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<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" standalone="no"?>
<!DOCTYPE refentry PUBLIC "-//OASIS//DTD DocBook XML V4.5//EN"
"" [
<!ENTITY % aptent SYSTEM "apt.ent"> %aptent;
<!ENTITY % aptverbatiment SYSTEM "apt-verbatim.ent"> %aptverbatiment;
<!ENTITY % aptvendor SYSTEM "apt-vendor.ent"> %aptvendor;
<!-- The last update date -->
<refmiscinfo class="manual">APT</refmiscinfo>
<!-- Man page title -->
<refpurpose>command-line interface</refpurpose>
<para><command>apt</command> provides a high-level commandline interface for
the package management system. It is intended as an end user interface and
enables some options better suited for interactive usage by default
compared to more specialized APT tools like &apt-get; and &apt-cache;.
Much like <command>apt</command> itself, its manpage is intended as an end
user interface and as such only mentions the most used commands and options
partly to not duplicate information in multiple places and partly to avoid
overwhelming readers with a cornucopia of options and details.
<varlistentry><term><option>update</option> (&apt-get;)</term>
<listitem><para><option>update</option> is used to download package
information from all configured sources. Other commands operate on
this data to e.g. perform package upgrades or search in and display
details about all packages available for installation.
<varlistentry><term><option>upgrade</option> (&apt-get;)</term>
<listitem><para><option>upgrade</option> is used to install available
upgrades of all packages currently installed on the system from the
sources configured via &sources-list;. New packages will be
installed if required to statisfy dependencies, but existing
packages will never be removed. If an upgrade for a package requires
the remove of an installed package the upgrade for this package
isn't performed.
<varlistentry><term><option>full-upgrade</option> (&apt-get;)</term>
<listitem><para><literal>full-upgrade</literal> performs the function of
upgrade but will remove currently installed packages if this is
needed to upgrade the system as a whole.
<varlistentry><term><option>install</option>, <option>remove</option>, <option>purge</option> (&apt-get;)</term>
<listitem><para>Performs the requested action on one or more packages
specified via &regex;, &glob; or exact match. The requested action
can be overridden for specific packages by append a plus (+) to the
package name to install this package or a minus (-) to remove it.
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. Alternatively the version from a specific release can be
selected by following the package name with a forward slash (/) and
codename (&debian-stable-codename;, &debian-testing-codename;, sid …) or suite name (stable,
testing, unstable). This will also select versions from this release
for dependencies of this package if needed to satisfy the request.
Removing a package removes all packaged data, but leaves usually
small (modified) user configuration files behind, in case the
remove was an accident. Just issuing an installation request for the
accidentally removed package will restore its function as before in
that case. On the other hand you can get rid of these leftovers
by calling <command>purge</command> even on already removed
packages. Note that this does not affect any data or configuration
stored in your home directory.
<varlistentry><term><option>autoremove</option> (&apt-get;)</term>
<literal>autoremove</literal> is used to remove packages that were
automatically installed to satisfy dependencies for other packages
and are now no longer needed as dependencies changed or the package(s)
needing them were removed in the meantime.
You should check that the list does not include applications you have
grown to like even though they were once installed just as a
dependency of another package. You can mark such a package as manually
installed by using &apt-mark;. Packages which you have installed explicitly
via <command>install</command> are also never proposed for automatic removal.
<varlistentry><term><option>search</option> (&apt-cache;)</term>
<listitem><para><option>search</option> can be used to search for the given
&regex; term(s) in the list of available packages and display
matches. This can e.g. be useful if you are looking for packages
having a specific feature. If you are looking for a package
including a specific file try &apt-file;.
<varlistentry><term><option>show</option> (&apt-cache;)</term>
<listitem><para>Show information about the given package(s) including
its dependencies, installation and download size, sources the
package is available from, the description of the packages content
and much more. It can e.g. be helpful to look at this information
before allowing &apt; to remove a package or while searching for
new packages to install.
<varlistentry><term><option>list</option> (work-in-progress)</term>
<listitem><para><option>list</option> is somewhat similar to <command>dpkg-query --list</command>
in that it can display a list of packages satisfying certain
criteria. It supports &glob; patterns for matching package names as
well as options to list installed (<option>--installed</option>),
upgradeable (<option>--upgradeable</option>) or all available
(<option>--all-versions</option>) versions.
<varlistentry><term><option>edit-sources</option> (work-in-progress)</term>
<listitem><para><literal>edit-sources</literal> lets you edit
your &sources-list; files in your preferred texteditor while also
providing basic sanity checks.
<refsect1><title>Script Usage and Differences from Other APT Tools</title>
The &apt; commandline is designed as an end-user tool and it may
change behavior between versions. While it tries not to break
backward compatibility this is not guaranteed either if a change
seems beneficial for interactive use.
All features of &apt; are available in dedicated APT tools like &apt-get;
and &apt-cache; as well. &apt; just changes the default value of some
options (see &apt-conf; and specifically the Binary scope). So you should
prefer using these commands (potentially with some additional options
enabled) in your scripts as they keep backward compatibility as much as possible.
<refsect1><title>See Also</title>
<para>&apt-get;, &apt-cache;, &sources-list;,
&apt-conf;, &apt-config;,
The APT User's guide in &guidesdir;, &apt-preferences;, the APT Howto.</para>
<para><command>apt</command> returns zero on normal operation, decimal 100 on error.</para>