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first draft "aptitude howto"


need to spell check it, but i guess it might be helpfull anyway:

(c) Copyright 2000, Bernd Eckenfels, Germany

aptitude is a front-end to apt and dpkg, the Debian GNU/Linux Package
Management tools. It tries to provide a nice user interface to every-day
package management on Debian GNU/Linux Systems.

This is a short tutorial to help you with using the default installation of
aptitude. This tutorial is based on the version 0.5.1 of aptitude.


You can start aptitude as non root (for example if you want to look for a
package or see a list of new packages, but you can only use it as root to
actually change the state of packages on your system.

Aptitude is started from the command line in a console window or xterm with
the command "aptitude".

First Steps

Aptitude uses APT's cache of available packages. This means you have to
configure /etc/apt/source.list like you are used from "apt-get". With the
'u' key you ask aptitude to retransmit the lists of available packages from
different sources.

If there is a new package present, it will be grouped unter "New Packages".
To tell aptitude, that it should remeber all new packages as seen, you tell
it 'f' to forget.

With those two keys you usually will type 'u' and then 'f' in aptitude to
reset it to its default working mode. In that mode you have a list of:

Installed Packages
Not Installed Packages
Upgradeable Packages
Virtual Packages

You can open each of this sections by ,oving the cursor to the line and
pressing enter. Subsections for the different trees in debian package
archives will be visible.

If you have a packe selected, you will get information about it in the
status line. The 'i' key will show the information/description of the
package, the <enter> key a more complete information about the debian
package system values for this package. To leave the information screens,
you can use the 'q' key. Within the main tree, the 'q' key will quit the

In the "Not Installed Packages" or in the "New Packages", or even in the
Dpendencies of installed pacages, you can use the "+" key to mark a package
for installation. You can also use the "-" key on a intalled package to mark
it for removal.

Packages which are upgradeable can be put on hold with the '-' key, so their
desired state is downgraded from "upgrade" to "hold". If you press the '-'
key once more, they are even deleted. To purge a package instead of deleting
it (purging will remove all data, especially the config files, too) you use
the '_' key.

If you made your selections (which action should be taken on which package
with "+", "-", "_") you press the 'g'o key. Another screen will list you all
desred options (which packages will be updated, which installed and which
deleted. You can  make changes there, too. While pressing 'q' will get you
back to the main tree, pressing 'g' a second time will actiate the
installation/download/deleting of packages.

Additional Keys in aptitude include '/' for searching, 'home', 'end' and
'up' 'down' for navigation.

NOTE: with aptitude 0.0.4a (included in potato) you will find it confusing if
you dont have support for colors in your term, since:

(todo: find the right names for those colors :)
white  = normal
red    = broken
green  = install
turkis = remove
bl n wh= hold
cyan   = update (same as green but alrady installed).

Also in the 0.0.4a version a split screen view with package details and a
key help menu is missing.



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