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Thread: What mean the indicators "v" and "p" in "aptitude search" results?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    127

    What mean the indicators "v" and "p" in "aptitude search" results?

    When I type in an aptitude search command like

    aptitude search mailx

    then the result list contains lines with a preceeding "v" and other with a "p".

    Whats the difference?

    Does "aptitiude search" use only local repository information or does it retrieve remote information?

    Is it recommended/reuqired to do at first an

    sudo apt-get update

    ?

    Peter

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Magic City of the Plains
    Beans
    Hidden!
    Distro
    Xubuntu 19.10 Eoan Ermine

    Re: What mean the indicators "v" and "p" in "aptitude search" results?

    From man aptitude: Each search result is listed on a separate line. The first character of each line indicates the current state of the package: the most common states are p, meaning that no trace of the package exists on the system, c, meaning that the package was deleted but
    its configuration files remain on the system, i, meaning that the package is installed, and v, meaning that the package is virtual. The second character indicates the stored action (if any; otherwise a blank space is displayed) to be performed on the package, with the most common actions being i, meaning that the package will be installed, d, meaning that the package will be deleted, and p, meaning that the package and its configuration files will be removed. If the third character is A, the package was automatically installed.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    127

    Re: What mean the indicators "v" and "p" in "aptitude search" results?

    Ok, thank you.
    But what means "virtual package"?

    How can I install such a virtual package?

    I git the following command sequence so far.

    user@ubuntu1004:/tmp$ aptitude search mailx
    p bsd-mailx - simple mail user agent
    p heirloom-mailx - feature-rich BSD mail(1)
    v mailx -
    user@ubuntu1004:/tmp$ sudo apt-get install mailx
    Reading package lists... Done
    Building dependency tree
    Reading state information... Done
    Package mailx is a virtual package provided by:
    mailutils 1:2.1+dfsg1-4ubuntu1
    heirloom-mailx 12.4-1.1
    bsd-mailx 8.1.2-0.20090911cvs-2ubuntu1
    You should explicitly select one to install.
    E: Package mailx has no installation candidate
    user@ubuntu1004:/tmp$


    How do I "select one" as suggested by the command outpiut above?

    Peter

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    127

    Re: What mean the indicators "v" and "p" in "aptitude search" results?

    ...no answer?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Dawlish, Devon, UK
    Beans
    651
    Distro
    Ubuntu 19.10 Eoan Ermine

    Re: What mean the indicators "v" and "p" in "aptitude search" results?

    It means that mailx (the program) is provided by the listed virtual packages which may also contain other programs. So you could install it by selecting the virtual package 'mailutils'(for example) and install it by

    Code:
    sudo apt-get install mailutils
    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by timgood; February 10th, 2011 at 10:10 AM. Reason: More info

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