How do I check package version using apt-get / aptitude?

Before I install a package, I’d like to know what version I would get.

How do I check the version before installing using apt-get or aptitude on Debian or Ubuntu?

Asked By: user4069



You can run a simulation to see what would happen if you upgrade/install a package:

apt-get -s install <package>

To see all possible upgrades, run an upgrade in verbose mode
and (to be safe) with simulation; press n to cancel:

apt-get -V -s upgrade


The option policy can show the installed and the remote version (install candidate) of a package.

apt-cache policy <package>


If installed, shows version information about one or more packages:

apt-show-versions <package>

Passing the -u switch with or without a package name will show only upgradeable packages.

apt show

Similar to what is obtained with dpkg -s <package>:

apt show <package>


The console GUI of aptitude can display upgradeable packages with new versions. Open the menu ‘Upgradable Packages’. Pressing v on a package will show more detailed version information.

Or on the command-line:

aptitude versions <package>

Passing -V will show detailed information about versions. 
Again, to be safe, with the simulation switch:

aptitude -V -s install <package>

Substituting install <package> with upgrade will show the versions from all upgradeable packages.

Answered By: wag

Another option, if you don’t know the full name of the package, is formatting aptitude’s search output:

aptitude search <package> -F "%c %p %d %V"

%c = status (package installed or not)
%p = package’s name
%d = package’s description
%V = available package’s version


Answered By: Diego Ponciano

Another way using dpkg and grep:

dpkg -s <package> | grep Version
Answered By: Alf
 $ rmadison gdm3
 gdm3 | 2.30.5-6squeeze2 | squeeze-security | i386
 gdm3 | 2.30.5-6squeeze5 | squeeze          | i386
 gdm3 | 3.4.1-8          | wheezy           | i386
 gdm3 | 3.14.1-7         | jessie           | i386
 gdm3 | 3.18.0-2         | stretch          | i386
 gdm3 | 3.18.0-2         | sid              | i386

from devscripts.deb

Answered By: sbin_bash

To obtain package name:

apt-cache search *search term*

To get version details:

apt-cache show *packagename*

I believe apt-get and apt-cache are being deprecated, with apt and aptitude becoming the preferred method. Given the longevity of the apt- suite, it’s probably a safe bet for some time to come!

Answered By: Ned Flanders

You can write apt show <package>

Answered By: Elvis Dukaj

To see the latest available package before installing.
Perform update so that you have all the latest package update.

$sudo apt-get update

Now, To check the latest package available in your repository before installing run below command.

$apt-cache show <package name>


$apt-cache show latexila


$apt-cache show npm
Answered By: Yanish Pradhananga
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