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Linux 2.6 - man page for apt-get (linux section 8)

APT-GET(8)				       APT				       APT-GET(8)

       apt-get - APT package handling utility -- command-line interface

       apt-get [-sqdyfmubV] [-o= config_string ] [-c= config_file ] [-t= target_release]
	       [-a= default_architecture] {update | upgrade | dselect-upgrade | dist-upgrade |
	       install pkg [ { =pkg_version_number | /target_release } ] ...  | remove pkg...  |
	       purge pkg...  | source pkg [ { =pkg_version_number | /target_release } ] ...  |
	       build-dep pkg...  | check | clean | autoclean | autoremove | {-v | --version} |
	       {-h | --help}}

       apt-get is the command-line tool for handling packages, and may be considered the user's
       "back-end" to other tools using the APT library. Several "front-end" interfaces exist,
       such as dselect(1), aptitude(8), synaptic(8) and wajig(1).

       Unless the -h, or --help option is given, one of the commands below must be present.

	   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
	   /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 performed 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 /etc/apt/sources.list. Packages currently
	   installed with new versions available are retrieved and upgraded; under no
	   circumstances 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.

	   dselect-upgrade is used in conjunction with the traditional Debian packaging
	   front-end, dselect(1).  dselect-upgrade follows the changes made by dselect(1) 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 new packages).

	   dist-upgrade in addition to performing the function of upgrade, also intelligently
	   handles changing dependencies with new versions of packages; apt-get has a "smart"
	   conflict resolution system, and it will attempt to upgrade the most important packages
	   at the expense of less important ones if necessary. So, dist-upgrade command may
	   remove some packages. The /etc/apt/sources.list file contains a list of locations from
	   which to retrieve desired package files. See also apt_preferences(5) for a mechanism
	   for overriding the general settings for individual packages.

	   install is followed by one or more packages desired for installation or upgrading.
	   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 libc6_1.9.6-2.deb).
	   All packages required by the package(s) specified for installation will also be
	   retrieved and installed. The /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 override
	   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
	   distribution can be selected by following the package name with a slash and the
	   version of the distribution or the Archive name (stable, testing, unstable).

	   Both of the version selection mechanisms can downgrade packages and must be used with

	   This is also the target to use if you want to upgrade one or more already-installed
	   packages without upgrading every package you have on your system. Unlike the "upgrade"
	   target, which installs the newest version of all currently installed packages,
	   "install" will install the newest version of only the package(s) specified. Simply
	   provide the name of the package(s) you wish to upgrade, and if a newer version is
	   available, it (and its dependencies, as described above) will be downloaded and

	   Finally, the apt_preferences(5) mechanism allows you to create an alternative
	   installation policy for individual packages.

	   If no package matches the given expression and the expression contains one of '.', '?'
	   or '*' then it is assumed to be a POSIX regular expression, 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, anchor the regular expression with a '^' or '$' character, or create a more
	   specific regular expression.

	   remove is identical to install except that packages are removed instead of installed.
	   Note the removing a package leaves its configuration files in system. If a plus sign
	   is appended to the package name (with no intervening space), the identified package
	   will be installed instead of removed.

	   purge is identical to remove except that packages are removed and purged (any
	   configuration files are deleted too).

	   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 while
	   respect the default release, set with the option APT::Default-Release, the -t option
	   or per package with the pkg/release syntax, if possible.

	   Source packages are tracked separately from binary packages via deb-src type lines in
	   the sources.list(5) file. This means that you will need to add such a line for each
	   repository you want to get sources from. If you don't do this you will properly get
	   another (newer, older or none) source version than the one you have installed or could

	   If the --compile option is specified then the package will be compiled to a binary
	   .deb using dpkg-buildpackage for the architecture as defined by the
	   --host-architecture option. 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, similar to the mechanism used for the package
	   files. This enables exact matching of the source package name and version, implicitly
	   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 package. By default the dependencies are satisfied to build
	   the package nativly. If desired a host-architecture can be specified with the
	   --host-architecture option instead.

	   check is a diagnostic tool; it updates the package cache and checks for broken

	   download will download the given binary package into the current directory.

	   clean clears out the local repository of retrieved package files. It removes
	   everything but the lock file from /var/cache/apt/archives/ and
	   /var/cache/apt/archives/partial/. When APT is used as a dselect(1) 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 to off.

	   autoremove is used to remove packages that were automatically installed to satisfy
	   dependencies for some package and that are no more needed.

	   changelog downloads a package changelog and displays it through sensible-pager. The
	   server name and base directory is defined in the APT::Changelogs::Server variable (e.
	   g.  http://packages.debian.org/changelogs for Debian or
	   http://changelogs.ubuntu.com/changelogs for Ubuntu). By default it displays the
	   changelog for the version that is installed. However, you can specify the same options
	   as for the install command.

       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.

	   Do not consider recommended packages as a dependency for installing. Configuration
	   Item: APT::Install-Recommends.

	   Consider suggested packages as a dependency for installing. Configuration Item:

       -d, --download-only
	   Download only; package files are only retrieved, not unpacked or installed.
	   Configuration Item: APT::Get::Download-Only.

       -f, --fix-broken
	   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
	   solution. If packages are specified, these have to completely 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(1) or dpkg --remove to eliminate some of the offending
	   packages). Use of this option together with -m may produce an error in some
	   situations. Configuration Item: APT::Get::Fix-Broken.

       -m, --ignore-missing, --fix-missing
	   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: APT::Get::Fix-Missing.

	   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:

       -q, --quiet
	   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.

       -s, --simulate, --just-print, --dry-run, --recon, --no-act
	   No action; perform a simulation of events that would occur but do not actually change
	   the system. Configuration Item: APT::Get::Simulate.

