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6.10. Recherche de paquets

With the large and ever-growing amount of software in Debian, there emerges a paradox: Debian usually has a tool for most tasks, but that tool can be very difficult to find among the myriad other packages. The lack of appropriate ways to search for (and to find) the right tool has long been a problem. Fortunately, this problem has almost entirely been solved.
La recherche la plus triviale correspond à une recherche sur le nom exact d'un paquet. Si apt show paquet renvoie un résultat, c'est que le paquet existe. Malheureusement, il n'est pas toujours facile de deviner le nom du paquet.
A slightly more successful searching pattern is a plain-text search in package names, but it remains very limited. You can generally find results by searching package descriptions: since each package has a more or less detailed description in addition to its package name, a keyword search in these descriptions will often be useful. apt-cache and axi-cache are the tools of choice for this kind of search (see ALTERNATIVE axi-cache); for instance, apt-cache search video will return a list of all packages whose name or description contains the keyword “video”.
Si l'on souhaite effectuer des recherches plus complexes, on pourra utiliser aptitude, qui permet de spécifier une expression logique portant sur différents champs des paquets. Par exemple, on pourra obtenir la liste des paquets dont le nom contient kino, la description video et le nom du responsable paul :
$ aptitude search kino~dvideo~mpaul
p   kino  - Non-linear editor for Digital Video data
$ aptitude show kino
Package: kino                     
Version: 1.3.4+dfsg0-1.1
State: not installed
Priority: optional
Section: video
Maintainer: Paul Brossier <>
Architecture: amd64
Uncompressed Size: 8,316 k
Depends: libasound2 (>= 1.0.16), libavc1394-0 (>= 0.5.3), libavcodec58 (>= 7:4.2),
         libavformat58 (>= 7:4.2), libavutil56 (>= 7:4.0), libc6 (>= 2.29), libdv4
         (>= 1.0.0), libgcc-s1 (>= 3.0), libgdk-pixbuf-2.0-0 (>= 2.22.0),
         libglade2-0 (>= 1:2.6.4-2~), libglib2.0-0 (>= 2.12.0), libgtk2.0-0 (>=
         2.24.0), libiec61883-0 (>= 1.2.0), libpango-1.0-0 (>= 1.14.0),
         libpangoft2-1.0-0 (>= 1.14.0), libquicktime2 (>= 2:1.2.2), libraw1394-11
         (>= 2.1.2), libsamplerate0 (>= 0.1.7), libstdc++6 (>= 9), libswscale5 (>=
         7:4.0), libx11-6, libxext6, libxml2 (>= 2.7.4), libxv1
Recommends: ffmpeg, curl
Suggests: udev | hotplug, vorbis-tools, sox, mjpegtools, lame, ffmpeg2theora
Conflicts: kino-dvtitler, kino-timfx, kinoplus, kino-dvtitler:i386,
           kino-timfx:i386, kinoplus:i386, kino:i386
Replaces: kino-dvtitler, kino-timfx, kinoplus, kino-dvtitler:i386,
          kino-timfx:i386, kinoplus:i386
Provides: kino-dvtitler, kino-timfx, kinoplus
Description: Non-linear editor for Digital Video data
 Kino allows you to record, create, edit, and play movies recorded with DV
 camcorders. This program uses many keyboard commands for fast navigating and
 editing inside the movie. 
 The kino-timfx, kino-dvtitler and kinoplus sets of plugins, formerly distributed
 as separate packages, are now provided with Kino.
Tags: field::arts, hardware::camera, implemented-in::c, implemented-in::c++,
      interface::graphical, interface::x11, role::program, scope::application,
      suite::gnome, uitoolkit::gtk, use::editing, use::learning,
      works-with::video, x11::application
Le résultat ne contient ici qu'un paquet, kino, qui satisfait bien les trois conditions requises.
Even these multi-criteria searches are rather unwieldy, which explains why they are not used as much as they could. A new tagging system has therefore been developed, and it provides a new approach to searching. Packages are given tags that provide a thematic classification along several strands, known as a “facet-based classification”. In the case of kino above, the package's tags indicate that Kino is a Gnome-based software that works on video data and whose main purpose is editing.
Browsing this classification can help you to search for a package which corresponds to known needs; even if it returns a (moderate) number of hits, the rest of the search can be done manually. To do that, you can use the ~G search pattern in aptitude, but it is probably easier to simply navigate the site where tags are managed or use the debtags command:
$ debtags search "works-with::video && use::editing"
Si l'on sélectionne les étiquettes works-with::video et use::editing, on obtient une poignée de paquets, notamment les logiciels de montage vidéo kino et pitivi. Ce système de classification a vocation à être de plus en plus utilisé au fil du temps, à mesure que les outils de gestion de paquets fourniront des interfaces de recherche efficaces qui en tirent parti.
En résumé, selon la complexité des recherches que l'on souhaite mener, on utilisera un programme adapté :