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Programmatically List Installed .deb Packages

While RPM packages have a robust ecosystem around them for programmatically retrieving information about package metadata, the Debian package management system is sorely lacking in this respect. Here is a simple C example which demonstrates how to programmatically list all installed Debian packages. #include <stdio.h> #include <unistd.h> #include <stdlib.h> #include <sys/types.h> #include <sys/stat.h> #include <dpkg/dpkg.h> #include <dpkg/dpkg-db.h> #include <dpkg/pkg-array.h> #include "filesdb.h" const char thisname[] = "example1"; int main(int argc, const char *const *argv) { struct pkg_array array; struct pkginfo *pkg; int i; enum modstatdb_rw msdb_status; standard_startup(); filesdbinit(); msdb_status = modstatdb_open(msdbrw_readonly); pkg_infodb_init(msdb_status); pkg_array_init_from_db(&array); pkg_array_sort(&array, pkg_sorter_by_name); for (i = 0; i <