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Aptitude is a package manager, a front-end to APT that can be used instead of apt-get or Synaptic.

Some advantages over apt-get

  • Solves dependencies in a smarter way
  • Cleans automatically when you remove a program by removing unneeded dependencies
  • Pins packages in a very simple way: aptitude hold packagename pins, and aptitude unhold packagename unpins.
  • More complete options, it includes search, show, changelog, forbid-version options.


Available from the repos (for documentation, install aptitude-doc-en or another available language)

Important: Before using it run first:

aptitude keep-all

Do not use both apt-get and aptitude, just stick with one of them. If you use apt-get you might need to run aptitude keep-all before you use aptitude to update, install, or remove packages.


It works in two modes

As a CLI by typing the command with options in a terminal, for example:

–Packagfe management
aptitude update
aptitude safe-upgrade
aptitude full-upgrade
aptitude search programname
aptitude show programname
aptitude install programname
aptitude remove programname
aptitude purge programname

–Free disk space:

aptitude clean –purge-unused
–Config files: list the ones no longer needed:

aptitude search ~c
Then remove them with:

aptitude purge $(aptitude search ~c -F “%p”)

It can also be used as a GUI

started by simply typing aptitude in a root terminal. For help with the GUI, consult this page.

Where apt-get is a better choice

If you installed a .deb that doesn’t have all the dependencies satisfied it’s preferable you use:

apt-get -f install

to download and install dependencies rather than “aptitude -f install”. If you do use “aptitude -f install” you might have to respond “n” to the first question because by default aptitude will try to remove the installed package rather than download dependencies.


v. 20160124

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