finding apt files


apt-file is a very useful tool for finding missing dependenices while installing software.

the problem

You're trying to install software that doesn't use the apt-get system. Perhaps using pip to install a Python dependency which requires the compilation of C code. You can see from the error what's missing. So you run apt-get search on the missing item and it's not found.

Why? Because the file you need is within another packgage. The obvious solution, doing a Google search, works sometimes. However, just as often solutions are outdated or only work on a certain version of a certain distribution.

the solution

sudo apt-get install apt-file
apt-file update

Now you have apt-file installed. Then you can run:

apt-file search <library name>

It will tell you which packages installable by apt-get contain that package.

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