	   Simulation run as user will deactivate locking (Debug::NoLocking) automatic. Also a
	   notice will be displayed indicating that this is only a simulation, if the option
	   APT::Get::Show-User-Simulation-Note is set (Default: true). Neither NoLocking nor the
	   notice will be triggered if run as root (root should know what he is doing without
	   further warnings by apt-get).

	   Simulate prints out a series of lines each one representing a dpkg operation,
	   Configure (Conf), Remove (Remv), Unpack (Inst). Square brackets indicate broken
	   packages and empty set of square brackets meaning breaks that are of no consequence

       -y, --yes, --assume-yes
	   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,
	   trying to install a unauthenticated package or removing an essential package occurs
	   then apt-get will abort. Configuration Item: APT::Get::Assume-Yes.

	   Automatic "no" to all prompts. Configuration Item: APT::Get::Assume-No.

       -u, --show-upgraded
	   Show upgraded packages; Print out a list of all packages that are to be upgraded.
	   Configuration Item: APT::Get::Show-Upgraded.

       -V, --verbose-versions
	   Show full versions for upgraded and installed packages. Configuration Item:

       -a, --host-architecture
	   This option controls the architecture packages are built for by apt-get source
	   --compile and how cross-builddependencies are satisfied. By default is not set which
	   means that the host architecture is the same as the build architecture (which is
	   defined by APT::Architecture) Configuration Item: APT::Get::Host-Architecture

       -b, --compile, --build
	   Compile source packages after downloading them. Configuration Item: APT::Get::Compile.

	   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 on the command line from being upgraded if they are already
	   installed. Configuration Item: APT::Get::Upgrade.

	   Do not install new packages; When used in conjunction with install, only-upgrade will
	   prevent packages on the command line from being upgraded if they are not already
	   installed. Configuration Item: APT::Get::Only-Upgrade.

	   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 situations. 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 and update commands. When used with the update command the
	   MD5 and size are not included, and it is up to the user to decompress any compressed
	   files. Configuration Item: APT::Get::Print-URIs.

	   Use purge instead of remove for anything that would be removed. An asterisk ("*") will
	   be displayed next to packages which are scheduled to be purged.  remove --purge is
	   equivalent to the purge command. 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 /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.

       -t, --target-release, --default-release
	   This option controls the default input to the policy engine, it creates a default pin
	   at priority 990 using the specified release string. This overrides the general
	   settings in /etc/apt/preferences. Specifically pinned packages are not affected by the
	   value of this option. 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*',
	   -t unstable or -t sid. Configuration Item: APT::Default-Release; see also the
	   apt_preferences(5) manual page.

	   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. Configuration Item: APT::Get::Trivial-Only.

	   If any packages are to be removed apt-get immediately aborts without prompting.
	   Configuration Item: APT::Get::Remove.

	   If the command is either install or remove, then this option acts like running
	   autoremove command, removing the unused dependency packages. Configuration Item:

	   Only has meaning for the source and build-dep commands. Indicates that the given
	   source names are not to be mapped through the binary table. This means that if this
	   option is specified, these commands will only accept source package names as
	   arguments, rather than accepting binary package names and looking up the corresponding
	   source package. Configuration Item: APT::Get::Only-Source.

       --diff-only, --dsc-only, --tar-only
	   Download only the diff, dsc, or tar file of a source archive. Configuration Item:
	   APT::Get::Diff-Only, APT::Get::Dsc-Only, and APT::Get::Tar-Only.

	   Only process architecture-dependent build-dependencies. Configuration Item:

	   Ignore if packages can't be authenticated and don't prompt about it. This is useful
	   for tools like pbuilder. Configuration Item: APT::Get::AllowUnauthenticated.

       -h, --help
	   Show a short usage summary.

       -v, --version
	   Show the program version.

       -c, --config-file
	   Configuration File; Specify a configuration file to use. The program will read the
	   default configuration file and then this configuration file. If configuration settings
	   need to be set before the default configuration files are parsed specify a file with
	   the APT_CONFIG environment variable. See apt.conf(5) for syntax information.

       -o, --option
	   Set a Configuration Option; This will set an arbitrary configuration option. The
	   syntax is -o Foo::Bar=bar.  -o and --option can be used multiple times to set
	   different options.

	   Locations to fetch packages from. Configuration Item: Dir::Etc::SourceList.

	   File fragments for locations to fetch packages from. Configuration Item:

	   APT configuration file. Configuration Item: Dir::Etc::Main.

	   APT configuration file fragments. Configuration Item: Dir::Etc::Parts.

	   Version preferences file. This is where you would specify "pinning", i.e. a preference
	   to get certain packages from a separate source or from a different version of a
	   distribution. Configuration Item: Dir::Etc::Preferences.

	   File fragments for the version preferences. Configuration Item:

	   Storage area for retrieved package files. Configuration Item: Dir::Cache::Archives.

	   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: Dir::State::Lists.

	   Storage area for state information in transit. Configuration Item: Dir::State::Lists
	   (implicit partial).

       apt-cache(8), apt-cdrom(8), dpkg(1), dselect(1), sources.list(5), apt.conf(5), apt-
       config(8), apt-secure(8), The APT User's guide in /usr/share/doc/apt-doc/,
       apt_preferences(5), the APT Howto.

       apt-get returns zero on normal operation, decimal 100 on error.

       Jason Gunthorpe

       APT team

       QA Page[3]

       APT bug page[4]. If you wish to report a bug in APT, please see
       /usr/share/doc/debian/bug-reporting.txt or the reportbug(1) command.

       Jason Gunthorpe

       APT team

	1. http://packages.debian.org/changelogs

	2. http://changelogs.ubuntu.com/changelogs

	3. QA Page

	4. APT bug page

Linux					 08 November 2008			       APT-GET(8)

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