Want a more user-friendly interface to managing your packages? No problem! We can do most all commands performed with apt-get and apt-cache with the aptitude interface. This uses a menu-driven, text-based application ran within the terminal, and serves as a front-end interface to the APT tool. Most commands are run with a single, lowercase letters.
To launch aptitude, simply type aptitude. You may need to install it by typing sudo apt-get install aptitude.
You'll first notice that the display is split into two panels - the top displaying packages, and the bottom describing the highlighted region.
Here is a list of the most basic commands to get you started:
Preview and confirm actions
Accept an action
Reject an action
Updating the cache
Simply hit the u key to update the cache.
Hover over the Not Installed Packages section.
Move into the folder by pressing the ENTER key.
Position your cursor over to the package you want and press the + key.
Package entry will turn green if successfully marked for installation.
Press g to get a list of package actions.
Press g again to download and install the package.
Navigate to the installed packages category by using the keyboard arrow keys and hit ENTER.
Highlight the desired package and press -.
Package entry will turn pink if it has been successfully marked for removal.
Press g to see a list of package actions, and press g again to remove the package.
Press the U key to mark all packages with updates.
Press g and you'll obtain a list of package actions.
Press g again to download and install the new updated package contents.
Press ENTER to return to the menu.
A package that is not installed, but its configuration is on system.
Purged from system.
Broken package, meaning you have not installed its dependencies.
Unpacked files, but package not yet configured.
Half-configured, configuration failed and rquires to fix.
Half-installed, removal failed and requires fix.
To exit the interface, press q and confirm.
Using aptitude on the command line
Aptitude can also perform several command line tasks that are identical to apt-get.
Install one or more packages.
Updates the list of available packages from apt sources.
Conservative about removing packages or installing new ones. so it may fail.
Less conservative. Removes and installs packages as necessary. May break software in the process.
Searches database for packages matching specified name.
Displays detailed information about on or more packages.
Removes all previously downloaded .deb files from the package cache.
Removes already downloaded packages that are no longer available.
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