Using the apt-get command cheat sheet

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 aptitude(8), synaptic(8) and wajig(1)

APT was originally designed as a front-end for dpkg to work with Debian's .deb packages, but it has since been modified to also work with the RPM Package Manager system via APT-RPM.[4] The Fink project has ported APT to Mac OS X for some of its own package management tasks,[5] and APT is also available in OpenSolaris.

apt-get is used fo handling packages for Debian Linux which is use to:

  • Install/manage individual packages
  • Upgrade packages
  • Apply security patch(s)
  • Keep Debian system up to date
  • Download source .deb files
  • Has many GUI and other utilities as front-ends

Here is quick cheat sheet you will find handy while using apt-get at shell prompt:

SyntaxDescriptionExample(s)
apt-get install {package} Install the new package. If package is installed then try to upgrade to latest version apt-get install zip
apt-get install lsof samba mysql-client
apt-get remove {package} Remove/Delete an installed package except configuration files apt-get remove zip
apt-get --purge remove {package} Remove/Delete everything including configuration files apt-get --purge remove mysql-server
apt-get update
apt-get upgrade
Resynchronize the package index files and Upgrade the Debian Linux system including security update (Internet access required) apt-get update
apt-get upgrade
apt-get update
apt-get dist-upgrade
Usually use to upgrade to Debian distribution. For example Woody to Sarge upgrade. '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. apt-get update
apt-get dist-upgrade

{package} - Replace with actual package name