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Posts Tagged ‘Search’

If you find yourself trying to figure out which package contains a certain command, or any other file for that matter, apt-file is a command that will make this easy. It probably won’t be installed by default, so do so with this command:

sudo apt-get install apt-file

You will then be presented with the message:

The system-wide cache is empty. You may want to run ‘apt-file update’ as root to update the cache. You can also run ‘apt-file update’ as normal user to use a cache in the user’s home directory.

It’s probably best to run the former option (that is, as superuser), so enter the following:

sudo apt-file update

Let it update the cache, then you can search for the command or package or file. Simply use apt-file search followed by whatever it is you’re looking for. For example, we’ll search for the command ccsm, which is what runs the Compiz-Config Settings Manager, as there is no actual package of that name:

apt-file search ccsm

You might find the list presented is quite long, so it may pay to set your terminal to unlimited scrolling beforehand. In the case of the example, the line we’re looking for:

compizconfig-settings-manager: /usr/bin/ccsm

is not visible, since it is right near the top, which is beyond scrolling. If this happens to you, edit your terminal settings and run the command again.

Generally speaking, if it’s a command/program, then the line that has /usr/bin/ followed by the command (like ccsm) will be the correct one. The actual package that contains it will be listed at the beginning, in this case being compizconfig-settings-manager.

Remember, this can work with other types of files too, so if you’re looking for a specific config file or icon or whatever, just specify that at the end of the command. Eg:

apt-file search ccsm.desktop

Hopefully this is all you need to find that elusive file, or the package that installs a program you’re after.

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The Search bar in Firefox – which many still look at as the “Google bar”, even though it lists other search engines – is extremely useful, but you can make it even more so by adding all sorts of search options.

What we’ll look at here is the “Search Ubuntu packagesadd-on, which (as the name suggests) lets you hunt for software for Ubuntu directly from the Search bar. All you have to do is go to the download page and click the Add to Firefox button, restart Firefox, and it’s done.

Alternatively, if you’re browsing the Firefox Add-on index you can just click the Add to Firefox button next to “Search Ubuntu packages“, and confirm by clicking Add.

Once you restart Firefox, your new search option will be in the Search bar’s drop-down menu. When wanting to search for software, select Ubuntu packages, type the name of the program or package, and hit Enter.

Like all new additions to the Search menu, it will appear at the bottom, so if you’d like to move closer to the top, click Manage Search Engines… (at the bottom of that menu) and move it where you want with the up arrow.

Note that once you’ve used it, it will stay as the default search option till you choose another (so make sure you choose Google or whatever before doing a regular web search).

Search Ubuntu packages

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Did this information make your day? Did it rescue you from hours of headache? Then please consider making a donation via PayPal, to buy me a donut, beer, or some fish’n’chips for my time and effort! Many thanks!

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The Search bar in Firefox – which many still look at as the “Google bar”, even though it lists other search engines – is extremely useful, but you can make it even more so by adding your own localised version of Google. This is handy for many reasons, like being able to search for products/prices in your own country, ignoring overseas stores.

For the purpose of this article, we’ll look at how to add Google Australia to the list of search engines, but you can apply this to your own country (as long as it is one of those supported).

Now, if you go to the Firefox Add-ons site, you’ll probably find there is nothing for your country’s version of Google, but you can find Google add-ons here.

Once you’ve located one you want to add, simply click its link. You will then be asked:

Add “Google Australia – from Australia” to the list of engines available in the search bar?

… so just click the Add button, and you’ll find the new Google entry in the Search pull-down menu.

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Did this information make your day? Did it rescue you from hours of headache? Then please consider making a donation via PayPal, to buy me a donut, beer, or some fish’n’chips for my time and effort! Many thanks!

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Sometimes the easiest solution is right in front of our eyes, and we fail to see it (probably because it’s too obvious). While looking through the forums it’s become evident to me that some people are needlessly driving themselves nuts browsing through categories in Synaptic Package Manager, desperately trying to find that program to install or remove, when they could be using the Quick search bar in plain view in the toolbar.

While the program’s displayed name and actual package or command name can vary, in most cases, typing in either will get you results.

If you know the actual package name, type that in, otherwise just type in the displayed name you’re familiar with. Results will immediately appear underneath.

You can even use this just to find out the package name, which could be handy for recreating a launcher you deleted. As an example, if you accidentally deleted the “Compiz Fusion Icon” launcher from your System Tools menu, you could type that into the Quick search bar and find that fusion-icon is the actual command, so use that info to make a new launcher.

Of course, if you’re looking for new software for specific tasks, and don’t know any program names, you need another approach. While I actually recommend Googling to find what’s out there, so you can read reviews and see screenshots, it’s actually very easy to use Synaptic to do it all for you. While there are different categories you can browse on the left, that can be somewhat overwhelming. So simply enter the type of software you are looking for, and you should get some results to browse through.

You can then view all the info that the developer has given by clicking on a program and reading what’s in the Description tab at the bottom.

You can add important words to help limit your results. For example, “video convert” will weed out the players, libraries, plugins and codecs that would also be presented if you merely typed in “video“.

You can then look at the Description to see if the programs are what you need.

Using these simple methods, you should be able to find all the software you’ll ever need. Note that to increase your chances of finding everything that’s available, Synaptic‘s list of repositories (ie: places to find software) needs to be a fair bit more extensive than you get in a vanilla install of Ubuntu. So check out these topics on how to add more repos:

Add the Universe and Multiverse Repositories

Add More Repos & Play Encrypted DVDs with Medibuntu

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Did this information make your day? Did it rescue you from hours of headache? Then please consider making a donation via PayPal, to buy me a donut, beer, or some fish’n’chips for my time and effort! Many thanks!

Buy Ubuntu Genius a Beer to say Thanks!

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