Ubuntu – Finding package name of installed software


Since I have not been able to open Dash Home in 12.04.4 see Dash Home will not open, I am hoping for a work-around. Is there another convenient way to open apps/programs without having to search through folders? Is this question clear enough? For example, I just installed Kile (publishing program) from the Software Center, but I can't find a link/tile/icon/shortcut to open it. Thanks, to whomever can help.

Best Answer

In Ubuntu you can easily find GUI programs that you installed from the Ubuntu Software Center by searching for them in the Dash as you mentioned in your question, but if you can't open the Dash or if the program you installed was not a GUI program, you can also find the executable file for the program from the terminal.

  1. Typing the name of the application in the terminal will usually open the application for you.

  2. If that doesn't work you can find the package name of an application, if you have it installed, from the terminal using dpkg -l | grep <substitute-search-term-here> and then open it by typing its package name. For example, to find the package name of Chromium if you have it installed type:

    dpkg -l | grep chromium  

    ...which will return results including:

    ii  chromium-browser  
    Chromium browser  

    The package name of Chromium browser is chromium-browser, so to open Chromium from the terminal you would type: chromium-browser

The dpkg -l | grep chromium command doesn't work for applications that have a completely different package name like the Files application in Ubuntu which is provided by the nautilus package. In this case run the following command:

locate -b '.desktop' | xargs grep -ls '^Name.*=Files$' | xargs grep '^Exec.*'

The application name Files in the above command is case sensitive, and so is any other application name that you replace it with.

If you know only the name of a file from an installed package, you can find the name of the package that installed it using this command:

dpkg-query -S <filename>
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