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

["dselect"]

The default ["ncurses"] based package manager.

["Synaptic"]

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

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.

["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

["aptitude"]

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

["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.