In this complete guide article, you will learn about apt (Advanced Package Management Tool for Linux). You will learn all the necessary commands related to the apt package manager.
- What is a package manager or package management tool?
- What does it do?
- How to use it?
If you have any such questions in your mind then this article will help you understand everything. So without any further let’s get into the apt guide.
What is a package manager?
A package manager is a tool that you use to manage the applications, libraries, and dependencies in your Linux distribution. It allows you to do all kind of package related modifications in the system such as:
- Install or update packages
- Remove or re-install packages
- List or search the packages
- Show package details
- Download package files etc.
As Linux is very versatile, we have a lot of options for package managers:
- – APT (Advanced Package Tool)
- – DNF (Dandified Yum)
- – Zypper
- – Pacman
- – Dpkg (Debian package)
However, APT is the most popular among them and it is being used by most of the popular Linux distributions like Ubuntu, Debian, Zorin OS, Mint Linux, Elementary OS, Bodhi Linux, MX Linux, Lite Linux, LUbuntu, POP! OS, Deepin, and the list of the distributions gone on-n-on.
So let’s see how to use apt-get related command to manage packages in a Linux distribution. We will go through the most helpful apt commands.
APT package manager commands
Here is the list of apt commands that you can use.
The ‘update’ command updates the repository for packages and get the update information related to packages:
sudo apt update
After updating the repositories in the system, you may want to update the package(s):
sudo apt upgrade package-name sudo apt upgrade
To upgrade all the packages at once, just use ‘upgrade’ parameter with apt:
sudo apt upgrade
To install any package in the system use the ‘install’ parameter. You can install single and multiple packages at once.
sudo apt install package-name package-name
Same goes for removing the package(s), you can use ‘remove’ and ‘purge’. Again you can use either a single package or multiple packages at once.
sudo apt remove package-name
The difference between ‘purge’ and ‘remove’ is that with the remove it only deletes the package but not it’s configuration or data file. However, ‘purge’ command removes everything.
sudo apt purge package-name
You can search for a package in the repository with ‘apt search’:
sudo apt search name
Similarly, you can get all the details related to package/application in the repository with ‘apt show’:
sudo apt show package-name
Result of the above command:
$ sudo apt show neofetch Package: neofetch Version: 7.0.0-1 Priority: optional Section: universe/utils Origin: Ubuntu Maintainer: Ubuntu Developers
Original-Maintainer: Nobuhiro Iwamatsu Bugs: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+filebug Installed-Size: 339 kB Recommends: chafa Homepage: https://github.com/dylanaraps/neofetch Task: lubuntu-desktop Download-Size: 77.5 kB APT-Manual-Installed: yes APT-Sources: http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu focal/universe amd64 Packages Description: Shows Linux System Information with Distribution Logo Neoftech is a cross-platform and easy-to-use system information command line script that collects your Linux system information and display it on the terminal next to an image, it could be your distributions logo or any ascii art of your choice.
You can use ‘apt list’ to list the application and it’s available architecture(s):
sudo apt list package-name
Result of the above command:
sudo apt list package-name Listing... Done vlc/focal 126.96.36.199-1 amd64 vlc/focal 188.8.131.52-1 i386
You can also download the package file (vlc.deb) with ‘apt download’:
sudo apt download package-name
For some reason you need to reinstall a package/application, you can do that with ‘apt reinstall’:
sudo apt reinstall package-name
The ‘autoremove’ is used to remove packages that were automatically installed to satisfy dependencies for other packages but now no longer needed as dependencies changed or the package(s) needing them were removed in the meantime.
sudo apt autoremove
You may find commands starting with ‘sudo apt install’ or ‘sudo apt-get install’ both work in the same way so if you do not feel like adding ‘-get’ with ‘apt’ then you can eliminate.
To tell you my secret I hardly use ‘-get’, please don’t let ‘apt’ know that. It’s secret.
Also check out: Installing applications in Linux | Complete guide
Watch Video guide on YouTube
Additionally, You can also watch a step-by-step video guide on YouTube to get a better understanding of it.
So that was it, about how to use ‘apt’ (Advanced package management tool) on Linux. Let me know what you think about it in the comment section below and don’t forget to subscribe to the LinuxH2O Youtube channel. Till then, keep enjoying Linux.