aptitude - high-level interface to the package manager.
aptitude [ -S fname ] [ -u | -i ]
aptitude [ options ] [ update | upgrade | forget-new | clean | auto-
aptitude [ options ] [ remove | hold | purge | markauto | unmarkauto |
dist-upgrade ] packages...
aptitude [ options ] search patterns...
aptitude [ options ] download packages...
aptitude is a text-based interface to the Debian GNU/Linux package system.
It allows the user to view the list of packages and to perform package
management tasks such as installing, upgrading, and removing packages.
Actions may be performed from an "interactive mode" or from the command-line.
The first argument which does not begin with a hyphen ("-") is considered
to be an action that the program should perform. If an action is
not specified on the command-line, aptitude will start up in interactive
The following actions are available:
Install one or more packages. The packages should be listed
after the "install" command; if a package name contains a '~',
it will be treated as a search pattern and every package matching
the pattern will be installed. (see "SEARCHING, etc" in
Appending "-", "+", "_", or "=" to the name of a package will
cause the package to be removed, installed, purged, or held
respectively. This can be used, for instance, to perform multiple
actions from one command line.
As a special case, "install" with no arguments will act on any
NOTE: The "install" command will modify aptitude's stored information
about what actions to perform. Therefore, if you issue
the command "aptitude install foo bar" and then abort the
installation, you will need to (eg) run "aptitude remove foo
bar" to cancel that order.
remove, purge, hold
These commands are the same as "install", but apply the named
action to all packages unless specified otherwise.
(for instance, "aptitude remove '~ndeity'" will remove all packages
whose name contains "deity")
Mark packages as automatically installed or manually installed,
respectively. You may specify packages using the same syntax as
before, including specifying actions to be performed. For
instance, "aptitude markauto '~slibs'" will mark all packages in
the "libs" section as automatically installed.
update Update the list of available packages from the master servers.
(this is equivalent to "apt-get update")
Upgrades installed packages to their most recent version.
Installed packages will not be removed unless they are unused;
packages which are not currently installed will not be
If a package cannot be upgraded without violating these constraints,
it will be kept back.
Forgets which packages are "new" (equivalent to pressing "f" in
search Searches for packages matching one or more expressions. The
expressions should be listed after the "search" command. All
packages matching the given expressions will be displayed. As
usual, this may be a full search expression; for instance,
"aptitude search '~N'" will list all "new" packages. Search
expressions are explained in detail in /usr/share/doc/apti-
clean Removes all downloaded and cached packages.
Removes any cached packages which are no longer downloadable.
Downloads the .deb file for the most recent version of the given
package to the current directory.
The following hyphened arguments function as actions for the interactive
mode of the program; however, they are only used internally. Generally,
you shouldn't need to set these yourself.
Loads the extended state information from fname.
-u Begins updating the package lists when the program starts. You
cannot use this option and -i at the same time.
-i Displays a download screen when the program starts (equivalent
to starting the program and then pressing 'g') You cannot use
this option and -u at the same time.
The following options may be specified to modify the behavior of the
above commands. Note that not every command will pay attention to
every option (indeed; many options are nonsensical for one or more commands)
Many of these options have an associated configuration file directive;
placing this directive in /etc/apt/apt.conf or ~/.aptitude/config will
cause aptitude to always act as if the option had been provided.
Display a brief help message.
Display the version of aptitude and some information about its
Print the actions that would be performed, but don't actually
perform them. This does not require root privileges.
Configuration Item: Aptitude::CmdLine::Simulate.
Do not install or remove any packages; only download them.
Configuration Item: Aptitude::CmdLine::Download-Only
Always display a prompt, even if no additional actions are to be
Configuration Item: Aptitude::CmdLine::Always-Prompt
Assume "yes" as an answer to yes/no prompts. This does not
affect the prompting for particularly dangerous actions, such as
removing Essential packages. Overrides -P.
Configuration Item: Aptitude::CmdLine::Assume-Yes
-F format, --display-format format
Specify the format which should be used to display output from
the search command. For instance, '%p %V %v' will display a
package's name, followed by its currently installed version and
its available version. (see the section "COLUMNS" in the user's
manual for more information)
Configuration Item: Aptitude::CmdLine::Package-Display-Format
-w width, --width width
Specify the display width which should be used for output from
the search command. (by default, the terminal width is used)
Configuration Item: Aptitude::CmdLine::Package-Display-Width
-f Aggressively try to fix dependencies of broken packages.
Configuration Item: Aptitude::CmdLine::Fix-Broken
Treat recommends or suggests, respectively, as dependencies when
installing new packages. (this overrides settings in
/etc/apt/apt.conf and ~/.aptitude/config)
Configuration Item: Aptitude::Recommends-Important
Do not treat recommends or suggests, respectively, as dependencies
when installing packages.
Configuration Item: Aptitude::Suggests-Important
In interactive mode, aptitude makes the following keys and commands
q Quit the current context, saving changes.
x Quit the current context, discarding changes.
? Display an online help screen.
Up, j Move the selection one item up.
Move the selection one item down.
^ Move the selection to the parent of the current item.
Enter Expand or collapse a group of packages.
[ Expand an entire tree of packages.
] Collapse an entire tree of packages.
Display information about a package.
+ Cancel a package's removal, or request that it be installed or
- Cancel the installation of a package, or request that it be
= Place a package on hold (or remove the "hold" property on nonupgradable
_ Request that a package and all its conffiles be removed
u Update the lists of available packages.
g Perform all pending installations, removals, and upgrades.
Control-u [Toc] [Back]
Undo the last action or set of actions.
/ Perform a search
n Repeat the last search
v Show the available versions of a package
apt-get(1), apt(8), /usr/share/doc/aptitude/README.
This manual page was written by Daniel Burrows <email@example.com>.
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