Tips on using aptitude

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Tips on using aptitude

Postby jobezone » 2006-03-19 03:50

You should probably start using aptitude the next time you install a new debian system. Search for it on the web, and you’ll understand why (and why it’s the apt frontend the debian project recomends).

If you’re stuck with the interface, here are some tips:

- F10 or Ctrl+T brings up its menu;

- If you use aptitude under X (in gnome-terminal, konsole, xterm, whatever), you can use your mouse to use the menu, and switch between opened views.

- At the end of each menu option, its shortcut key is shown;

- The most important keys (acessible through the menu as well) are:

u - update package list

+ - mark package for installation

- - mark package for removal

/ - search forward

n - see next result

\ - search backwards

g - Apply changes (GO!)

- Keys you’ll also want to learn:

U - mark all upgradable packages

C - See changelog of package

<enter>- Open/close trees, open new view for selected package

q - exit current view/exit aptitude

? - brings up aptitude’s help

- you can skip the full-screen interface, and use aptitude like you use apt-get. The most common commands are:

aptitude update
aptitude install <package>
aptitude upgrade
aptitude dist-upgrade
aptitude search <search-term>
aptitude show <package>
The Debian Documentation website contains the FAQ, Installation Manual and the Release Notes for Etch. They're helpful if you want to learn more about debian!
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Re: Tips on using aptitude

Postby adssse » 2006-03-20 14:41

jobezone wrote:You should probably start using aptitude the next time you install a new debian system.


What if you already have your system set up? Should I switch over to aptitude now or continue using apt? (Thanks in advance for any advice.)
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Re: Tips on using aptitude

Postby jobezone » 2006-03-20 16:41

adssse wrote:
jobezone wrote:You should probably start using aptitude the next time you install a new debian system.


What if you already have your system set up? Should I switch over to aptitude now or continue using apt? (Thanks in advance for any advice.)

I've never tried that myself, because I've read that aptitude could behave erratically that way. The way I understand it, aptitude "remembers" and diferentiates between packages the user directly installed and packages automatically installed to meet dependencies. It's because of this that it can keep the system clean of unneeded packages, by removing these later when and if they are not needed anymore.
In your case, the first time you run it, it may want to remove a lot of packages you installed using apt-get. But perhaps you can tell it not to remove them, and eventually "tame" the beast :D .
The Debian Documentation website contains the FAQ, Installation Manual and the Release Notes for Etch. They're helpful if you want to learn more about debian!
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