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aptitude vs apt vs apt-get (was: Re: [Pkg-zsh-devel] apt autocompletion issue)
- X-seq: zsh-workers 44617
- From: Axel Beckert <abe@xxxxxxxxxx>
- To: pkg-zsh-devel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, zsh-workers@xxxxxxx
- Subject: aptitude vs apt vs apt-get (was: Re: [Pkg-zsh-devel] apt autocompletion issue)
- Date: Wed, 31 Jul 2019 01:21:26 +0200
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Oliver Kiddle wrote:
> Out of interest, what is the recommended apt* tool these
Depends on what you want to achieve or where you want to use it. They
all have their uses. :-)
TL;DR: Use aptitude if you need TUI or patterns, apt for CLI comfort,
apt-get/apt-cache for scripting and a stable CLI.
> Is aptitude the best or most powerful with apt as the simplified
> interface and apt-get just a historic relic?
Disclaimer: This might be biased as I'm a hardcore aptitude user. And
I'm one of the two current aptitude maintainers.
aptitude is still the most powerful sincec it's the only one with a
pattern matching language on packages. But apt and apt-get/apt-cache
might get this in the future, too.
There are still a few more differences which won't change that quickly:
* aptitude is the sole tool with a TUI. (And previously also contained
a GTK and a never released Qt GUI. Both were removed as they were
unmaintained and never really stable.)
* aptitude's dependency resolver is optimized on interaction with the
user, i.e. getting interactively further hints from the user on how
to solve a non-trivial dependency issue.
* apt and apt-get are optimized for one-shot solutions, i.e. try to
get the sanest solution first.
They're also usually faster than aptitude which tracks more metadata
needed for pattern matching or package displaying.
* apt is (currently) solely meant for commandline user by an admin. It
has far more comfortable defaults (e.g. color and progress bar) and
a not completely identical set of subcommands compared to
* apt-cache/apt-get have a stable commandline interface and are best
for scripting — for now unless you need the power of aptitude's
But beware: Even though a few years ago there was quite an effort to
make the exit codes of aptitude in error cases more consistent and
sane, there are still a few rough edges and inconsistencies in that
P.S. and JFTR: There is no such war between apt and aptitude. We've
merged both teams a year ago or so and all aptitude developers have
now also commit rights on apt and vice versa:
,''`. | Axel Beckert <abe@xxxxxxxxxx>, https://people.debian.org/~abe/
: :' : | Debian Developer, ftp.ch.debian.org Admin
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