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With the introduction of Ubuntu Software Centre, I remember reading, though I can't find any reliable source right now, that the various package managers were going to eventually be deprecated. Indeed, Gdebi is no longer a part of the default installation, and I heard that Synaptic was scheduled to the removed in the near future.

But what about the command line tools? These are far more efficient than the Ubuntu Software Center if you know what package name you're after. Will they continue to exist as standalone apps, or will they be rolled into Ubuntu Software Center in some way, becoming it's command line interface?

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The Software Centre is a graphical application. As it stands at present there would be very little point in effort being put into a CLI version of the Software Centre when polished alternatives exist.

It is certainly possible Synaptic will be removed from a default install in the next few cycles.

Note that it was decided not to merge the Update Manager into the Software Centre.

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Apt and Dpkg are not going anywhere, they are here to stay: all of the applications you listed use them on the back end.

You should think of GUI and shell interfaces as related but independent - often a GUI uses the shell commands as a backend - for example, we added a Landscape control panel in 12.04, but left landscape-config unchanged.

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