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How to discover non-free software installed on a system?

Asked by [ Editor ]

Given an installed Debian system with components contrib and non-free enabled. Is there a quick way to discover all installed packages, that do not originate from the main component?

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helmut [ Editor ]

The component is encoding into the section field of binary packages. For packages in main, there is no marking in this field. Only for contrib and non-free a prefix with a slash is added. See Debian policy section 2.4 for details.

Equipped with that knowledge aptitude can serve this request:

aptitude search '?and(?installed,?or(?section(non-free/*),?section(contrib/*)))'

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