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To make it more concrete, what's the relationship among apt-get, apt-file, apt-cache, aptitude and dpkg? I know that aptitude is the friendly front end to dpkg - so is apt-get, but less friendly. So is aptitude built upon apt-get? Is all of the apt*s the front-end of dpkg?


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up vote 5 down vote accepted
  • dpkg is the main workhorse and database keeper.

  • apt-get is a commandline front-end and provides dependency checking.

  • aptitude is commandline & ncurses front-end that provides a terminal GUI (as you say, friendlier than apt-get).

All the other apt-* are tools to do specific things:

  • apt-cache performs searches on your system's local package cache (including what it knows about enabled repositories).

  • apt-file is used for searching for particular files in the cache. While dpkg -S can tell you what package an installed file came from, apt-file can tell you what files an uninstalled package will install.

  • apt-src is a bit like apt-get for source packages. doesn't require root.

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