Ubuntu: How do I get a list of non-LTS packages installed efficiently?


I'd like to see to what extent my system is LTS-supported by means of what packages are supported for 5 years and which are not. I could disregard some non-5yr-supported packages, as some are rarely used or very unlikely to get into (security) issues.

I think this is useful as one can get a report and draw a conclusion, e.g. "my system is 100% LTS", "due to packages X,Y,Z, my system is just 99% LTS", "due to the use of KDE, my system is now 50% LTS".

As related to my answer in the question Does 12.04 LXDE have LTS?, I posted a way to see which packages of Ubuntu feature five years of support. E.g.:

$ apt-cache show unity | grep ^Supported  Supported: 5y    $ apt-cache show lxde-core | grep ^Supported  <no output>  

I could write a script to get all information for all the packages, however, the apt-cache commands are horribly slow:

real    0m1.535s  user    0m1.484s  sys     0m0.036s  

With 2700+ packages installed, this would take roughly 70 minutes (!).

How can I speed up things and get a report for all non-5yr-supported packages on my system?

I'd prefer a simple apt-* shell command for the use in a simple shell script. If it would require more advanced scripting like going into Python, this is fine too. Eventually, I would like to release a (small) script to create a report on a system easily and quickly.

Note: I'm not interested in the discussion about whether or not a specific flavour of Ubuntu provides LTS or not - this is really just packages. You can just mix LTS and non-LTS packages on a system.


I don't know about your system, but this is what I did:

time dpkg -l | grep 'ii' |  awk ' {print $2}' | xargs apt-cache show | grep '^Supported:' | grep -v '5y' | wc -l  158    real        0m27.549s  user        0m5.580s  sys         0m21.701s  

doesn't seem so bad right?

The total number of packages:

dpkg -l | grep 'ii' | wc -l  2602  

I am running a AMD E-350 which isn't exactly a blazing fast cpu...

Edit: maximum number of arguments to xargs:

xargs --show-limits    ...  POSIX upper limit on argument length (this system): 2091826  ...  


Here's a quick one-liner to get you the list of packages which are maintained for LESS than the full LTS period of 5 years, using grep-dctrl(1):

sudo apt-get install dctrl-tools  dpkg -l | grep '^ii' |  awk ' {print $2}' | xargs apt-cache show | grep-dctrl -v -FSupported --exact-match -nsPackage 5y | sort | uniq  

You can easily modify it to look for different support periods.

Note:If u also have question or solution just comment us below or mail us on toontricks1994@gmail.com
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