Prompt what package to install when it is missing

Brandon Allbery allbery.b at
Fri Nov 11 13:11:46 PST 2011

On Fri, Nov 11, 2011 at 16:05, Scott Webster <sewebster at> wrote:

> On Fri, Nov 11, 2011 at 12:57 PM, Phillip Koebbe
> <phillip.koebbe at> wrote:
> >
> > On Nov 11, 2011, at 2:43 PM, Brandon Allbery wrote:
> >> Actually, it's only fairly recently that Linux package managers started
> shipping with a master package manifest that could be queried for this kind
> of thing, and it's an add-in instead of basic behavior; as such, it's only
> "fundamental" in the sense that there's only one such manifest to query on
> any given Linux system.
> >>
> >
> > I guess my memory is worse than I thought. I seem to recall the behavior
> we're discussing when I used Debian regularly 10ish years ago. My mistake.
> >
> You could run "auto-apt search <some_file>" a long time ago, but it
> certainly didn't just pop up a useful comment if you typed an unknown
> command at the prompt...

Or "apt-cache search" etc., but in terms of the history of dpkg and apt
it's a recent development.  RPM-based Linuxes took even longer to get the
capability, even though it was trivial to implement (simply add a complete
package database and provide wrappers that search it instead of the system

brandon s allbery                                      allbery.b at
wandering unix systems administrator (available)     (412) 475-9364 vm/sms
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