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I've heard that apt has a new fancy colour and progress bar feature, but that I have to manually enable it.

How do I do this?

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a quick add to let users know that you can use this out of the box with no further configuration required. Colours and progress bar enabled by default, just use apt instead of apt-get – Madivad Feb 25 at 23:18
up vote 33 down vote accepted

For 14.04 and newer:

Make a file in: /etc/apt/apt.conf.d:

sudoedit /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/99progressbar

Then add these contents:

Dpkg::Progress-Fancy "1";

Save the file and you can now enjoy apt progress bars in all their glory:

enter image description here

You can use them with these commands for a nice new apt experience:

apt update
apt install
apt upgrade

Run apt by itself for the list of commands. Colors are enabled by default for apt, and do not affect apt-get.


You can also tweak the color of the progress bar by adding this as well:

Dpkg::Progress-Fancy::Progress-Bg "%1b[40m"; 

The colors are based on ANSI Color codes, look at this chart as a reference.


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I am still using 13.10 (at least for the next week or two). Is this feature available in 13.10? – OSE Apr 9 '14 at 13:57
I am reasonably certain it is not in 13.10. – Jorge Castro Apr 9 '14 at 14:04
Is there any disadvantage to using apt instead of apt-get, etc? – mikeymop Apr 9 '14 at 16:10
That is a bit odd. I get the progress bar on apt-get upgrade, install and remove, but no colors in apt-get update, I have to use apt update. Very odd. – Seth Apr 9 '14 at 17:05
Hm. I'm on 13.10 and after applying this settings i see progress in both apt and apt-get as well as in dpkg. – user268810 Apr 14 '14 at 13:09

For default colors

In addition to Jorge Castro's excellent answer, you can add an extra line to the /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/99progressbar file:

Dpkg::Progress-Fancy "1";
APT::Color "1";

This will enable the default colors for apt. I found it by accident while reading the apt man page:

The apt command is meant to be pleasant for end users and does not need to be backward compatible like apt-get(8). Therefore some options are different:

  • The option DPkgPM::Progress-Fancy is enabled.

  • The option APT::Color is enabled.

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