a more simple question?

Karen Lewellen klewellen at shellworld.net
Tue Mar 5 18:52:50 UTC 2013

Tim, I do appreciate the wisdom, but that suggestion below no doubt 
demonstrates why debian developers on that list just  told me it could not 
be done.
publicly that is.  i will not share what I was told privately.
I wanted that list outside of debian of course.
after all I still have to flex my piano lesson fingers to even run 
speakup's keyboard commands smiling.
Seriously, the effort is appreciated.

On Tue, 5 Mar 2013, Tim Chase wrote:

>> I asked on the debian list for example to see a list of all the
>> packages by category...no one  Could provide this.
> On Debian, if you run "aptitude", the interface is a little unwieldy
> but it does display it by categorization.  The information can be
> extracted from the cache on-disk with this ugly command:
> sed -n -e '/^Package: */{s///;h}'
> -e'/^Section:\s*/{s///;G;s/\n/: /;p;s/.*//;h}' /var/lib/apt/lists/*{Release,Packages}
> | sort -u | less
> That should all be one line, and beware of the copious output (on my
> Debian system, there are just shy of 30 thousand packages returned.
> The results should be a sorted list of the form "category: package",
> so a selection of the output might look something like
> games: angband
> games: animals
> net: apache2
> net: irssi
> web: links
> web: lynx
> You could further filter those results before viewing them,
> appending something like
>  | grep -v '\(x11\|lib\|debug\|fonts\|kde\)'
> to prevent things categorized as "x11" (GUI), libraries, debugging
> builds, fonts, or the "KDE" ecosystem from showing up in the list.
> I'd start by looking at just the available categories with
>  sed -n '/^Section: */s///p' *{Release,Packages} | sort -u
> (returns 51 categories on my machine) to see if there are any you'd
> want to eliminate off the bat before digging into the actual packages
> above.
>> Individual choice should be easy to engage in, no matter if others
>> do not think they need the program.
> And that's one of the beauties of Linux.  I have the aforementioned
> ~30 thousand programs *available*, but less than 2 thousand are
> actually installed (many of which came stock on the system, or as
> auto-installed dependencies of things I manually selected for
> installation). I wouldn't expect that your personal package selection
> would look anything like my package selection. (grins)
> -tim
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