# Making aptitude less verbose

People say that aptitude on Debian is so much better than apt-get, but I find it less usable. (See examples below.) Is there any configuration magic for aptitude to get rid of those useless status messages?

» aptitude install foo
Building dependency tree...
Reading extended state information...
Initializing package states...
Writing extended state information...
Couldn't find any package whose name or description matched "foo"
Couldn't find any package whose name or description matched "foo"
No packages will be installed, upgraded, or removed.
0 packages upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 3 not upgraded.
Need to get 0B of archives. After unpacking 0B will be used.
Writing extended state information...
Building dependency tree...
Reading extended state information...
Initializing package states...


Compare:

» apt-get install foo
Building dependency tree...
E: Couldn't find package foo

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You can configure the quietness of aptitude (and apt-get) by putting a line such as:

quiet = "2";


at the beginning or end of /etc/apt/apt.conf.

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Try putting -q or -q=2 at the end of your commands.

sudo aptitude update -q=2

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Usability does not really depend on the amount of output an application generates. Why do these status messages bother you? If it is because you have the output mailed to you on a daily basis, then I suggest you trim the output to the relevant lines using grep, probably with the -A option.

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