How to check to which package an installed file belongs to in Debian, Ubuntu, Redhat, CentOS and FreeBSD

Every now and then every system administrator has to determine to which installed package a certain file belongs.
This small article is about to give some few basics which will help you to achieve the task on Linux and Unix/BSD operating system.
Often times whenever we administrate a system we are required to list the content of a certain installed package below you will see a very basic ways to determine which file belongs to which package on Linux and BSD as well as how to list a file content on a few different *nix based operating systems. Of course there are numerous ways to achieve this operation so this examples are definitly not the only ones:

1. Determining a file belongs to which (.deb) package on Debian Linux
– The straight way to determine a file belongs to which package is:

debian:~# dpkg -S coreutils: /bin/ls

– Let’s say you would like to check every installed package on your Debian or Ubuntu Linux for a file name related to a certain file or binary. To do so on this distros you might use apt-file (by default not included in debian and ubuntu), so install it and use it to find out a binary is adherent to which package.

ubuntu:~# apt-get install apt-file
ubuntu:~# apt-get update

ubuntu:~# apt-file search cfdisk
dahb-html: /usr/share/doc/dahb-html/html/bilder/betrieb/cfdisk.png
doc-linux-html: /usr/share/doc/HOWTO/en-html/IBM7248-HOWTO/cfdisk.html
gnu-fdisk: /sbin/cfdisk
gnu-fdisk: /usr/share/info/cfdisk.info.gz
gnu-fdisk: /usr/share/man/man8/cfdisk.8.gz
manpages-fr-extra: /usr/share/man/fr/man8/cfdisk.8.gz
manpages-ja: /usr/share/man/ja/man8/cfdisk.8.gz
mtd-utils: /usr/sbin/docfdisk
util-linux: /sbin/cfdisk
util-linux: /usr/share/doc/util-linux/README.cfdisk
util-linux: /usr/share/man/man8/cfdisk.8.gz

– A good possible tip if you’re on a Debian or Ubuntu Linux is to list a certain package directly from the packages repository, e.g. without having it installed locally on your Linux.

This is done through:

debian:~# apt-file list fail2ban
fail2ban: etc/default/fail2ban
fail2ban: etc/fail2ban/action.d/hostsdeny.conf
fail2ban: etc/fail2ban/action.d/ipfw.conf
fail2ban: etc/fail2ban/action.d/iptables.conf
fail2ban: etc/fail2ban/action.d/iptables-multiport.conf
...

– Another possible way to find out which package a file belongs is via dlocate . Dlocate is probably be the tool of choice if you won’t to automate the process of finding to which package a file belongs in a shell script or smth.

Here is dlocate’s description

uses GNU locate to greatly speed up finding out which package a file belongs to (i.e. a very fast dpkg -S). many other uses, including options to view all files in a package, calculate disk space used, view and check md5sums, list man pages, etc.
Debian and Ubuntu are not bundled by default with it so you will have to install it separately.

ubuntu:~# apt-get install dlocate

Let’s say you would like to check where does the awk binary belongs, issue:

ubuntu:~# dlocate -S /usr/bin/fdisk
testdisk: /usr/share/doc/testdisk/html/microsoft_fdisk_de.html
testdisk: /usr/share/doc/testdisk/html/microsoft_fdisk_fr.html
testdisk: /usr/share/doc/testdisk/html/fdisk_de_microsoft.html
testdisk: /usr/share/doc/testdisk/html/microsoft_fdisk.html
util-linux: /sbin/sfdisk
util-linux: /sbin/cfdisk
util-linux: /sbin/fdisk
util-linux: /usr/share/man/man8/cfdisk.8.gz
util-linux: /usr/share/man/man8/sfdisk.8.gz
util-linux: /usr/share/man/man8/fdisk.8.gz
util-linux: /usr/share/doc/util-linux/README.cfdisk
util-linux: /usr/share/doc/util-linux/README.fdisk.gz
util-linux: /usr/share/doc/util-linux/examples/sfdisk.examples.gz

– Now sometimes you will have to list the content of a package binary, in Debian this is easily done with:

debian:~# dpkg -L bsdgames
...
var/games/bsdgames/hack
/var/games/bsdgames/hack/save
/var/games/bsdgames/sail
/usr/share/man/man6/teachgammon.6.gz
/usr/share/man/man6/rot13.6.gz
/usr/share/man/man6/snscore.6.gz
/usr/share/man/man6/morse.6.gz
/usr/share/man/man6/cfscores.6.gz
/usr/share/man/man6/ppt.6.gz
...

2. Here is also how o check which binary belongs to which package on FreeBSD here

freebsd# pkg_info -W /usr/local/bin/moon-buggy
/usr/local/bin/moon-buggy was installed by package moon-buggy-1.0.51_1

– Also you might need to list a binary package content in FreeBSD, here is how:

freebsd# pkg_info -L bsdtris-1.1
Information for bsdtris-1.1:

Files:
/usr/local/man/man6/bsdtris.6.gz
/usr/local/bin/bsdtris

2. To check a package belongs to which package on Fedora, Redhat, CentOS with rpm

[root@centos]# rpm -qf /bin/ls
coreutils-5.97-23.el5_4.2

Below command is above to show you all files which are contained in the sample package mysql-5.0.77-4.el5_5.3

[root@centos]# rpm -ql mysql-5.0.77-4.el5_5.3

/etc/my.cnf
/usr/bin/msql2mysql
/usr/bin/my_print_defaults
/usr/bin/mysql
/usr/bin/mysql_config
/usr/bin/mysql_find_rows
/usr/bin/mysql_tableinfo
/usr/bin/mysql_waitpid
/usr/bin/mysqlaccess
/usr/bin/mysqladmin
/usr/bin/mysqlbinlog
/usr/bin/mysqlcheck
/usr/bin/mysqldump
/usr/bin/mysqlimport
/usr/bin/mysqlshow
/usr/lib64/mysql
/usr/lib64/mysql/libmysqlclient.so.15

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