globalmenu:amd64 1:24.0+build1-0ubuntu0.12.10.1
/var/log/dpkg.log:2013-10-06 02:51:40 status installed thunderbird-locale-en:amd64 1:24.0+build1-0ubuntu0.12.10.1
/var/log/dpkg.log:2013-10-06 02:51:40 status installed thunderbird-gnome-support:amd64 1:24.0+build1-0ubuntu0.12.10.1
/var/log/dpkg.log:2013-10-06 02:51:41 status installed thunderbird-locale-en-us:all 1:24.0+build1-0ubuntu0.12.10.1

Method #2 - .list files

Another technique is to look through the .list files that are maintained by dpkg which is the workhorse that actually does the package installations under the hood for synaptic and apt.

Example

This will show you the last 5 packages installed using this method:

$ ls -tl /var/lib/dpkg/info/*.list | head -n 5
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root   4261 Oct  6 11:38 /var/lib/dpkg/info/libdirectfb-1.2-9:amd64.list
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root    856 Oct  6 11:38 /var/lib/dpkg/info/libts-0.0-0:amd64.list
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root    216 Oct  6 11:38 /var/lib/dpkg/info/tsconf.list
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root    263 Oct  6 11:38 /var/lib/dpkg/info/libbluray1:amd64.list
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root    290 Oct  6 11:38 /var/lib/dpkg/info/libaacs0:amd64.list

You can also look for packages using this method:

$ ls -tl /var/lib/dpkg/info/*.list | grep thunderbird
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root    260 Oct  6 02:47 /var/lib/dpkg/info/thunderbird-locale-en-us.list
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root    187 Oct  6 02:47 /var/lib/dpkg/info/thunderbird-gnome-support.list
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root   5041 Oct  6 02:47 /var/lib/dpkg/info/thunderbird.list
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root   1148 Oct  6 02:47 /var/lib/dpkg/info/thunderbird-locale-en.list
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root    178 Oct  6 02:47 /var/lib/dpkg/info/thunderbird-globalmenu.list
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You can use ls -lh in the directory it was installed to (like /usr/bin) to see the date. Also, you can use the location where Debian holds packages (can't remember offhand, it's in /var somewhere).

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If it is a debian package you can use this command.

grep install /var/log/dpkg.log
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    @Fischer An alternative is the log files in /var/log/apt. Note that Debian prunes log files by default, so you won't get history for very far back. – Faheem Mitha Oct 18 '13 at 15:56

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