By ignorance, habit or comfort, we always use apt-get to manage our distributions. And this blog is no exception to the rule. Yet Aptitude is much better in many ways.

Dependency management

As we know, it apt-getis not always perfect with the outbuildings. One apt-get removeexample does not remove dependencies. We should rather do one apt-get purge, but again, it is not perfect. We will clean the distribution later with a apt-get autoclean… We see, so it is not the panacea. Leaving unused dependencies means taking up space on the disk unnecessarily.

When I started using Linux command line, I installed a lot of new packages since I was just starting to tweak and I was doing my tests and discoveries. I was always surprised during the install, that apt-get warns me that several mega, see dozens of mega are necessary, while at the remove, I only released a few tens of kilo …

Aptitude therefore answers this problem. Moreover, it manages packet conflicts better and tries to repair them when they are corrupted. So good points.

Finally, it also allows access to old versions of packages. The updates are supposed to fix the problems, but we all know, sometimes IT …

Unified tools and an interactive interface

Everyone obviously knows the classics apt-get installapt-cache searchetc … but those:

apt-listbugs
Check the bugs of a program before installing it
apt-listchanges
Check what changes have been made to a package
apt-rdepends
Check the list of dependencies of a package
deborphan
Look at system orphan dependencies after uninstalling a parent package

So there are in all almost twenty different tools to manage its distribution … Why not just one? I guess they have not all been developed at the same time, so have it all for historical reasons. However, when it comes to learning how to use it, it is much more complex to remember. When I use FFMPEG for example, it is always the same software that I call, that I want to extract the sound, images, or simply transcode my video!

Ability, on the other hand, provides much more homogeneity in its approach. The proof :

aptitude
Called without arguments, we launch an interactive interface that allows us to search, navigate, install, update etc
aptitude install
Installs the requested software and its dependencies
aptitude remove
Removes a package and its orphaned dependencies
aptitude purge
Similar to remove, but also deletes the associated configuration files
aptitude search
Finding packets in the local packet list
aptitude update
Updates the list of packages
aptitude upgrade
Upgrade all the packages that have been updated (anglicism when you hold us …)
aptitude clean
Removes all files downloaded for the installation of an app and which are no longer used for anything
aptitude full-upgrade
Updates some packages, even if you need to uninstall some
aptitude show
Displays details about a package
aptitude autoclean
Clears outdated packets but keeps packets up to date
aptitude hold
Retains a package to its current version and does not update it

So, convinced to give up apt-get?

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