Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I've recently heard of tasksel, a tool that "installs multiple related packages as a co-ordinated "task" onto your system". What is the difference between using tasksel and installing meta packages via apt-get? What does it do that meta packages can't accomplish?

alt text

share|improve this question
up vote 4 down vote accepted

tasksel is ancient, ancient history, and is there mainly for historical reasons. Better just to forget about it.

share|improve this answer
Then how come this tasksel screen pops up whenever you install ubuntu server if its now defunct? – JohnMerlino Nov 11 '12 at 15:47

Tasksel can't really express complex dependencies that include version comparisons, optional dependencies, alternative packages, conflicts, etc.

To give a simple example: the tasksel task dns-server installs bind9, while a meta-package could depend on bind9|pdns-server (and a bunch of other DNS servers, but this is just an example), which means installing one of the 2 listed packages fulfils the dependency.

share|improve this answer

one of the reason for using tasksel is that you don't need tu know the name of installed package (for example SSH Server vs package openssh-server)

share|improve this answer
Couldn't the same be said of Software Center then? – Olivier Lalonde Nov 20 '10 at 12:05
Software Center isn't available via command line, so it would be useless in server environment – Paweł Karpiński Nov 20 '10 at 12:16
Tasksel pre-dates software center by some considerable margin. – popey Nov 20 '10 at 12:39

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.