Phil's APT Quick Reference

Debian's apt system truely revolutionized linux package management. It inspired other distros to port apt, or build similar functionality such as the urpmi system. For many people, it is the main reason they run Debain.

Below is a quick reference to cover some of the most commonly needed apt uses.

Download and install package:
apt-get install package

Update apt's list of available packages:
apt-get update

Upgrade all installed packages with upgrades available:
apt-get upgrade

Upgrade to new distro, or in general upgrade anything available for update including core system packages:
apt-get dist-upgrade

Uninstall package:
apt-get remove package

Uninstall package, and its config files, and don't leave it in the database as 'uninstalled':
apt-get --purge remove package

Search for a package like pattern:
apt-cache search pattern

Get information on installed package:
dpkg -s package

Find which installed package file belongs to:
dpkg -S inetd.conf

List which files are in package:
apt-file list package

Find out what packages provide file:
apt-file search file

Run a command (such as ./configure or make) and have all necessary packages installed as needed:
auto-apt run command

Unless specified, the package in reference doesn't have to be already installed for these to work... but the database needs to be updated. You can update the appropriate database via:
apt-get update
auto-apt update
apt-file update

This page is © Phil Dibowitz 2001 - 2004