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Debian/Ubuntu package management tools

Scott Ehrlich wrote:
> After apt-get update and apt-get upgrade, I found I had a conflict,
> which synaptic helped to easily resolve.

If you prefer a command line package manager that also can resolve some 
conflicts that apt can't, try aptitude. (The Debian manuals recommend it 
over apt.) I use it as a primary package manager on both Debian and Ubuntu.

I prefer to run upgrades from a command line and screen capture the 
output, as it often contains useful messages about the configuration of 
packages or occasionally failed steps. aptitude also generates a nice 
log in your log directory showing which packages were updated and the 
old and new version numbers.

synaptic will provide an experience similar to Windows Update, if you're 
looking for that kind of thing. I haven't figured out if it is possible 
to get synaptic to put packages on hold or pin packages to a specific 
version, which comes in handy if you're using one of the beta releases 
of Ubuntu and need to hold off on using buggy packages.

apt-get still comes in handy occasionally, such as a rare case when 
aptitude gets confused on how to resolve a conflict and you need to 
manually override, or if you want to temporarily install a package that 
is held or pinned in aptitude.


Tom Metro
Venture Logic, Newton, MA, USA
"Enterprise solutions through open source."
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