Linux Command Library
commands
Commands
basic
Basic
tips
Tips

aptitude

high-level interface to the package manager

- Synchronize list of packages and versions available. This should be run first, before running subsequent aptitude commands:
aptitude update

- Install a new package and its dependencies:
aptitude install [package]

- Search for a package:
aptitude search [package]

- Remove a package and all packages depending on it:
aptitude remove [package]

- Upgrade installed packages to newest available versions:
aptitude upgrade

- Upgrade installed packages (like `aptitude upgrade`) including removing obsolete packages and installing additional packages to meet new package dependencies:
aptitude full-upgrade

aptitude [<options>...] {autoclean clean forget-new keep-all update upgrade}

aptitude [<options>...] {changelog dist-upgrade download forbid-version hold install keep-all markauto purge reinstall remove show unhold unmarkauto} <packages>...
aptitude [<options>...] search <patterns>...
aptitude [-S <fname>] [-u -i]
aptitude help

aptitude is a text-based interface to the Debian GNU/Linux package system.

It allows the user to view the list of packages and to perform package management tasks such as installing, upgrading, and removing packages. Actions may be performed from a visual interface or from the command-line.

The first argument which does not begin with a hyphen ("-") is considered to be an action that the program should perform. If an action is not specified on the command-line, aptitude will start up in visual mode.

The following actions are available:

install
Install one or more packages. The packages should be listed after the "install" command; if a package name contains a tilde character ("~"), it will be treated as a search pattern and every package matching the pattern will be installed (see the section "Search Patterns" in the aptitude reference manual).

To select a particular version of the package, append "=<version>" to the package name: for instance, "aptitude install apt=0.3.1". Similarly, to select a package from a particular archive, append "/<archive>" to the package name: for instance, "aptitude install apt/experimental".

Not every package listed on the command line has to be installed; you can tell aptitude to do something different with a package by appending an "override specifier" to the name of the package. For example, aptitude remove wesnoth+ will install wesnoth, not remove it. The following override specifiers are available:

<package>+

Install <package>.

<package>+M

Install <package> and immediately mark it as automatically installed (note that if nothing depends on <package>, this will cause it to be immediately removed).

<package>-

Remove <package>.

<package>_

Purge <package>: remove it and all its associated configuration and data files.

<package>=

Place <package> on hold: cancel any active installation, upgrade, or removal, and prevent this package from being automatically upgraded in the future.

<package>:

Keep <package> at its current version: cancel any installation, removal, or upgrade. Unlike "hold" (above) this does not prevent automatic upgrades in the future.

<package>&M

Mark <package> as having been automatically installed.

<package>&m

Mark <package> as having been manually installed.

As a special case, "install" with no arguments will act on any stored/pending actions.

Note Once you enter Y at the final confirmation prompt, the "install" command will modify aptitude's stored information about what actions to perform. Therefore, if you issue (e.g.) the command "aptitude install foo bar" and then abort the installation once aptitude has started downloading and installing packages, you will need to run "aptitude remove foo bar" to cancel that order.

remove, purge, hold, unhold, keep, reinstall
These commands are the same as "install", but apply the named action to all packages given on the command line for which it is not overridden. The difference between hold and keep is that hold will cause a package to be ignored by future upgrade commands, while keep merely cancels any scheduled actions on the package. unhold will cause a package to be upgraded by future upgrade commands, without otherwise altering its state.

For instance, "aptitude remove '~ndeity'" will remove all packages whose name contains "deity".

markauto, unmarkauto
Mark packages as automatically installed or manually installed, respectively. Packages are specified in exactly the same way as for the "install" command. For instance, "aptitude markauto '~slibs'" will mark all packages in the "libs" section as having been automatically installed.

For more information on automatically installed packages, see the section "Managing Automatically Installed Packages" in the aptitude reference manual.

forbid-version
Forbid a package from being upgraded to a particular version. This will prevent aptitude from automatically upgrading to this version, but will allow automatic upgrades to future versions. By default, aptitude will select the version to which the package would normally be upgraded; you may override this selection by appending "=<version>" to the package name: for instance, "aptitude forbid-version vim=1.2.3.broken-4".

This command is useful for avoiding broken versions of packages without having to set and clear manual holds. If you decide you really want the forbidden version after all, the "install" command will remove the ban.

update

Updates the list of available packages from the apt sources (this is equivalent to "apt-get update")

upgrade
Upgrades installed packages to their most recent version. Installed packages will not be removed unless they are unused (see the section "Managing Automatically Installed Packages" in the aptitude reference manual); packages which are not currently installed will not be installed.

