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<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" standalone="no"?>
<!DOCTYPE refentry PUBLIC "-//OASIS//DTD DocBook XML V4.2//EN"
"" [
<!ENTITY % aptent SYSTEM "apt.ent">
<!-- The last update date -->
<date>08 November 2008</date>
<refmiscinfo class="manual">APT</refmiscinfo>
<!-- Man page title -->
<refpurpose>APT package handling utility -- command-line interface</refpurpose>
<!-- Arguments -->
<arg choice='plain'>
<group choice="req">
<arg choice='plain'>update</arg>
<arg choice='plain'>upgrade</arg>
<arg choice='plain'>dselect-upgrade</arg>
<arg choice='plain'>dist-upgrade</arg>
<arg choice='plain'>install
<arg choice="plain" rep="repeat"><replaceable>pkg</replaceable>
<group choice='req'>
<arg choice='plain'>
<arg choice='plain'>
<arg choice='plain'>remove <arg choice="plain" rep="repeat"><replaceable>pkg</replaceable></arg></arg>
<arg choice='plain'>purge <arg choice="plain" rep="repeat"><replaceable>pkg</replaceable></arg></arg>
<arg choice='plain'>source
<arg choice="plain" rep="repeat"><replaceable>pkg</replaceable>
<group choice='req'>
<arg choice='plain'>
<arg choice='plain'>
<arg choice='plain'>build-dep <arg choice="plain" rep="repeat"><replaceable>pkg</replaceable></arg></arg>
<arg choice='plain'>check</arg>
<arg choice='plain'>clean</arg>
<arg choice='plain'>autoclean</arg>
<arg choice='plain'>autoremove</arg>
<arg choice='plain'>
<group choice='req'>
<arg choice='plain'>-v</arg>
<arg choice='plain'>--version</arg>
<arg choice='plain'>
<group choice='req'>
<arg choice='plain'>-h</arg>
<arg choice='plain'>--help</arg>
<para><command>apt-get</command> is the command-line tool for handling packages, and may be
considered the user's "back-end" to other tools using the APT
library. Several "front-end" interfaces exist, such as &dselect;,
&aptitude;, &synaptic; and &wajig;.</para>
<para>Unless the <option>-h</option>, or <option>--help</option> option is given, one of the
commands below must be present.</para>
<listitem><para><literal>update</literal> is used to resynchronize the package index files from
their sources. The indexes of available packages are fetched from the
location(s) specified in <filename>/etc/apt/sources.list</filename>.
For example, when using a Debian archive, this command retrieves and
scans the <filename>Packages.gz</filename> files, so that information about new
and updated packages is available. An <literal>update</literal> should always be
performed before an <literal>upgrade</literal> or <literal>dist-upgrade</literal>. Please
be aware that the overall progress meter will be incorrect as the size
of the package files cannot be known in advance.</para></listitem>
<listitem><para><literal>upgrade</literal> is used to install the newest versions of all packages
currently installed on the system from the sources enumerated in
<filename>/etc/apt/sources.list</filename>. Packages currently installed with
new versions available are retrieved and upgraded; under no circumstances
are currently installed packages removed, or packages not already installed
retrieved and installed. New versions of currently installed packages that
cannot be upgraded without changing the install status of another package
will be left at their current version. An <literal>update</literal> must be
performed first so that <command>apt-get</command> knows that new versions of packages are
is used in conjunction with the traditional Debian packaging
front-end, &dselect;. <literal>dselect-upgrade</literal>
follows the changes made by &dselect; to the <literal>Status</literal>
field of available packages, and performs the actions necessary to realize
that state (for instance, the removal of old and the installation of new
<listitem><para><literal>dist-upgrade</literal> in addition to performing the function of
<literal>upgrade</literal>, also intelligently handles changing dependencies
with new versions of packages; <command>apt-get</command> has a "smart" conflict
resolution system, and it will attempt to upgrade the most important
packages at the expense of less important ones if necessary.
So, <literal>dist-upgrade</literal> command may remove some packages.
The <filename>/etc/apt/sources.list</filename> file contains a list of locations
from which to retrieve desired package files.
See also &apt-preferences; for a mechanism for
overriding the general settings for individual packages.</para></listitem>
<para><literal>install</literal> is followed by one or more
packages desired for installation or upgrading.
Each package is a package name, not a fully qualified
filename (for instance, in a Debian GNU/Linux system,
libc6 would be the argument provided, not
<literal>libc6_1.9.6-2.deb</literal>). All packages required
by the package(s) specified for installation will also
be retrieved and installed.
