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Old 02-25-2005, 11:19 AM   #1
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Sweden
Distribution: Ubuntu 10.04
Posts: 99

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Finding out the version of a program

I am using Mandrake 9.1 in a dual booting system (w/ Windows XP).
I read sometimes in the requirements of a program that a specific version of a dependency is needed, for example: installing 'Knights', in the webpage ( it says:

Knights requires that you have the following already installed:

* K Desktop Environment v3.x
* Autoconf v2.53
* Automake v1.6.1

Now, how do I know which versions do I have installed???
Is there a command that checks that???
(With KDE I know the version since it shows it while loading but that's not what I need)

thanks =D
Old 02-25-2005, 11:24 AM   #2
Registered: Jan 2005
Location: Finland
Distribution: Ubuntu, Debian, Gentoo, Slackware
Posts: 827

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Well, there is no uniform system to track the version numbers, but here are a few almost standard ways:

Most programs that have a single main binary know the --version or -V parameter, so for eg:
bash --version
will return something like:
GNU bash, version 3.00.15(2)-release (i486-slackware-linux-gnu)
Copyright (C) 2004 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

The switch can vary from program to program, but they documentation allways should refer to it.. And the documentation usually has the version printed somewhere..

Then, on the shadier packages that you might have no idea what they do, or what to ask their version for.. Now, slackware has a pretty good system on keeping track of its packages and their versions, but I believe the rpm based distrosalso have something similar embedded into the rpm system. So:
man rpm
might reveal the command to enquire the version of installed packages
Old 02-25-2005, 03:41 PM   #3
Registered: Jun 2004
Location: High Green
Distribution: Fedora Core 4
Posts: 180

Rep: Reputation: 30
These work for me:
1) When you know the package name: rpm -q kdebase (kdebase is just an example).
2) When you have to search for it: rpm -qa "kde*".

On Mandrake, you can (and probably should) use urpmi and/or its graphical frontend Rpmdrake. See:

I use my own script that creates lists of all the packages.

Some Knights RPM's can be found with

Old 02-25-2005, 06:37 PM   #4
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Sweden
Distribution: Ubuntu 10.04
Posts: 99

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Thanks a lot!
Both answers worked great for me.
I now know that I must update both my autoconf and automake since I dont have the min requirements.


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