Finding a Missing Package in Ubuntu with Aptitude

When you configure a program before building, it will usually check for dependencies and if one is missing it will return an error such as:

checking for OPENSSL… configure: error: Package requirements (openssl) were not met:

No package ‘openssl’ found

Consider adjusting the PKG_CONFIG_PATH environment variable if you
installed software in a non-standard prefix.

It could be a PATH issue, but usually that simply means the development version of the library is not installed. Sometimes the name is easy to guess and can be installed with apt-get:

sudo apt-get install packagename-devel

But sometimes it’s more difficult to guess and Google is not always very helpful.

In that case you can use aptitude to search for the package. For example for nss3:

sudo aptitude search nss3
i   libnss3                         – Network Security Service libraries
i   libnss3-1d                   – Network Security Service libraries
p   libnss3-dbg                – Development files for the Network Security
p   libnss3-dev                – Development files for the Network Security
p   libnss3-tools              – Network Security Service tools

You can see libnss3-dev is not installed and correspond to the development files for NSS and you can install it as follows:

sudo apt-get install libnss3-dev

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