is a text-based interface to the Debian GNU/Linux package system.
It allows the user to view the list of packages and to perform package
management tasks such as installing, upgrading, and removing packages.
Actions may be performed from an "interactive mode" or from the command-line.
The first argument which does not begin with a hyphen ("-") is considered to
be an action that the program should perform. If an action is not specified
on the command-line, aptitude will start up in interactive mode.
The following actions are available:
Install one or more packages. The packages should be listed
after the "install" command; if a package name contains a '~',
it will be treated as a search pattern and every package
matching the pattern will be installed. (see "SEARCHING, etc"
Appending "-", "+", "_", or "=" to the name of a package will
cause the package to be removed, installed, purged, or held
respectively. This can be used, for instance, to perform
multiple actions from one command line.
As a special case, "install" with no arguments will act on
any stored/pending actions.
NOTE: The "install" command will modify aptitude's stored
information about what actions to perform. Therefore, if you
issue the command "aptitude install foo bar" and then abort the
installation, you will need to (eg) run "aptitude remove foo bar"
to cancel that order.
remove, purge, hold
These commands are the same as "install", but apply the
named action to all packages unless specified otherwise.
(for instance, "aptitude remove '~ndeity'" will remove all
packages whose name contains "deity")
Mark packages as automatically installed or manually installed,
respectively. You may specify packages using the same syntax
as before, including specifying actions to be performed. For
instance, "aptitude markauto '~slibs'" will mark all packages
in the "libs" section as automatically installed.
Update the list of available packages from the master servers.
(this is equivalent to "apt-get update")
Upgrades installed packages to their most recent version.
Installed packages will not be removed unless they are unused;
packages which are not currently installed will not be installed.
If a package cannot be upgraded without violating these constraints,
it will be kept back.
Forgets which packages are "new" (equivalent to pressing "f" in
Searches for packages matching one or more expressions.
The expressions should be listed after the "search" command.
All packages matching the given expressions will be displayed.
As usual, this may be a full search expression; for instance,
"aptitude search '~N'" will list all "new" packages. Search
expressions are explained in detail in
Removes all downloaded and cached packages.
Removes any cached packages which are no longer downloadable.
Downloads the .deb file for the most recent version of the
given package to the current directory.
The following hyphened arguments function as actions for the
interactive mode of the program; however, they are only
used internally. Generally, you shouldn't need to set these yourself.
Loads the extended state information from fname.
Begins updating the package lists when the program starts. You cannot
use this option and
at the same time.
Displays a download screen when the program starts (equivalent to starting
the program and then pressing 'g') You cannot use this option and
at the same time.
The following options may be specified to modify the behavior of the
above commands. Note that not every command will pay attention to
every option (indeed; many options are nonsensical for one or more
Many of these options have an associated configuration file directive;
placing this directive in /etc/apt/apt.conf or ~/.aptitude/config will
cause aptitude to always act as if the option had been provided.
Display a brief help message.
Display the version of aptitude and some information about its
Print the actions that would be performed, but don't actually perform
them. This does not require root privileges.
Configuration Item: Aptitude::CmdLine::Simulate.
Do not install or remove any packages; only download them.
Assume "yes" as an answer to yes/no prompts. This does not affect the
prompting for particularly dangerous actions, such as removing Essential
packages. Overrides -P.
Configuration Item: Aptitude::CmdLine::Assume-Yes
-F format, --display-format format
Specify the format which should be used to display output from the
command. For instance, '%p %V %v' will display a package's name, followed
by its currently installed version and its available version. (see the
section "COLUMNS" in the user's manual for more information)