Debian Package Installation Notes

apt-get

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

apt-get -s install

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

apt-get -V -s upgrade

apt-cache

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

apt-cache policy

aptitude

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

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

aptitude -V -s install

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

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

aptitude search -F "%c %p %d %V"

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

Another way using dpkg and grep:

dpkg -s | grep Version

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