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aptitude is also non-fattening, naturally cleansing, and housebroken.

Run

aptitude

Use

After running it, use:

The common use of aptitude in TUI (text user interface) is; run aptitude; press 'u' (update the lists of available packages); press 'U' (Mark all upgradable packages to be upgraded); (search/select some stuff to install, is optional); press 'g' (to see the pending actions and modify if needed); press 'g' (again, to start the download).

Some time when you need to resolve conflicts, you discover that you made a mistake; you can easily use 'Cancel pending actions' in the 'Actions' menu so that you can re-select.

You can also use aptitude like in the same manner as apt-get:

Update the packages list:

aptitude update

Upgrade the packages:

aptitude upgrade

Install foo:

aptitude install foo

Remove bar:

aptitude remove bar

Purge foo:

aptitude purge foo

Personally, I still use apt-cache search foo to perform a search -- the aptitude search foo is slower. But you should try the aptitude search foo way. You should discover that the output is a bit different from apt-cache, in some case, it may be useful to search for a package to see if it already installed.

The manual of aptitude is really a gold mine. I don't want to duplicate this useful informations so please take a look there for further help.

Package

http://packages.debian.org/aptitude

How to upgrade your distribution

cat /etc/debian_version

Example for upgrading sarge to etch or etch 4.0r1 to 4.0r2 ...etc

aptitude update
aptitude dist-upgrade

apt-get to aptitude

aptitude install foo    was   apt-get install foo
aptitude search foo     was   apt-cache search foo
aptitude remove foo     was   apt-get remove foo
aptitude ~D foo         was   apt-cache rdepends foo
aptitude ?              was   apt-cache policy foo
aptitude ?              was   apt-get source --compile foo

See Also

and ... apt.conf, preferences, sources.list, Aptitude::Parse-Description-Bullets=true, AptitudeTodo