Description of each field

As you can see from the first three lines:

First letter -> desired package state (“selection state”):

  • u – means: Unknown (an unknown state)
  • i – means: Install (marked for installation)
  • r – means: Remove (marked for removal)
  • p – means: Purge (marked for purging means: also config files will be removed)
  • h – means: put on hold (will not be updated-upgraded)
    • this is usefull, e.g. if the user wants the latest firefox directly from (which comes with it’s own update mechanism via Help -> About Firefox -> Check for Updates)
    • apt mark hold packagename

Second letter -> current package state:

  • n – means: the package is not installed
  • i – means: the package is installed (success! 🙂
  • c – means: config-files (only the config files are installed)
  • u – means: the package is unpacked (?)
  • f – means: half-configured (configuration failed for some reason (failed to remove configuration files?))
  • h – means: half-installed (installation failed for some reason) -> use this script for nice debugging
  • w – means: triggers-awaited (package is waiting for a trigger from another package)
  • t – means: triggers-pending (package has been triggered)

Third letter -> error state (you normally shouldn’t see a third letter, but a space, instead):

  • R – means: reinst-required (package broken, reinstallation required)

the combinations:

  • ii – means: ‘It should be installed and it is installed’ whereas
  • rc – means: ‘It’s removed/uninstalled but it’s configuration files are still there’



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