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Re: switching from apt-get to aptitude

Rick Reynolds:
> I've googled this quite a bit and found various web pages praising 
> aptitude as a "better apt-get".   But I've also seen cautions about 
> mixing the two.

Mixing the two is generally a bad idea since aptitude tracks which
packages you really wanted to install and which ones just have been
pulled in as dependencies.

For example, a few days ago I decided to take a look at KDE (I am a long
time IceWM user). I just did 'aptitude install kde' and had almost
several hundred MB worth of k* applications.  Exactly what I wanted and,
so far, exactly what apt-get would have done. But it was just an
experiment and I wanted to get rid of KDE again. Aptitude allowed me to
just 'aptitude purge kde' again and it removed *every* package kde
depended on. If I had used apt-get to install and remove kde, apt-get
would just have removed the package kde (size: 7kB) and not its numerous

> I can't seem to find a definitive answer on whether or not this is a 
> good idea.  And I haven't found any kind of howto for doing the switch 
> well.  I have seen some sites that indicate aptitude may attempt to 
> remove lots of packages on the first run after such a switch-over.  If 
> it's just a start-up kind of problem, can this be worked around?  (i.e. 
> marking packages in some way that means "no, really!  I've installed 
> that and want to keep it!")

Yes, that is possible, but it takes some time to do that. I usually use
aptitude's command line interface (which is almost exactly like
apt-get's interface, only better), but initially it is probably best to
run aptitude interactively (ie. without any arguments).

You have to press 'u' (equialent to 'apt-get update') and then 'g'. This
tells aptitude to propose actions. Then you will probably be presented
with a lot of packages that aptitude wants to remove. Now just select
every package you want to keep and press 'm'. This marks this package as
"manually installed" (as opposed to "automatically installed" via a
dependency). Pressing g again will make aptitude recalculate its actions
again or process them immediately (I cannot tell exactly when it does

I eat meat and am concerned about bugs which are resistant to
[Agree]   [Disagree]

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