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Re: What is apt-get

nther  <chris> writes:
CG> what is all this apt-get about?
CG> What is it good for and how does it work

APT stands for "A Package Tool".  It's essentially a wrapper around
the Debian package manager, dpkg, that provides some useful
functionality.  You tell APT where Debian packages can be downloaded
from, giving it a list of "sources".  Running 'apt-get update' will
instruct APT to download lists of packages and figure out what can be
downloaded from where and what it all depends on.

APT can then be used to cleanly upgrade bits of your system.  'apt-get
upgrade' will download and install all of the packages needed to
upgrade packages currently installed on your system to the current
version; 'apt-get dist-upgrade' will upgrade cleanly from one version
of Debian to another.

(As in, to upgrade from the current "stable" distribution to the
current "frozen" distribution, now in testing, one needs to:
        -- Change "stable" to "frozen" in /etc/apt/sources.list
        -- Run 'apt-get update'
        -- Run 'apt-get dist-upgrade'
...and that's it!)

You can also use APT to install a specific package.  You can run, for
example, 'apt-get install mozilla', and APT will download and install,
in the correct order, the mozilla package and all of its
dependencies.  APT also integrates with the traditional Debian package
manager front-end, dselect, and has a couple of front-ends of its own.

David Maze             dmaze@mit.edu          http://donut.mit.edu/dmaze/
"Theoretical politics is interesting.  Politicking should be illegal."
	-- Abra Mitchell

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