apt-get [options] command [package ...]

A command-line tool for handling packages. Also serves as a backend to other APT tools such as dselect, synaptic, and aptitude (all described later in this section). As described earlier in this chapter, the following command can be run every day to keep your system updated:

apt-get update && apt-get -u dist-upgrade



Like clean, but remove only package files that can no longer be downloaded. Set the configuration option APT::Clean-Installed to off to prevent installed packages from being erased.


Install or remove packages to satisfy the build dependencies for a source package.


Clear the local repository of retrieved package files. Useful for freeing up disk space.


Update the package cache and check for broken packages.


Like upgrade, but also handle dependencies intelligently. See the -f option for more information.


Used with dselect. Track the changes made by dselect to the Status field of available packages and take actions necessary to realize that status.

install packages

Install one or more packages. Specify the package name, not the full filename. Other required packages are also retrieved and installed. With a hyphen appended to the package name, the package is removed if it is already installed. Select a version to install by appending an equals sign and the version.

remove packages

Remove one or more packages. Specify the package name, not the full ...

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