Ubuntu – apt-file update

aptapt-filesoftware-sources

I was following these instructions and I have installed apt-file along with some other packages using:

sudo apt-get install gnupg pbuilder ubuntu-dev-tools bzr-builddeb apt-file

And now every time I startup my computer I get this notice:

apt-file update needed notice

So I finally went into Terminal and typed the command:

apt-file update

And I got this output:

apt-file is now using the user's cache directory.
If you want to switch back to the system-wide cache directory,
 run 'apt-file purge'
Downloading complete file http://gb.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/utopic/Contents-amd64.gz
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 94 29.6M   94 27.8M    0     0   667k      0  0:00:45  0:00:42  0:00:03 97 29.6M   97 28.8M    0     0   677k      0  0:00:44  0:00:43  0:00:01 99 29.6M   99 29.5M    0     0   678k      0  0:00:44  0:00:44 --:--:--100 29.6M  100 29.6M    0     0   678k      0  0:00:44  0:00:44 --:--:--  738k
Downloading complete file http://gb.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/utopic-updates/Contents-amd64.gz
  % Total    % Received % Xferd  Average Speed   Time    Time     Time  Current
                                 Dload  Upload   Total   Spent    Left  Speed
  0     0    0     0    0     0      0      0 --:--:-- --:--:-- --:--:-- 11 3134k   11  367k    0     0   480k      0  0:00:06 --:--:--  0:00:06 35 3134k   35 1101k    0     0   623k      0  0:00:05  0:00:01  0:00:04 53 3134k   53 1685k    0     0   609k      0  0:00:05  0:00:02  0:00:03 75 3134k   75 2373k    0     0   630k      0  0:00:04  0:00:03  0:00:01 99 3134k   99 3105k    0     0   651k      0  0:00:04  0:00:04 --:--:--100 3134k  100 3134k    0     0   652k      0  0:00:04  0:00:04 --:--:--  684k
Downloading Index http://gb.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/utopic/Contents-amd64.diff/Index:
No Index available.
Downloading complete file http://gb.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/utopic/Contents-amd64.gz
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File is up-to-date.
Downloading Index http://gb.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/utopic-updates/Contents-amd64.diff/Index:
No Index available.
Downloading complete file http://gb.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/utopic-updates/Contents-amd64.gz
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  0     0    0     0    0     0      0      0 --:--:-- --:--:-- --:--:--  0     0    0     0    0     0      0      0 --:--:-- --:--:-- --:--:--     0
File is up-to-date.
Downloading complete file http://gb.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/utopic-backports/Contents-amd64.gz
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Downloading complete file http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/utopic-security/Contents-amd64.gz
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  0     0    0     0    0     0      0      0 --:--:-- --:--:-- --:--:-- 17 2546k   17  452k    0     0   454k      0  0:00:05 --:--:--  0:00:05 46 2546k   46 1185k    0     0   593k      0  0:00:04  0:00:01  0:00:03 75 2546k   75 1918k    0     0   640k      0  0:00:03  0:00:02  0:00:01100 2546k  100 2546k    0     0   660k      0  0:00:03  0:00:03 --:--:--  660k
Downloading Index http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/utopic-security/Contents-amd64.diff/Index:
No Index available.
Downloading complete file http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/utopic-security/Contents-amd64.gz
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  0     0    0     0    0     0      0      0 --:--:-- --:--:-- --:--:--  0     0    0     0    0     0      0      0 --:--:-- --:--:-- --:--:--     0
File is up-to-date.
Ignoring source without Contents File:
  http://extras.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/utopic/Contents-amd64.gz
Ignoring source without Contents File:
  http://dl.google.com/linux/chrome/deb/dists/stable/Contents-amd64.gz

So I see that it says:

apt-file is now using the user's cache directory.
If you want to switch back to the system-wide cache directory,
 run 'apt-file purge'

So what exactly is apt-file? And what does it mean by the fact that it is now using the user's cache directory? Is this a good thing? What is the difference here between the user's cache directory and the system-wide cache directory, and which one should I use? Does this in any way affect my apt-get sources?


OS Information:

Description:    Ubuntu 14.10
Release:    14.10

Package Information:

apt-file:
  Installed: 2.5.2.3ubuntu1
  Candidate: 2.5.2.3ubuntu1
  Version table:
 *** 2.5.2.3ubuntu1 0
        500 http://gb.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ utopic/universe amd64 Packages
        100 /var/lib/dpkg/status

Best Answer

  • apt-file is used to do a search of which package provides a file. Consider it the offline and somewhat limited version of http://packages.ubuntu.com.
  • Since you used apt-file update without sudo, it cannot use a system-wide directory (typically /var/cache/apt/apt-file), and instead uses a directory in your home (~/.cache/apt-file).
  • Searches by other users cannot use your user's cache.
  • If you're the only user, it doesn't really matter which cache apt-file uses, as long as you're consistent about using sudo (or not).
  • apt-get and apt-file share sources, but neither affects the other.