Create a list of all installed packages by date

This page shows how to generate a list of installed packages by default. You can do this by looking at the dpkg.log files in /var/log. There is the current log (dpkg.log), the previous log (dpkg.log.1) and then the archived logs (dpkg.log.2.gz -> ).


The simple command to grab from the current log is:

grep " install " /var/log/dpkg.log

The previous log:

grep " install " /var/log/dpkg.log.1

And archived logs:

zgrep " install " /var/log/dpkg.log.2.gz


To get the full list of packages installed you can use a simple bash script.


Download, put it in your home directory and ensure it is executable. Then run it with:



The script creates a file in your home directory called pkginstalls.txt that I can then use to examine what was installed and when. Unfortunately it doesn't show meta-packages such as "xubuntu-restricted-extras" but if you are aware of some of the contents of meta-packages you should be able to track down where it happened.

Delete or rename the pkginstalls.txt file before you run the script again.

This script is benign and doesn't affect any part of your system. To remove it, just delete the script file.

Extra information

If you have been religiously installing via the command line, and you have enabled a long enough history file, you can get similar information (no date, and excluding initial installation) by typing:

history | grep "apt-get install"

There is also more detailed installation information in /var/log/apt/ in the history.log and history.log.X.gz files and term.log and term.log.X.gz files

ListInstalledPackagesByDate (last edited 2014-03-16 15:04:38 by 1)