package management system

Interactive tool for apt-get and apt-cache

apt [-h] [-o=config_string] [-c=config_file] [-t=target_release] [-a=architecture] {list | search | show | update | install pkg [{=pkg_version_number | /target_release}]... | remove pkg... | upgrade | full-upgrade | edit-sources | {-v | --version} | {-h | --help}}

Provides a high-level commandline interface for the package management system. Options are better for interactive usage compared to other APT tools.

Download information. Other commands use this to perform upgrades or search and display details.
Install upgrades of all packages.
New packages will be installed if required to satisfy dependencies.
Existing packages are not removed.
An upgrade requiring removal of an installed package isn't performed.
will remove packages if needed.
reinstall AmbiguousPkg


The requested action can be overridden for specific packages by appending a plus to the name to install or a minus to remove.

AmbiguousPkg is resolved using regex, glob or exact match.

A specific version can be selected for installation by following the name with an equals and the version or
append the name with a slash and codename (buster, bullseye, sid ...) or suite name (stable, testing, unstable).
This will select versions from that release for dependencies.

Remove includes all package data, leaving modified configuration files. If the remove was an error, requesting an installl will restore it.

Purge removes configuration files as well.

This does not affect any data or configuration stored in your home directory.

Removes packages automatically installed to satisfy dependencies which are no longer needed.

Check that the list does not include applications you like which were installed as a dependency package.
To mark a package as manually(i.e. not automatically) installed by use apt-mark.

search regx
To search for the given regex term in the list display matches. Useful for finding packages having a specific feature.
For a package including a specific file use apt-file.
show regexPkg
including its dependencies, installation and download size, sources the package is available from, description and more.
Look at this before allowing apt to remove a package or while searching for new packages to install.
list globPattern
Display a list of packages satisfying a criteria.
Supports glob patterns for matching names and listing installed (--installed), upgradeable (--upgradeable) or all available (--all-versions) versions.
Permits editing sources.list providing basic sanity checks.

Features are available in dedicated tools like apt-get and apt-cache.

Default value (see apt.conf are different in some cases and apt should be avoided in scripts.


apt-get, apt-cache, sources.list, apt.conf, apt-config, The APT User's guide in /usr/share/doc/apt-doc/, apt_preferences, the APT Howto.