Package Management Tools

The are several tools available on a Debian system for the management of packages and the ["PkgDB"] package database.

Tools for everyday use


The default ["ncurses"] based package manager.


This is an ["X11"] based package mananger.

Tools for advanced use


Advanced package tool


This tool is used for managing package authentication keys


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.


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


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).


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


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


A tool for querying the package database


A tool for overriding modes and ownerships of files


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


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


Used to build packages from the source files


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


This tool generates recursive dependency trees for a package.


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


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


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


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


This tool shows known critical bugs in named packages.


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


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


Sorts records and fields within the sources and packages files.


Extracts templates and install scripts from packages.


This tool configures the sources.list file.


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.


This tool scans the package database for unused or redundant packages


This tool is used for rebuilding packages

Tools for managing a package repository


This is an alternative tool to 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.


Imports packages into a cache used by apt-proxy.


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


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

Alternative tools


An alternative package manager to ["dselect"], containing additional features.


Gnome Debian Package Manager (in development).


Gnome Advanced Package Tool (in development).


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