The <filename>/etc/apt/sources.list</filename> file is
used to locate the desired packages. If a hyphen is
appended to the package name (with no intervening space),
the identified package will be removed if it is installed.
Similarly a plus sign can be used to designate a
package to install. These latter features may be used
to override decisions made by apt-get's conflict
resolution system.
<para>A specific version of a package can be selected for installation by
following the package name with an equals and the version of the package
to select. This will cause that version to be located and selected for
install. Alternatively a specific distribution can be selected by
following the package name with a slash and the version of the
distribution or the Archive name (stable, testing, unstable).</para>
<para>Both of the version selection mechanisms can downgrade packages and must
be used with care.</para>
<para>This is also the target to use if you want to upgrade one or
more already-installed packages without upgrading every package
you have on your system. Unlike the "upgrade" target, which
installs the newest version of all currently installed packages,
"install" will install the newest version of only the package(s)
specified. Simply provide the name of the package(s) you wish
to upgrade, and if a newer version is available, it (and its
dependencies, as described above) will be downloaded and
<para>Finally, the &apt-preferences; mechanism allows you to
create an alternative installation policy for
individual packages.</para>
<para>If no package matches the given expression and the expression contains one
of '.', '?' or '*' then it is assumed to be a POSIX regular expression,
and it is applied
to all package names in the database. Any matches are then installed (or
removed). Note that matching is done by substring so 'lo.*' matches 'how-lo'
and 'lowest'. If this is undesired, anchor the regular expression
with a '^' or '$' character, or create a more specific regular expression.</para></listitem>
<listitem><para><literal>remove</literal> is identical to <literal>install</literal> except that packages are
removed instead of installed. Note the removing a package leaves its
configuration files in system. If a plus sign is appended to the package
name (with no intervening space), the identified package will be
installed instead of removed.</para></listitem>
<listitem><para><literal>purge</literal> is identical to <literal>remove</literal> except that packages are
removed and purged (any configuration files are deleted too).</para></listitem>
<listitem><para><literal>source</literal> causes <command>apt-get</command> to fetch source packages. APT
will examine the available packages to decide which source package to
fetch. It will then find and download into the current directory the
newest available version of that source package while respect the
default release, set with the option <literal>APT::Default-Release</literal>,
the <option>-t</option> option or per package with the
<literal>pkg/release</literal> syntax, if possible.</para>
<para>Source packages are tracked separately
from binary packages via <literal>deb-src</literal> type lines
in the &sources-list; file. This means that you will need to add such a line
for each repository you want to get sources from. If you don't do this
you will properly get another (newer, older or none) source version than
the one you have installed or could install.</para>
<para>If the <option>--compile</option> option is specified
then the package will be compiled to a binary .deb using
<command>dpkg-buildpackage</command>, if <option>--download-only</option>
is specified then the source package will not be unpacked.</para>
<para>A specific source version can be retrieved by postfixing the source name
with an equals and then the version to fetch, similar to the mechanism
used for the package files. This enables exact matching of the source
package name and version, implicitly enabling the
<literal>APT::Get::Only-Source</literal> option.</para>
<para>Note that source packages are not tracked like binary packages, they
exist only in the current directory and are similar to downloading source
tar balls.</para></listitem>
<listitem><para><literal>build-dep</literal> causes apt-get to install/remove packages in an
attempt to satisfy the build dependencies for a source package.</para></listitem>
<listitem><para><literal>check</literal> is a diagnostic tool; it updates the package cache and checks
for broken dependencies.</para></listitem>
<listitem><para><literal>clean</literal> clears out the local repository of retrieved package
files. It removes everything but the lock file from
<filename>&cachedir;/archives/</filename> and
<filename>&cachedir;/archives/partial/</filename>. When APT is used as a
&dselect; method, <literal>clean</literal> is run automatically.
Those who do not use dselect will likely want to run <literal>apt-get clean</literal>
from time to time to free up disk space.</para></listitem>
<listitem><para>Like <literal>clean</literal>, <literal>autoclean</literal> clears out the local
repository of retrieved package files. The difference is that it only
removes package files that can no longer be downloaded, and are largely
useless. This allows a cache to be maintained over a long period without
it growing out of control. The configuration option
<literal>APT::Clean-Installed</literal> will prevent installed packages from being
erased if it is set to off.</para></listitem>
<listitem><para><literal>autoremove</literal> is used to remove packages that were automatically
installed to satisfy dependencies for some package and that are no more needed.</para></listitem>
<listitem><para>Do not consider recommended packages as a dependency for installing.
