Show the changelog of package with apt-get

In Ubuntu, the command “dpkg” is a tool to install, build, remove and manage Debian packages. And aptitude(“apt”) is commonly used a frontend for dpkg. For instance, to install a package most users would use “apt-get install package”.

The “changelog” sub-command for apt-get can be used to download and display the changelog for the given package.

$ apt-get changelog dnsutils

bind9 (1:9.16.1-0ubuntu2.7) focal; urgency=medium

  * Fix a race between deactivating socket handle and processing
    async callbacks, which can lead to sockets not being closed
    properly, exhausting TCP connection limits. (LP: #1909950) 
    - d/p/lp-1909950-fix-race-between-deactivating-handle-async-callback.patch

 -- Matthew Ruffell <>  Thu, 18 Feb 2021 16:28:44 +1300

bind9 (1:9.16.1-0ubuntu2.6) focal-security; urgency=medium

  * SECURITY UPDATE: off-by-one bug in ISC SPNEGO implementation
    - debian/patches/CVE-2020-8625.patch: properly calculate length in
    - CVE-2020-8625
  * This update does _not_ contain the changes from 1:9.16.1-0ubuntu2.5 in

 -- Marc Deslauriers <>  Tue, 16 Feb 2021 15:08:33 -0500


Note: this will download the changelog for the package to the most recent version of the package, not just the installed version. You can view the installed version and candidate version with below command –

$ apt-cache policy dnsutils
  Installed: 1:9.16.1-0ubuntu2.3
  Candidate: 1:9.16.1-0ubuntu2.7
  Version table:
     1:9.16.1-0ubuntu2.7 500
        500 focal-updates/universe amd64 Packages
        500 focal-updates/universe i386 Packages
     1:9.16.1-0ubuntu2.6 500
        500 focal-security/universe amd64 Packages
        500 focal-security/universe i386 Packages
 *** 1:9.16.1-0ubuntu2.3 100
        100 /var/lib/dpkg/status
     1:9.16.1-0ubuntu2 500
        500 focal/universe amd64 Packages
        500 focal/universe i386 Packages