Finding packages by name

To quickly find a package whose name you know, press / to open a search dialog:

[search dialog]

As you can see in the above screen shot, a search for froz finds the frozen-bubble package. Using aptitude's powerful search language, described in the section called “Search patterns”, it is possible to find packages based on many complex criteria.


You can search backwards in the package list by pressing \, and you can repeat the last search by pressing n after closing the search window.

Sometimes it is useful to hide all packages except those which meet some particular criterion. To do this, press l:

[package tree limit dialog]

This dialog works exactly like the search dialog, except that instead of highlighting the next package that matches what you typed into the dialog box, it hides all packages which don't match. For instance, typing apti into this dialog box and pressing Enter will hide all packages except those whose names contain apti:

[package view, limited by string 'apti']