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I'm looking for a way to make aptitude(1) be quiet when installing packages. I want it to only produce output on explicit errors. The -q option does this is most other programs, but apparently not in aptitude.

My goal is being able to say:

someprogram: You need to install the foobar package for this to work.

$ sudo aptitude install foobar -yq &

And not have the screen filled with text. I'm aware of > /dev/null, but that seems like an ugly way of doing what I feel should be a very common task.

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The parameter q changes the level of quietness. The app will so output less log-messages - but I wasn't able to find any details about the max level of quietness - neither about what is not shown in what level ... See: – SimonSimCity Nov 9 '15 at 12:38
up vote 3 down vote accepted

> /dev/null is actually the standard way of shutting up programs.

Output redirection (whether to a file or to the bit bucket) is indeed a common task, which is why the single-character > operator was introduced in Unix shells. (In its predecesor Multics, one would have to run a separate iocall attach ... command before and after, to set up and remove redirections.)

Another feature that Unix shells have for performing common tasks is scripts and functions. If you just want to shorten a command, use:

inst() { sudo aptitude install "$@" -yq > /dev/null & }

which will allow you to install stuff with inst package.

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