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When you do apt-get install a package, there are many items listed. For example, sudo apt-get install emacs and press tab, you receive emacs, emacs23, emacs24...... What does the one without version number represent? The latest stable version?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

The numbers after emacs are the version numbers of emacs.

If you do not want to be bothered with the version number and want to install the latest version, just go for emacs, it is a meta package that always depends on the latest version of emacs found on the main repository.

The older versions are found on the universe repository (and/or perhaps on some other repositories too).

In a nutshell, you can do:

sudo apt-get install emacs

to install the latest version.

Also see: What is the difference between a meta-package and a package?

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More details on what a "meta package" is, or the differences between the repositories you mentioned will get this a +1 from me. I feel like the question is more about package installation in general than about emacs specifically. – Michael Hoffmann Jan 11 at 7:36
@MichaelHoffmann check my edits – heemayl Jan 11 at 7:43

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