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Much of why Debian is a strong Linux distribution comes from the core of Debian namely its package management. Everything in Debian – every application, every component – everything – is built into a package, and then that package is installed onto your system (either by the Installer, or by you).

There are over 29 thousand software packages available for Debian – everything from the Linux kernel to games.

What is Apt?

Apt (for Advanced Package Tool) is a set of core tools inside Debian. Apt makes it possible to:

Apt, which basically resolves dependency problems and retrieves the requested packages, works with dpkg, another tool, which handles the actual installation and removal of packages (applications). Apt is very powerful, and is primarily used on the command line (console/terminal). There are, however, many GUI/Graphical tools to let you use Apt without having to touch the command line.

There is also aptitude for interaction with the package management. Apt tools can be used for specific management actions that may not be covered by aptitude, or where the latter behaves more aggressively with dependencies.

Further Reading