aptitude [options] [action [arguments]]

A text-based frontend to apt, which can be run either directly from the command line or from a visual mode that runs in a terminal window.


The following actions are supported. Running aptitude with no action invokes the visual mode. Package names can be entered individually or as search patterns. A search pattern consists of terms starting with a tilde (~), followed by a character indicating the type of term, followed by the text to be searched for. The most common usage is to use ~n to search for a package name (e.g., ~nemacs, to search for packages that have emacs in their name). You can find the full list of term types in the Aptitude User’s Manual. The manual can be found in /usr/share/doc/README on a Debian system. On an RPM-based system with aptitude installed, the README file may be in /usr/share/aptitude or /usr/share/doc/aptitude.


Clean out the cache by removing only packages that can no longer be downloaded.


Clean out the cache by removing all previously downloaded .deb files.


Upgrade as many installed packages as possible, installing and removing packages as needed to satisfy dependencies.

download packages

Download the .deb file for each specified package to the current directory.

forbid-versionpackage[=version] ...

Don’t allow aptitude to upgrade the package to a particular version. If no version is specified, it is assumed to be the version that would normally be used.

forget-new ...

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