APT-GET(8)APT-GET(8)NAMEapt-get - APT package handling utility -- command-line interface
SYNOPSISapt-get [ -hvs ] [ -o=config string ] [ -c=file ] [ update ] [
upgrade ] [ dselect-upgrade ] [ install pkg... ] [ remove pkg... ]
[ source pkg... ] [ build-dep pkg... ] [ check ] [ clean ] [
DESCRIPTIONapt-get is the command-line tool for handling packages, and may be con‐
sidered the user's "back-end" to other tools using the APT library.
Unless the -h, or --help option is given one of the commands below must
update update is used to resynchronize the package index files from
their sources. The indexes of available packages are fetched
from the location(s) specified in /sw/etc/apt/sources.list. For
example, when using a Debian archive, this command retrieves and
scans the Packages.gz files, so that information about new and
updated packages is available. An update should always be per‐
formed before an upgrade or dist-upgrade. Please be aware that
the overall progress meter will be incorrect as the size of the
package files cannot be known in advance.
upgrade is used to install the newest versions of all packages
currently installed on the system from the sources enumerated in
/sw/etc/apt/sources.list. Packages currently installed with new
versions available are retrieved and upgraded; under no circum‐
stances are currently installed packages removed, or packages
not already installed retrieved and installed. New versions of
currently installed packages that cannot be upgraded without
changing the install status of another package will be left at
their current version. An update must be performed first so that
apt-get knows that new versions of packages are available.
is used in conjunction with the traditional Debian GNU/Linux
packaging front-end, dselect(8). dselect-upgrade follows the
changes made by dselect(8) to the Status field of available
packages, and performs the actions necessary to realize that
state (for instance, the removal of old and the installation of
dist-upgrade, in addition to performing the function of upgrade,
also intelligently handles changing dependencies with new ver‐
sions of packages; apt-get has a "smart" conflict resolution
system, and it will attempt to upgrade the most important pack‐
ages at the expense of less important ones if necessary. The
/sw/etc/apt/sources.list file contains a list of locations from
which to retrieve desired package files.
install is followed by one or more packages desired for instal‐
lation. Each package is a package name, not a fully qualified
filename (for instance, in a Debian GNU/Linux system, libc6
would be the argument provided, not em(libc6_1.9.6-2.deb)). All
packages required by the package(s) specified for installation
will also be retrieved and installed. The
/sw/etc/apt/sources.list file is used to locate the desired
packages. If a hyphen is appended to the package name (with no
intervening space), the identified package will be removed if it
is installed. Similarly a plus sign can be used to designate a
package to install. These latter features may be used to over‐
ride decisions made by apt-get's conflict resolution system.
A specific version of a package can be selected for installation
by following the package name with an equals and the version of
the package to select. This will cause that version to be
located and selected for install. Alternatively a specific dis‐
tribution can be selected by following the package name with a
slash and the version of the distribution or the Archive name
(10.3/release or 10.3/current).
Both of the version selection mechanisms can downgrade packages
and must be used with care.
If no package matches the given expression and the expression
contains one of '.', '?' or '*' then it is assumed to be a POSIX
regex and it is applied to all package names in the database.
Any matches are then installed (or removed). Note that matching
is done by substring so 'lo.*' matches 'how-lo' and 'lowest'. If
this is undesired prefix with a '^' character.
remove remove is identical to install except that packages are removed
instead of installed. If a plus sign is appended to the package
name (with no intervening space), the identified package will be
source source causes apt-get to fetch source packages. APT will examine
the available packages to decide which source package to fetch.
It will then find and download into the current directory the
newest available version of that source package. Source packages
are tracked separately from binary packages via deb-src type
lines in the sources.list(5) file. This probably will mean that
you will not get the same source as the package you have
installed or as you could install. If the --compile options is
specified then the package will be compiled to a binary .deb
using dpkg-buildpackage, if --download-only is specified then
the source package will not be unpacked.
A specific source version can be retrieved by postfixing the
source name with an equals and then the version to fetch, simi‐
lar to the mechanism used for the package files. This enables
exact matching of the source package name and version, implic‐
itly enabling the APT::Get::Only-Source option.
Note that source packages are not tracked like binary packages,
they exist only in the current directory and are similar to
downloading source tar balls.
build-dep causes apt-get to install/remove packages in an
attempt to satisfy the build dependencies for a source packages.
Right now virtual package build depends choose a package at ran‐
check check is a diagnostic tool; it updates the package cache and
checks for broken dependencies.
clean clean clears out the local repository of retrieved package
files. It removes everything but the lock file from
/sw/var/cache/apt/archives/ and /sw/var/cache/apt/archive/par‐
tial/. When APT is used as a dselect(8) method, clean is run
automatically. Those who do not use dselect will likely want to
run apt-get clean from time to time to free up disk space.
Like clean, autoclean clears out the local repository of
retrieved package files. The difference is that it only removes
package files that can no longer be downloaded, and are largely
useless. This allows a cache to be maintained over a long period
without it growing out of control. The configuration option
APT::Clean-Installed will prevent installed packages from being
erased if it is set off.
All command line options may be set using the configuration file, the
descriptions indicate the configuration option to set. For boolean
options you can override the config file by using something like
-f-,--no-f, -f=no or several other variations.
Download only; package files are only retrieved, not unpacked or
installed. Configuration Item: APT::Get::Download-Only.
Fix; attempt to correct a system with broken dependencies in
place. This option, when used with install/remove, can omit any
packages to permit APT to deduce a likely soltion. Any Package
that are specified must completly correct the problem. The
option is sometimes necessary when running APT for the first
time; APT itself does not allow broken package dependencies to
exist on a system. It is possible that a system's dependency
structure can be so corrupt as to require manual intervention
(which usually means using dselect(8) or dpkg --remove to elimi‐
nate some of the offending packages). Use of this option
together with -m may produce an error in some situations. Con‐
figuration Item: APT::Get::Fix-Broken.
