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I saw a few questions, which are asking for the latest version of package/lib/software named XY, so I do believe that a more general question, which could help other looking for some package/lib/software.

Where I can find a list of the Software packages and their version numbers supported by the RPi?

NOTE I am referring only to the approved OSes, respectively Raspbian, Arch, Pidora, RaspBMC, OpenELEC and RISC OS.

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a more general question

Good idea, except a generalization would be for the operating system, not the device, since it's the OS that determines what software packages are available. By analogy, let's say I have an Acme X1000 Laptop, and I want to know "What software packages are available in what versions?" -- this is dependent on the OS I use on it. Generally, if an OS can be used on a given device, and a particular piece of software runs on that OS, then that software will run on the device via the OS, so the device is irrelevant to the question. Of course, there are inevitably exceptions and caveats.

Normative GNU/Linux distributions, such as Raspbian, Arch, and Pidora, are all really variants of the same operating system (GNU/Linux). So if software package foobar is available for GNU/Linux, it can probably be made to work -- by which I mean, configured and built without significant changes to the source -- on any normative GNU/Linux distribution.

However, "configuring and building" is rarely as fast (esp. on the pi) and easy as simply installing a pre-built package, and those are what the distributions provide. So we want to determine what packages are available for a given distribution in what versions. This can be done via the distro's package management system. Here's a brief overview of package management systems for the popular, normative pi distros:

  • Raspbian: Being Debian, the fundamental tools are apt and dpkg. For example, apt-cache search foobar will help to find packages involving foobar; version information can be found via apt-cache search --full or apt-cache showpkg. Here's debian's own guide.

  • Pidora: Being Fedora, the main tool is yum; you can search with yum search foobar and all available versions will be shown.

  • Arch: The package manager is pacman.

There is a bit of a complication here in that package managers work by searching online repositories, and there may be more repositories available than your package manager is currently configured to check.

There are also GUI front-ends available for the above command-line tools, e.g, Synaptic for Debian and PackageKit for Fedora. Whether these really make things easier depends on the user.

I've left out RaspBMC, OpenELEC, and RISC OS, since I don't know much about them. I believe the first two are reasonably close to being regular linuxes and should have package managers of some sort. RISC OS is a world of its own.

  • Very good and detailed answer, I was referring to the libraries/tools/etc. which are dependant on the architecture of the hardware on which they are running. Like specific version of some library in C or something similar. Although your answer suggests a good tools (Synaptic, PackageKit) which will help the users to determinate the latest version supported or even if a specific package is presented. – DaGhostman Dimitrov Jan 16 '14 at 22:53
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    Libraries and fundamental tools are dependencies for the rest of the software in a system, so they cannot be excluded from the general logic of my answer -- especially since they are much more OS specific than platform specific in terms of the specification of their upward interfaces, which is what is significant WRT what software can be made to run on a given system without alteration. If a distribution is ported to a given platform, that includes its basic parts. – goldilocks Jan 17 '14 at 1:56
  • Ok, I agree (the dependencies are not likely to not be included..) – DaGhostman Dimitrov Jan 17 '14 at 20:44
  • No, my point is they must be included. If disto foo includes a software package, then it must also include any dependencies -- those are the "basic parts" of the distro. So if distro foo has been ported to platform bar, then all the libraries, etc. it, and all the software it contains (really "it" and "the software it contains" are synonymous), require to run must have been ported as well. – goldilocks Jan 17 '14 at 21:09
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The official RISC OS package manager is here: http://www.riscpkg.org/

Note though, that this is a recent project, and up 'til about a year ago, there was no formal packaging used. So this is currently classifiying existing software, and well as new stuff.

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