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What are the pros and cons of

  • dpkg
  • APT
  • aptitude
  • Ubuntu software centre
  • synaptic package manager

when used to install, remove and update software?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted
  • dpkg is tool to install/remove/configure... only a sigle package
  • apt and aptitude are tools for working with software repositories -- they can download packages from them, solve dependecies, calculate updates etc. they're using dpkg to install/configure packages (there are some differences between apt and aptitude, but in general, they are doing the same)
  • Synaptic is simple GUI for apt
  • Software Center is also GUI for apt (I think it's using python-apt) and it's much more "user friendly" than Synaptic
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  • They all use dpkg, synaptic and software centre are GUI interfaces to apt and dpkg.

  • aptitude is a newer replacement for apt(Advanced Package Tool).

  • dpkg is a tool to install,build,remove and manage Debian packages.

  • dpkg handles the actual installation of the package file,and it manages the installed packages database.

  • apt does dependeny resolution,while dpkg does package installation and removing. i.e if you install say gnome,you do apt-get install gnome.Then to have gnome you need a lot of other packages than simply gnome.deb,about a hundred other ones.To figure out which ones,apt is used that's dependency resolution.

  • Synaptic and Software centre are the gui for libapt while apt-get and aptitude are console.

For more details:

  • You can see the man pages of apt,aptitude and dpkg.
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