[nmglug] Learning about options for installing programs, help please

Akkana Peck akkana at shallowsky.com
Thu Dec 3 14:24:02 PST 2020

Don Crowder writes:
> Semantics can be an obstacle. I opened Synaptic after reading your post and
> searched for "clip art".  I got a lot of results, none of which appeared to
> be clip art but when I tried again, searching instead for "clipart", I got
> specific and usable results.  When I'm looking for an application for a
> specific purpose I don't normally begin with Synaptic.  I begin with
> google. Of course if you google "free clipart for LibreOffice" you'll need

Being a command-line girl, I like using grep to winnow down search
choices. I find it a lot faster than typing lots of repeated
patterns into Google or Synaptic.

You can search with either apt-cache search or aptitude search;
I prefer aptitude. If you want something that includes both "clip"
and "art" but you're not sure whether it's clipart, clip art,
clip-art or what, you could do this:

$ aptitude search clip | grep art
p  openclipart - Open Clip Art Library
p  openclipart-libreoffice - clip art for OpenOffice.org/LibreOffice gallery
p  openclipart-png - clip art in PNG format
p  openclipart-svg - clip art in SVG format

The letter at the beginning of the line indicates whether it's
installed or not. If it was installed it would say "i"; anything
else means it's not installed or partially installed (details are in
man aptitude, but I never remember, so I just look for i or not-i).


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