For mode install, ignore dependency problems. This option is
useful if you want to perform actions on just a particular pack‐
age, not its whole dependency tree. It must be used in conjunc‐
tion with --download-only or --print-uris. Configuration Item:
Note: The --ignore-breakage option was added by The Fink Project
and hence is only available in the apt-get provided by Fink's
Ignore missing packages; If packages cannot be retrieved or fail
the integrity check after retrieval (corrupted package files),
hold back those packages and handle the result. Use of this
option together with -f may produce an error in some situations.
If a package is selected for installation (particularly if it is
mentioned on the command line) and it could not be downloaded
then it will be silently held back. Configuration Item:
Disables downloading of packages. This is best used with
--ignore-missing to force APT to use only the .debs it has
already downloaded. Configuration Item: APT::Get::Download.
Quiet; produces output suitable for logging, omitting progress
indicators. More q's will produce more quiet up to a maximum of
2. You can also use -q=# to set the quiet level, overriding the
configuration file. Note that quiet level 2 implies -y, you
should never use -qq without a no-action modifier such as -d,
--print-uris or -s as APT may decided to do something you did
not expect. Configuration Item: quiet.
No action; perform a simulation of events that would occur but
do not actually change the system. Configuration Item:
Simulate prints out a series of lines each one representing a
dpkg operation, Configure (Conf), Remove (Remv), Unpack (Inst).
Square brackets indicate broken packages with and empty set of
square brackets meaning breaks that are of no consequence
Automatic yes to prompts; assume "yes" as answer to all prompts
and run non-interactively. If an undesirable situation, such as
changing a held package or removing an essential package occurs
then apt-get will abort. Configuration Item: APT::Get::Assume-
Show upgraded packages; Print out a list of all packages that
are to be upgraded. Configuration Item: APT::Get::Show-
Compile source packages after downloading them. Configuration
Ignore package Holds; This causes apt-get to ignore a hold
placed on a package. This may be useful in conjunction with
dist-upgrade to override a large number of undesired holds.
Configuration Item: APT::Ignore-Hold.
Do not upgrade packages; When used in conjunction with install
no-upgrade will prevent packages listed from being upgraded if
they are already installed. Configuration Item:
Force yes; This is a dangerous option that will cause apt to
continue without prompting if it is doing something potentially
harmful. It should not be used except in very special situa‐
tions. Using force-yes can potentially destroy your system!
Configuration Item: APT::Get::force-yes.
Instead of fetching the files to install their URIs are printed.
Each URI will have the path, the destination file name, the size
and the expected md5 hash. Note that the file name to write to
will not always match the file name on the remote site! This
also works with the /source/ command. Configuration Item:
Use purge instead of remove for anything that would be removed.
Configuration Item: APT::Get::Purge.
Re-Install packages that are already installed and at the newest
version. Configuration Item: APT::Get::ReInstall.
This option defaults to on, use --no-list-cleanup to turn it
off. When on apt-get will automatically manage the contents of
/sw/var/lib/apt/lists to ensure that obsolete files are erased.
The only reason to turn it off is if you frequently change your
source list. Configuration Item: APT::Get::List-Cleanup.
This option controls the default input to the policy engine, it
creates a default pin at priority 990 using the specified
release string. The preferences file may further override this
setting. In short, this option lets you have simple control over
which distribution packages will be retrieved from. Some common
examples might be -t '2.1*' or -t unstable. Configuration Item:
Only perform operations that are 'trivial'. Logically this can
be considered related to --assume-yes, where --assume-yes will
answer yes to any prompt, --trivial-only will answer no. Con‐
figuration Item: APT::Get::Trivial-Only.
If any packages are to be removed apt-get immediately aborts
without prompting. Configuration Item: APT::Get::Remove
Only has meaning for the source command. indicates that the
given source names are not to be mapped through the binary ta‐
ble. Configuration Item: APT::Get::Only-Source
Download only the diff or tar file of a source archive. Config‐
uration Item: APT::Get::Diff-Only and APT::Get::Tar-Only
--help Show a short usage summary.
Show the program verison.
Configuration File; Specify a configuration file to use. The
program will read the default configuration file and then this
configuration file. See apt.conf(5) for syntax information.
Set a Configuration Option; This will set an arbitary configura‐
tion option. The syntax is -o Foo::Bar=bar.
locations to fetch packages from. Configuration Item:
APT configuration file. Configuration Item: Dir::Etc::Main.
APT configuration file fragments Configuration Item:
version preferences file Configuration Item: Dir::Etc::Prefer‐
storage area for retrieved package files. Configuration Item:
storage area for package files in transit. Configuration Item:
Dir::Cache::Archives (implicit partial).
storage area for state information for each package resource
specified in sources.list(5) Configuration Item:
storage area for state information in transit. Configuration
Item: Dir::State::Lists (implicit partial).
SEE ALSOapt-cache(8), apt-cdrom(8), dpkg(8), dselect(8), sources.list(5),
apt.conf(5), The APT users guide in /usr/share/doc/apt/, apt_prefer‐
DIAGNOSTICSapt-get returns zero on normal operation, decimal 100 on error.
See the APT bug page <URL:http://bugs.debian.org/apt>. If you wish to
report a bug in APT, please see /usr/share/doc/debian/bug-reporting.txt
or the bug(1) command.
APT was written by the APT team <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
12 March 2001 APT-GET(8)