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Aptitude

Aptitude is a menu-driven, text-based front-end to the Advanced Packaging Tool (APT) system. Many of the common package management functions, such as installation, removal, and upgrade, are performed in Aptitude with single-key commands, which are typically lowercase letters.

Aptitude is best suited to use in a non-graphical terminal environment to ensure proper functioning of the command keys. You may start Aptitude as a normal user with the following command at a terminal prompt:

sudo aptitude

When Aptitude starts, you will see a menu bar at the top of the screen and two panes below the menu bar. The top pane contains package categories, such as New Packages and Not Installed Packages. The bottom pane contains information related to the packages and package categories.

Using Aptitude for package management is relatively straightforward, and the user interface makes common tasks simple to perform. The following are examples of popular package management functions as performed in Aptitude:

  • Install Packages: To install a package, locate the package via the Not Installed Packages package category, for example, by using the keyboard arrow keys and the ENTER key, and highlight the package you wish to install. After highlighting the package you wish to install, press the + key, and the package entry should turn green, indicating it has been marked for installation. Now press g to be presented with a summary of package actions. Press g again, and you will be prompted to become root to complete the installation. Press ENTER which will result in a Password: prompt. Enter your user password to become root. Finally, press g once more and you'll be prompted to download the package. Press ENTER on the Continue prompt, and downloading and installation of the package will commence.

  • Remove Packages: To remove a package, locate the package via the Installed Packages package category, for example, by using the keyboard arrow keys and the ENTER key, and highlight the package you wish to remove. After highlighting the package you wish to install, press the - key, and the package entry should turn pink, indicating it has been marked for removal. Now press g to be presented with a summary of package actions. Press g again, and you will be prompted to become root to complete the installation. Press ENTER which will result in a Password: prompt. Enter your user password to become root. Finally, press g once more, and you'll be prompted to download the package. Press ENTER on the Continue prompt, and removal of the package will commence.

  • Update Package Index: To update the package index, simply press the u key and you will be prompted to become root to complete the installation. Press ENTER which will result in a Password: prompt. Enter your user password to become root. Updating of the package index will commence. Press ENTER on the OK prompt when the download dialog is presented to complete the process.

  • Upgrade Packages: To upgrade packages, perform the update of the package index as detailed above, and then press the U key to mark all upgradeable packages. Now press g whereby you'll be presented with a summary of package actions. Press g again, and you will be prompted to become root to complete the installation. Press ENTER which will result in a Password: prompt. Enter your user password to become root. Finally, press g once more, and you'll be prompted to download the package. Press ENTER on the Continue prompt, and upgrade of the packages will commence.

The first column of information displayed in the package list in the top pane, when actually viewing packages lists the current state of the

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