[lug] Aptitude

Daniel Webb lists at danielwebb.us
Thu Jan 11 17:03:35 MST 2007

On Mon, Dec 11, 2006 at 06:13:54PM -0700, Collins Richey wrote:

> How about opening up a new thread on the basics of aptitude. 

Something just clicked yesterday, and now aptitude seems much more intuitive.
The trick (for me) was realizing that aptitude isn't worth much unless you use
it as a combination command-line and GUI tool.  I hadn't seen examples of
aptitude being used command-line until recently, and that brought it all

Here is the page that brought it into focus for me:


To convert my systems from apt-get to aptitude, I did the following:

1) aptitude --schedule-only markauto '~i!~M'

(marks all installed packages as "auto", meaning nearly everything will be
scheduled for removal at next upgrade)

2) Run aptitude as a GUI, hit 'g' to show the scheduled changes, and then add
back the needed packages manually.  Surprisingly, it only took about 10
minutes for each system.  I do know a lot of the packages already so that made
it faster, but aptitude makes it really easy to pull up the package
description so even without that knowledge it shouldn't take too long.

Now my most complex system (my VNC/app server) has only 180 manually-installed
packages.  My web/mail/db/etc server only has 85 manually-installed packages.
I also saved over 1 gig of cruft on the app server (mostly KDE) that I wasn't
using.  This was all started because my disk was nearly full and I needed to
install tetex, so I'm a very happy camper.

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