The Debian Package Manager

Debian GNU/Linux provides several package management tools, primarily intended to facilitate the building, installation, and management of binary packages. Debian package names generally end in .deb. The Debian package management tools include:

dpkg

The original Debian packaging tool. Used to install or uninstall packages or as a frontend to dpkg-deb. Getting and installing packages is usually done with apt-get, but dpkg is still commonly used to install a package that is already on your system. In fact, apt-get calls dpkg to do the installation once it’s gotten the package.

dpkg-deb

Lower-level packaging tool. Used to create and manage the Debian package archives. Accepts and executes commands from dpkg or can be called directly.

dselect

An interactive frontend to dpkg.

The Advanced Package Tool (APT)

APT is a modern, user-friendly package management tool that consists of a number of commands. The most frequently used of these commands is apt-get, which is used to download and install a Debian package. apt-get can be run from the command line or selected as a method from dselect. One of the features of apt-get is that you can use it to get and install packages across the Internet by specifying an FTP or HTTP URL. You can also use it to upgrade all packages currently installed on your system in a single operation. Note that this results in a large download and will take a long time on a slow Internet connection.

Each of these tools is described in ...

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