If a package cannot be upgraded without violating these constraints, it will be kept at its current version. Use the dist-upgrade command to upgrade these packages as well.

dist-upgrade
Upgrades installed packages to their most recent version, removing or installing packages as necessary. This command is less conservative than upgrade and thus more likely to perform unwanted actions. Users are advised to either use upgrade instead or to carefully inspect the list of packages to be installed and removed.
keep-all
Cancels all scheduled actions on all packages; any packages whose sticky state indicates an installation, removal, or upgrade will have this sticky state cleared.
forget-new
Forgets all internal information about what packages are "new" (equivalent to pressing "f" when in visual mode).
search

Searches for packages matching one of the patterns supplied on the command line. All packages which match any of the given patterns will be displayed; for instance, "aptitude search '~N'" will list all "new" packages. For more information on search patterns, see the section "Search Patterns" in the aptitude reference manual.

Unless you pass the -F option, the output of aptitude search will look something like this:
i apt - Advanced front-end for dpkg pi apt-build - frontend to apt to build, optimize and in cp apt-file - APT package searching utility -- command- ihA raptor-utils - Raptor RDF Parser utilities Each search result is listed on a separate line. The first character of each line indicates the current state of the package: the most common states are p, meaning that no trace of the package exists on the system, c, meaning that the package was deleted but its configuration files remain on the system, i, meaning that the package is installed, and v, meaning that the package is virtual. The second character indicates the stored action (if any; otherwise a blank space is displayed) to be performed on the package, with the most common actions being i, meaning that the package will be installed, d, meaning that the package will be deleted, and p, meaning that the package and its configuration files will be removed. If the third character is A, the package was automatically installed.

For a complete list of the possible state and action flags, see the section "Accessing Package Information" in the aptitude reference guide.

show

Displays detailed information about one or more packages, listed following the search command. If a package name contains a tilde character ("~"), it will be treated as a search pattern and all matching packages will be displayed (see the section "Search Patterns" in the aptitude reference manual).

If the verbosity level is 1 or greater (i.e., at least one -v is present on the command-line), information about all versions of the package is displayed. Otherwise, information about the "candidate version" (the version that "aptitude install" would download) is displayed.

You can display information about a different version of the package by appending =<version> to the package name; you can display the version from a particular archive by appending /<archive> to the package name. If either of these is present, then only the version you request will be displayed, regardless of the verbosity level.

If the verbosity level is 1 or greater, the package's architecture, compressed size, filename, and md5sum fields will be displayed. If the verbosity level is 2 or greater, the select version or versions will be displayed once for each archive in which they are found.

clean

Removes all previously downloaded .deb files from the package cache directory (usually /var/cache/apt/archives).

autoclean
Removes any cached packages which can no longer be downloaded. This allows you to prevent a cache from growing out of control over time without completely emptying it.
changelog
Downloads and displays the Debian changelog for each of the given source or binary packages.

By default, the changelog for the version which would be installed with "aptitude install" is downloaded. You can select a particular version of a package by appending =<version> to the package name; you can select the version from a particular archive by appending /<archive> to the package name.

download
Downloads the .deb file for the given package to the current directory.

By default, the version which would be installed with "aptitude install" is downloaded. You can select a particular version of a package by appending =<version> to the package name; you can select the version from a particular archive by appending /<archive> to the package name.

help

Displays a brief summary of the available commands and options.

The following options may be used to modify the behavior of the actions described above. Note that while all options will be accepted for all commands, some options don't apply to particular commands and will be ignored by those commands.

-D, --show-deps
For commands that will install or remove packages (install, upgrade, etc), show brief explanations of automatic installations and removals.

This corresponds to the configuration option Aptitude::CmdLine::Show-Deps.

-d, --download-only
Download packages to the package cache as necessary, but do not install or remove anything. By default, the package cache is stored in /var/cache/apt/archives.

This corresponds to the configuration option Aptitude::CmdLine::Download-Only.

-F <format>, --display-format <format>
Specify the format which should be used to display output from the search command. For instance, passing "%p %V %v" for <format> will display a package's name, followed by its currently installed version and its available version (see the section "Customizing how packages are displayed" in the aptitude reference manual for more information).

This corresponds to the configuration option Aptitude::CmdLine::Package-Display-Format.

-f

Try hard to fix the dependencies of broken packages, even if it means ignoring the actions requested on the command line.

This corresponds to the configuration item Aptitude::CmdLine::Fix-Broken.
-h, --help
Display a brief help message. Identical to the help action.
--purge-unused
Purge packages that are no longer required by any installed package. This is equivalent to passing "-o Aptitude::Purge-Unused=true" as a command-line argument.
-P, --prompt
Always display a prompt, even when no actions other than those explicitly requested will be performed.

This corresponds to the configuration option Aptitude::CmdLine::Always-Prompt.

-R, --without-recommends
Do not treat recommendations as dependencies when installing new packages (this overrides settings in /etc/apt/apt.conf and ~/.aptitude/config).

