Using apt-get [Was:Re: tool used to download packages?]

Joe Hart j.hart at
Thu Feb 8 10:34:47 UTC 2007

James Heaver wrote:
> That makes perfect sense.  I'll start doing that from now on then.
> Does it matter if you use a combination of apt-get and aptitude?  Or if 
> you use aptitude to remove something installed with apt-get (or the 
> other way round)?

Yes.  It does.  Aptitude will not remove the dependencies of packages 
installed with apt-get.  It only keeps track of the packages IT installs.

> Does this have any impact on what GUI I should be using?

I am not exactly sure about the GUI apps, because I use the command line 
all the time.  I do search with adept and synaptic, but usually don't 
use them to install.

> I'm new (6 months or so) to using linux and have been ubuntu the whole 
> time and I'd completely missed this so far.  Any guides on the internet 
> I've seen for installing specific programs give apt-get commands. 
> If its recommended that people use aptitude instead then perhaps 
> something needs to change in the documentation.

You're right.  It's in the Debian Reference, which was written BEFORE 
Sarge was stable, which means it's rather old by linux standards, Debian 
recommends using it, and since Ubuntu is based on debian, it makes 
sense.  BTW, Debian's recommended way before aptitude was dselect. 
apt-get is a very old tool that is supplied only because people got used 
to using it and one thing you can be assured about Debian is that they 
don't remove commands that people use.  If any distribution strives for 
backward compatibility it is Debian.

> Of course it could just be the case that I'm being selectively stupid 
> and should have noticed this.
Like you said, it should be better written in the documentation. is full of useful tips.  One 
that I really liked was how to get Konqueror to be the default file 
manager in Gnome.  I don't really like gnome, but it's a lot easier to 
deal with if Nautilus gets replaced with Konqueror.

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