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Package Management Tools

The are several tools available on a Debian system for the management of packages and the package database. This is just a list of the commands related to the topic, to access complete information on the options and arguments used in each command, use the manpages.

A more complete list of tools may be obtained by installing the debtags package and typing:

aptitude search '~Gadmin::package-management~Gsuite::debian'

Tools for everyday use

synaptic

Graphical package manager (default for Gnome).

?kpackage

KDE Debian Package Manager (default for KDE).

aptitude

Terminal-based apt frontend (ncurses interface).

Wajig

Wajig is a wrapper tool for apt-get, dpkg, apt-cache, wget, and others

PackageKit

Distro-agnostic frontend under developement

gdebi

graphical frontend for Gnome which integrates with nautilus.

Tools for advanced use

apt

Advanced package tool

apt-key

This tool is used for managing package authentication keys

dpkg

This is the main utility program that handles installation and removal of packages. All other tools are frontends for dpkg, and many users rarely use this tool directly.

apt-get

Used to organize the installation of packages (dpkg does the actual installing, apt-get handles dependencies, etc).

apt-cache

Used to search the contents of the entire package database in the sources list (as opposed to dpkg searches, which only search the contents of installed packages).

dpkg-deb

This tool is used to pack, unpack and provides information about package files.

dpkg-divert

A tool for installing a package in a non-default location

dpkg-query

A tool for querying the package database

dpkg-statoverride

A tool for overriding modes and ownerships of files

apt-file

This tool searches for a filename installed by any package in the contents of sources.list.

apt-listchanges

This tool displays the relevant changelog entries whenever a package is upgraded.

?apt-build

Used to build packages from the source files

apt-cdrom

This tool allows cdrom based sources to be included in the package sources list.

apt-rdepends

This tool generates recursive dependency trees for a package.

apt-spy

This tool is used to generate a sources.list file from the current list of mirrors, based on latency/bandwidth.

apt-show-versions

shows all available versions of a package (allows wildcards), or all packages, and displays upgrade information where applicable.

dpkg-reconfigure

Allows a package to be reconfigured based on preferences (the same questions that are asked when the package is first installed).

apt-show-source

This is a variant of "apt-cache show" that shows information against the named source package, rather than the binary package.

apt-listbugs

This tool shows known critical bugs in named packages.

apt-zip

This tool allows non-networked machines to export a list of packages selected for install using removable media.

apt-config

This program is used by the other apt utilities to provide a standard interface to the apt configuration settings.

apt-sortpkgs

Sorts records and fields within the sources and packages files.

apt-extracttemplates

Extracts templates and install scripts from packages.

apt-setup

This tool configures the sources.list file.

apt-offline

Offline Package Management

auto-apt

This tool checks the file access of programs running within its environments, and automatically installs packages if a program tries to access a file known to belong in an uninstalled package.

deborphan

This tool scans the package database for unused or redundant packages

debuild

This tool is used for rebuilding packages

Tools for managing a package repository

apt-cacher

This is an alternative tool to apt-proxy.

apt-proxy

This is a specialized proxy server for accessing apt repositories. This can be used on a network to get packages from a central server that only downloads from the mirrors once.

apt-proxy-import

Imports packages into a cache used by apt-proxy.

apt-ftparchive

generates, from a directory of packages, the Packages and Sources control files used for an apt repository.

apt-move

Moves a collection of Debian packages into a proper pool directory hierarchy as used by a package repository.

Alternative tools

gdpm

Gnome Debian Package Manager (in development).

gnome-apt

Gnome Advanced Package Tool (in development).

pdbv

A tool for creating an xhtml view of the package database.

dselect

Deprecated: superseded by aptitude


CategoryQuickPackageManagement