This corresponds to the configuration option Aptitude::Recommends-Important

-r, --with-recommends
Treat recommendations as dependencies when installing new packages (this overrides settings in /etc/apt/apt.conf and ~/.aptitude/config).

This corresponds to the configuration option Aptitude::Recommends-Important

-s, --simulate
In command-line mode, print the actions that would normally be performed, but don't actually perform them. This does not require root privileges. In the visual interface, always open the cache in read-only mode regardless of whether you are root.

This corresponds to the configuration option Aptitude::Simulate.

--schedule-only
For commands that modify package states, schedule operations to be performed in the future, but don't perform them. You can execute scheduled actions by running aptitude install with no arguments. This is equivalent to making the corresponding selections in visual mode, then exiting the program normally.

For instance, aptitude --schedule-only install evolution will schedule the evolution package for later installation.

-t <release>, --target-release <release>
Set the release from which packages should be installed. For instance, "aptitude -t experimental ..." will install packages from the experimental distribution unless you specify otherwise. For the command-line actions "changelog", "download", and "show", this is equivalent to appending /<release> to each package named on the command-line; for other commands, this will affect the default candidate version of packages according to the rules described in apt_preferences(5).

This corresponds to the configuration item APT::Default-Release.

-O <order>, --sort <order>
Specify the order in which output from the search command should be displayed. For instance, passing "installsize" for <order> will list packages in order according to their size when installed (see the section "Customizing how packages are sorted" in the aptitude reference manual for more information).
-o <key>=<value>
Set a configuration file option directly; for instance, use -o Aptitude::Log=/tmp/my-log to log aptitude's actions to /tmp/my-log. For more information on configuration file options, see the section "Configuration file reference" in the aptitude reference manual.
-q[=<n>], --quiet[=<n>]
Suppress all incremental progress indicators, thus making the output loggable. This may be supplied multiple times to make the program quieter, but unlike apt-get, aptitude does not enable -y when -q is supplied more than once.

The optional =<n> may be used to directly set the amount of quietness (for instance, to override a setting in /etc/apt/apt.conf); it causes the program to behave as if -q had been passed exactly <n> times.

-V, --show-versions
Show which versions of packages will be installed.

This corresponds to the configuration option Aptitude::CmdLine::Show-Versions.

-v, --verbose
Causes some commands (for instance, show) to display extra information. This may be supplied multiple times to get more and more information.

This corresponds to the configuration option Aptitude::CmdLine::Verbose.

--version
Display the version of aptitude and some information about how it was compiled.
--visual-preview
When installing or removing packages from the command line, instead of displaying the usual prompt, start up the visual interface and display its preview screen.
-w <width>, --width <width>
Specify the display width which should be used for output from the search command (by default, the terminal width is used).

This corresponds to the configuration option Aptitude::CmdLine::Package-Display-Width

-y, --assume-yes
When a yes/no prompt would be presented, assume that the user entered "yes". In particular, suppresses the prompt that appears when installing, upgrading, or removing packages. Prompts for "dangerous" actions, such as removing essential packages, will still be displayed. This option overrides -P.

This corresponds to the configuration option Aptitude::CmdLine::Assume-Yes.

-Z

Show how much disk space will be used or freed by the individual packages being installed, upgraded, or removed.

This corresponds to the configuration option Aptitude::CmdLine::Show-Size-Changes.
The following options apply to the visual mode of the program, but are primarily for internal use; you generally won't need to use them yourself.
-S <fname>
Loads the extended state information from <fname> instead of the standard state file.
-u

Begins updating the package lists as soon as the program starts. You cannot use this option and -i at the same time.

-i

Displays a download preview when the program starts (equivalent to starting the program and immediately pressing "g"). You cannot use this option and "-u" at the same time.

HOME

If $HOME/.aptitude exists, aptitude will store its configuration file in $HOME/.aptitude/config. Otherwise, it will look up the current user's home directory using getpwuid(2) and place its configuration file there.

PAGER

If this environment variable is set, aptitude will use it to display changelogs when "aptitude changelog" is invoked. If not set, it defaults to more.

TMP

If TMPDIR is unset, aptitude will store its temporary files in TMP if that variable is set. Otherwise, it will store them in /tmp.

TMPDIR

aptitude will store its temporary files in the directory indicated by this environment variable. If TMPDIR is not set, then TMP will be used; if TMP is also unset, then aptitude will use /tmp.

apt-get(8), apt(8), /usr/share/doc/aptitude/html/<lang>/index.html from the package aptitude-doc-<lang>

Daniel Burrows <dburrows@debian.org>.

play store download app store download
Imprint
Sonnenallee 29, 12047 Berlin, Germany
e-mail: sschubert89@gmail.com

Privacy policy
Successfully copied