Purpose: To count the total number of packages in the Debian distribution.

I have read on many websites that Debian has the most number of packages than any other Linux distribution out there.  Also as per Debian, there are 18000+ packages  in Debian. This got me curious and I decided to query the total number of packages that are currently actually there in Debian. The 18k+ estimate is more than one year old and therefore I think it is not very accurate. Upon doing some research I found that there is not direct way by which you can query the number of packages in real-time. Therefore I had to rely on the compressed text files on Debian’s package website.

I decided to check the number of packages that are there in current stable (etch), testing (Lenny) and unstable (Sid) branch and further breaking the numbers into main, contrib and non-free sections. Here are some statistics and if you are a Debian fan then you are going to enjoy this.

Debian Stable (Etch)

Total packages:  23143

Break-up of packages section-wise:

Main:  22488

Contrib: 333

Non-free: 322

Debian Testing (Lenny)

Total packages:  28278

Break-up of packages section-wise:

Main:  27534

Contrib: 364

Non-free: 380

Debian Unstable (Sid)

Total packages:  30448

Break-up of packages section-wise:

Main:  29632

Contrib: 349

Non-free: 467

I have to say that the above numbers are pretty impressive. Actually Debian is a very conservative distribution (and I like that) and hence it has mentioned 18000+ packages only as opposed to 23000+. “Under promise, Over deliver”.  I don’t think there is any other distribution which comes any where close to Debian in terms of packages that it has to offer.

I have written a small shell script which basically spits out the numbers. I still need to do some touch ups and then I will post the script on web. However, I can be little bit off in my count because of formatting issues (of the downloaded text file) and errors in command.  Just in case if you get curious too and try to do this yourself and if the numbers don’t match then please let me know. I will correct myself.

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