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 * apt - high-level commandline interface for the package management system.  * '''[[AptCLI|apt]]''' - high-level commandline interface for the package management system.

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Many tools available on a Debian system can be used for PackageManagement. Commonly used ones include:



This page tries to list all software related to Debian package management.

Full list of package management tools


The apt package provides commandline tools for searching, managing, and querying information about packages, and access all features of the libapt-pkg library:

  • apt - high-level commandline interface for the package management system.

  • apt-cache - performs a variety of operations on APT's package cache.
  • apt-cdrom - used to add a new CD-ROM to APT's list of available sources.
  • apt-config - APT Configuration Query program
  • apt-get - command-line tool for handling packages

  • apt-key - manage the list of keys used by apt to authenticate packages.


The dpkg package provides low-level infrastructure for handling the installation and removal of Debian software packages:

  • dpkg - a tool to install, build, remove and manage Debian packages.
  • dpkg-deb - Debian package archive (.deb) manipulation tool
  • dpkg-divert - override a package's version of a file
  • dpkg-maintscript-helper - works around known dpkg limitations in maintainer scripts
  • dpkg-query - show information about packages listed in the dpkg database.
  • dpkg-split - splits binary packages into smaller files and reassembles them(storage of large package files on small media)
  • dpkg-statoverride - override ownership and mode of files
  • dpkg-trigger - a tool to explicitly activate dpkg triggers
  • update-alternatives - maintain symbolic links determining default commands
  • dpkg-query - A tool for querying the package database
  • dpkg-statoverride - A tool for overriding modes and ownerships of files


apt-utils contains some less used commandline utilities related to package management with APT.

  • apt-ftparchive - create Packages and other index files needed to publish an archive of Debian packages


devscripts provides several scripts to make the life of a Debian Package maintainer easier

  • debuild - This tool is used for rebuilding packages


dpkg-dev provides the development tools (including dpkg-source) required to unpack, build and upload Debian source packages.

  • dpkg-scanpackages - create Debian Packages index files from binary packages (.deb and variants)
  • dpkg-scansources - create Debian Sources index files from source packages (.dsc)

TODO unsorted

  • 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-setup - 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-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||

  • dpkg-www - Debian package management web interface - browse Debian packages on a local or remote host using a normal web browser.

  • apt-xapian-index - a tool to maintain a Xapian index of Debian package information and a command line search tool that uses the index.

  • ?wajig - wrapper tool for apt-get, dpkg, apt-cache, wget, and others

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.
  • apt-transport-https - Allows apt to be configured to use https


  • 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

  • tasksel – Tool for selecting tasks for installation on Debian systems

  • PackageKit - Distro-agnostic frontend under developement

See also

  • Get a list of package management tools (requires debtags):  aptitude search '~Gadmin::package-management~Gsuite::debian' 

  • Packaging

TODO: add links to each command's manpage

CategoryPackageManagement | CategorySoftware