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[notaquestion] how i learned to love aptitude :)

PostPosted: 2020-03-08 12:37
by wizard10000
crossposted from r/Debian -

I run Unstable and Debian has been in the middle of a Python deployment for a few days - I still can't abide aptitude's ncurses interface but command-line is pretty cool.

During this Python deployment
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apt full-upgrade
will happily blow away samba and libreoffice if I were to just smack the enter key,
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aptitude safe-upgrade
won't and
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aptitude full-upgrade
will offer solutions and even if I smack the enter key it'll still demand I approve a solution before proceeding.

It's taken me many years to figure this out - still learning :mrgreen:

Re: [notaquestion] how i learned to love aptitude :)

PostPosted: 2020-03-08 13:25
by trinidad
Whenever I run into a problematic install process because of hardware, network drops, partially installed things, any kind of tempermental glitch that still allows me a console I install aptitude if I can and sometimes nnn and go from there. I have never had a Debian install process problem that I cannot fix or patch up eventually and aptitude and nnn do make that process easier sometimes once you get the hang of it.


Re: [notaquestion] how i learned to love aptitude :)

PostPosted: 2020-03-08 14:29
by CwF
I've always mentioned aptitude as a savior. I've been able to fix most anything with syanptic, except those cases where there is no synaptic, or desktop, or gui. So I fire up a startx with xterm so I can load aptitude with a mouse available. Aptitude has always been step 3 of a net install in my world, step 2 is installing aptitude. Then it's there when something blows up.

Re: [notaquestion] how i learned to love aptitude :)

PostPosted: 2020-03-08 16:03
by Deb-fan
Have used both, long meant to get better familiar with aptitude, have found either or-both have a ridiculous amount of features. Targeting specific repositories, versions, architectures (combo of all of them) etc etc blah, the grand daddy of awesome features ... automatic depends resolution. Think both are amazing but started with apt so most familiar with it. Thank the geek gawds for things like apt/itude though. Ever been offline and wanted to install something on a local system, dependency hell gives a person a whole new appreciation of either.

Imagine what geeks in the pioneer dys went through, having to track all these pieces of software down, likely compile a bunch of stuff too. Everything went well, wow a working program! We've got it good folks. The face lift apt received is much appreciated too, simply apt now vs apt-get/apt-cache. Still prefer apt though just cause it's comfort-zone and habit.

Re: [notaquestion] how i learned to love aptitude :)

PostPosted: 2020-03-08 16:53
by CwF
As far as I'm concerned apt/aptitude/synaptic is the trinity of debian and the reason I'm here. Together they cover it, aptitude is the best renovator.

Re: [notaquestion] how i learned to love aptitude :)

PostPosted: 2020-03-08 16:55
by Head_on_a_Stick
wizard10000 wrote:I still can't abide aptitude's ncurses interface but command-line is pretty cool

+1, I used to rely on aptitude for the (brief) time I was running sid — if it started asking tricky questions during the install then I knew I had to back off and use safe-upgrade instead.

I also really like aptitude's search terms: ... 05.en.html ← they render n00b tools like apt-show-versions(1p) almost completely superfluous.

Re: [notaquestion] how i learned to love aptitude :)

PostPosted: 2020-03-08 17:17
by Deb-fan
Is important to know these differences. Can be subtle but very significant. While tracking unstable always used dist-upgrade, it'll remove/install things to keep a working system, though including the kernel if someone has a certain graphics driver etc can obviously cause issues for users, "apt upgrade" doesn't, this "apt full-upgrade" does too now, will remove as needed but not the kernel, no doubt why it came to be. Not sure exactly how aptitudes "safe-upgrade" works but being aware of these diffs can make the diff between an install being in a sloppy state or even broken or not, esp tracking Sid. Warrants some research and skimming of man pgs. Devil's can be in the details.

Now I'm interested, going to have to Google safe-upgrade. Dam you Wiz10k!!, making me have to learn stuff and stuff. :)

PS, personally say "apt full-upgrade" should be used instead of just upgrade.

Re: [notaquestion] how i learned to love aptitude :)

PostPosted: 2020-03-09 18:38
by Deb-fan
Still like apt-show-versions, though useful in the context of running a mixed branch install vs Sid( even stable users may be interested in seeing what's installed from backports too.) Am sure there's plenty of commandline wizardry that'd make finding such info straight forward for folks, am sure dpkg and apt can do it too. Never bothered to check into it. Another PKG worth mentioning for those tracking Sid/unstable or mixed branch, apt-listbugs ... never bothered to determine where it gets it's bug reports, always installed it just cause. Can't hurt being informed xyz-pkgs have reported bugs and being given the opportunity to investigate etc before proceeding with the upgrade. :)

Edit: Sorry if verging on offtopicness Wiz10k, wanted to include this while thinking about it and not sure where else would fit. Also fairly sure aptitude + others can do likewise. If someone were wanting a list of all the pkgs they've installed manually, "apt-mark showmanual" output does so. Definitely useful, I run minimal netinstalls, built from base up, so an easy way of seeing what all I've installed is cool. Also can put pkgs on hold(or take them off it) w apt-mark, must come with newer versions of apt cause it's there in /usr/bin/apt-mark and don't remember ever installing it on Stretch or Buster.