Configuration Item: <literal>APT::Install-Recommends</literal>.</para></listitem>
<listitem><para>Download only; package files are only retrieved, not unpacked or installed.
Configuration Item: <literal>APT::Get::Download-Only</literal>.</para></listitem>
<listitem><para>Fix; attempt to correct a system with broken dependencies in
place. This option, when used with install/remove, can omit any packages
to permit APT to deduce a likely solution. If packages are specified,
these have to completely correct the problem. The option is sometimes necessary when
running APT for the first time; APT itself does not allow broken package
dependencies to exist on a system. It is possible that a system's
dependency structure can be so corrupt as to require manual intervention
(which usually means using &dselect; or <command>dpkg --remove</command> to eliminate some of
the offending packages). Use of this option together with <option>-m</option> may produce an
error in some situations.
Configuration Item: <literal>APT::Get::Fix-Broken</literal>.</para></listitem>
<listitem><para>Ignore missing packages; If packages cannot be retrieved or fail the
integrity check after retrieval (corrupted package files), hold back
those packages and handle the result. Use of this option together with
<option>-f</option> may produce an error in some situations. If a package is
selected for installation (particularly if it is mentioned on the
command line) and it could not be downloaded then it will be silently
held back.
Configuration Item: <literal>APT::Get::Fix-Missing</literal>.</para></listitem>
<listitem><para>Disables downloading of packages. This is best used with
<option>--ignore-missing</option> to force APT to use only the .debs it has
already downloaded.
Configuration Item: <literal>APT::Get::Download</literal>.</para></listitem>
<listitem><para>Quiet; produces output suitable for logging, omitting progress indicators.
More q's will produce more quiet up to a maximum of 2. You can also use
<option>-q=#</option> to set the quiet level, overriding the configuration file.
Note that quiet level 2 implies <option>-y</option>, you should never use -qq
without a no-action modifier such as -d, --print-uris or -s as APT may
decided to do something you did not expect.
Configuration Item: <literal>quiet</literal>.</para></listitem>
<listitem><para>No action; perform a simulation of events that would occur but do not
actually change the system.
Configuration Item: <literal>APT::Get::Simulate</literal>.</para>
<para>Simulation run as user will deactivate locking (<literal>Debug::NoLocking</literal>)
automatic. Also a notice will be displayed indicating that this is only a simulation,
if the option <literal>APT::Get::Show-User-Simulation-Note</literal> is set (Default: true).
Neither NoLocking nor the notice will be triggered if run as root (root should know what
he is doing without further warnings by <literal>apt-get</literal>).</para>
<para>Simulate prints out
a series of lines each one representing a dpkg operation, Configure (Conf),
Remove (Remv), Unpack (Inst). Square brackets indicate broken packages
and empty set of square brackets meaning breaks that are of no consequence
<listitem><para>Automatic yes to prompts; assume "yes" as answer to all prompts and run
non-interactively. If an undesirable situation, such as changing a held
package, trying to install a unauthenticated package or removing an essential package
occurs then <literal>apt-get</literal> will abort.
Configuration Item: <literal>APT::Get::Assume-Yes</literal>.</para></listitem>
<listitem><para>Show upgraded packages; Print out a list of all packages that are to be
Configuration Item: <literal>APT::Get::Show-Upgraded</literal>.</para></listitem>
<listitem><para>Show full versions for upgraded and installed packages.
Configuration Item: <literal>APT::Get::Show-Versions</literal>.</para></listitem>
<listitem><para>Compile source packages after downloading them.
Configuration Item: <literal>APT::Get::Compile</literal>.</para></listitem>
<listitem><para>Also install recommended packages.</para></listitem>
<listitem><para>Do not install recommended packages.</para></listitem>
<listitem><para>Ignore package Holds; This causes <command>apt-get</command> to ignore a hold
placed on a package. This may be useful in conjunction with
<literal>dist-upgrade</literal> to override a large number of undesired holds.
Configuration Item: <literal>APT::Ignore-Hold</literal>.</para></listitem>
<listitem><para>Do not upgrade packages; When used in conjunction with <literal>install</literal>,
<literal>no-upgrade</literal> will prevent packages on the command line
from being upgraded if they are already installed.
Configuration Item: <literal>APT::Get::Upgrade</literal>.</para></listitem>
<listitem><para>Do not install new packages; When used in conjunction with <literal>install</literal>,
<literal>only-upgrade</literal> will prevent packages on the command line
from being upgraded if they are not already installed.
