Synaptic Package Manager Manual V0.1.2

Sebastian Heinlein

This manual describes version 0.53 of Synaptic Package Manager.

Legal Notice

This document is distributed under the terms of the GNU Public license as published by the Free Software; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) later version. A copy of this license can be found in , or in the file included with the source code of this program.


To report a bug or make a suggestion regarding the Synaptic Package Manager or this manual, use the bug report system at Synaptic Web, contact the mailing list join the IRC channel #synaptic on

Table of Contents

Main Window
Category Selector
Package List
Package Properties
Managing Packages
To Install Packages
To Remove Packages
To Upgrade Packages
To Upgrade the Whole System
To Apply Marked Changes
To Unmark Changes
To Configure Packages (Debian only)
To View Documentation for Packages (Debian only)
To View the Changelog of a Package (Debian only)
To Lock a Package to the Current Version (Debian only)
To Force the Installation of a Specific Version
To Fix Broken Packages
To Reload the Package Information
To Edit, Add or Remove Repositories
To Add Repositories From CD-ROM
The Syntax of the APT line
Custom Filters
To Apply Filters
To Edit or Create Custom Filters
Known Bugs and Limitations
Keyboard Shortcuts
About Synaptic Package Manager
A. GNU General Public License
Section 0
Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4
Section 5
Section 6
Section 7
Section 8
Section 9
Section 10
NO WARRANTY Section 11
Section 12
How to Apply These Terms to Your New Programs


The Synaptic Package Manager enables you to install software onto your computer and to manage the software, that is already installed. The software is bundled in so called packages. A single application can even exist of several packages: e.g. the Mozilla Internet Suite is packaged to mozilla-browser, that contains the actual browser, and mozilla-mail , that contains the mail client (this example refers to Debian GNU/Linux and can be different on your distribution).

Nearly all applications reuse the functionality of other applications or libraries (libraries only provide functions to other libraries or applications and are no stand alone applications) to avoid doubled efforts. So the most packages depend on other packages. The Synaptic Package Manager resolves the dependencies for you automatically.

Technically the Synaptic Package Manager is based on the package manager APT and provides functions, that are similar to the ones of the command line tool apt-get in a graphical environment.

In detail Synaptic Package Manager provides the following features:

  • Install, remove, configure, upgrade and downgrade single and multiple packages.

  • Upgrade your whole system.

  • Manage package repositories.

  • Search packages by name, description and several other attributes.

  • Select packages by status, section, name or a custom filter.

  • Sort packages by name, status, size or version.

  • Browse all available online documentation related to a package.

  • Lock packages to the current version.

  • Force the installation of a specific package version.


You need root rights to install or remove software packages on your computer.

You can start Synaptic Package Manager in the following ways:

GNOME Applications menu

Choose System ToolsSynaptic Package Manager.

KDE menu

Choose SettingsExtraSynaptic Package Manager.

Command line

To start Synaptic Package Manager from a command line type the following , then press Return:



You can render your system unusable.

Synaptic allows you to perform changes on the core of your system.

Always use Synaptic Package Manager with care.