Configuration Item: <literal>APT::Get::Only-Upgrade</literal>.</para></listitem>
<listitem><para>Force yes; This is a dangerous option that will cause apt to continue
without prompting if it is doing something potentially harmful. It
should not be used except in very special situations. Using
<literal>force-yes</literal> can potentially destroy your system!
Configuration Item: <literal>APT::Get::force-yes</literal>.</para></listitem>
<listitem><para>Instead of fetching the files to install their URIs are printed. Each
URI will have the path, the destination file name, the size and the expected
md5 hash. Note that the file name to write to will not always match
the file name on the remote site! This also works with the
<literal>source</literal> and <literal>update</literal> commands. When used with the
<literal>update</literal> command the MD5 and size are not included, and it is
up to the user to decompress any compressed files.
Configuration Item: <literal>APT::Get::Print-URIs</literal>.</para></listitem>
<listitem><para>Use purge instead of remove for anything that would be removed.
An asterisk ("*") will be displayed next to packages which are
scheduled to be purged. <option>remove --purge</option> is equivalent to the
<option>purge</option> command.
Configuration Item: <literal>APT::Get::Purge</literal>.</para></listitem>
<listitem><para>Re-Install packages that are already installed and at the newest version.
Configuration Item: <literal>APT::Get::ReInstall</literal>.</para></listitem>
<listitem><para>This option defaults to on, use <literal>--no-list-cleanup</literal> to turn it
off. When on <command>apt-get</command> will automatically manage the contents of
<filename>&statedir;/lists</filename> to ensure that obsolete files are erased.
The only reason to turn it off is if you frequently change your source
Configuration Item: <literal>APT::Get::List-Cleanup</literal>.</para></listitem>
<listitem><para>This option controls the default input to the policy engine, it creates
a default pin at priority 990 using the specified release string.
This overrides the general settings in <filename>/etc/apt/preferences</filename>.
Specifically pinned packages are not affected by the value
of this option. In short, this option
lets you have simple control over which distribution packages will be
retrieved from. Some common examples might be
<option>-t '2.1*'</option>, <option>-t unstable</option>
or <option>-t sid</option>.
Configuration Item: <literal>APT::Default-Release</literal>;
see also the &apt-preferences; manual page.</para></listitem>
Only perform operations that are 'trivial'. Logically this can be considered
related to <option>--assume-yes</option>, where <option>--assume-yes</option> will answer
yes to any prompt, <option>--trivial-only</option> will answer no.
Configuration Item: <literal>APT::Get::Trivial-Only</literal>.</para></listitem>
<listitem><para>If any packages are to be removed apt-get immediately aborts without
Configuration Item: <literal>APT::Get::Remove</literal>.</para></listitem>
<listitem><para>If the command is either <literal>install</literal> or <literal>remove</literal>,
then this option acts like running <literal>autoremove</literal> command, removing the unused
dependency packages. Configuration Item: <literal>APT::Get::AutomaticRemove</literal>.
<listitem><para>Only has meaning for the
<literal>source</literal> and <literal>build-dep</literal>
commands. Indicates that the given source names are not to be
mapped through the binary table. This means that if this option
is specified, these commands will only accept source package
names as arguments, rather than accepting binary package names
and looking up the corresponding source package. Configuration
Item: <literal>APT::Get::Only-Source</literal>.</para></listitem>
<listitem><para>Download only the diff, dsc, or tar file of a source archive.
Configuration Item: <literal>APT::Get::Diff-Only</literal>, <literal>APT::Get::Dsc-Only</literal>, and
<listitem><para>Only process architecture-dependent build-dependencies.
Configuration Item: <literal>APT::Get::Arch-Only</literal>.</para></listitem>
<listitem><para>Ignore if packages can't be authenticated and don't prompt about it.
This is useful for tools like pbuilder.
Configuration Item: <literal>APT::Get::AllowUnauthenticated</literal>.</para></listitem>
<refsect1><title>See Also</title>
<para>&apt-cache;, &apt-cdrom;, &dpkg;, &dselect;, &sources-list;,
&apt-conf;, &apt-config;, &apt-secure;,
The APT User's guide in &guidesdir;, &apt-preferences;, the APT Howto.</para>
<para><command>apt-get</command> returns zero on normal operation, decimal 100 on error.</para>
<title>ORIGINAL AUTHORS</title>
<title>CURRENT AUTHORS</title>