tl;dr Why do some .deb's install programs while other's don't, and what does apt-get update return in the console/why does it always seem to "get" bionic security repositories?

I am a very new linux user, and I am a bit confused on how some packages work. I also am seeing conflicting info on apt-get update.

1) I am trying to install NordVPN. I can follow the instructions easy enough, which is listed here. https://nordvpn.com/download/linux/

Why does the initial .deb file you download not actually install NordVPN. What's the difference between that and a .deb file for Steam? What is nordvpn-release.deb actually doing? Are some debs just packages referencing repositories of other debs?

2) As I understand it, apt-get update is supposed to update a repository of packages, and apt-get upgrade is supposed to act on that updated repository.

But if that's the case, how come running apt-get update twice returns two different logs? It seems to be installing something afterall. When I install the nordvpn-release.deb, and use apt-get update, I first get a three "Gets" related to NordVPN packages. BUt when I run it again, two of those disappear and the last one turns into HITS. Shouldn't it just return the same thing, because it's just getting me a list of up to date packages? Why are consecutive uses of apt-get update returning different things? And why does update always seem to "Get" Bionic-security?

  • If you are running 18.04, you should get Bionic security updates. – K7AAY Oct 22 '19 at 16:57
  • Should I be having "get" on them everytime I run update even if everything is upgraded? – Akimbo Oct 23 '19 at 2:38

Your guesses are pretty much correct.

The initial deb file from the NordVPN website just adds a repository with the actual program. It created a file in /etc/apt/sources.list.d called nordvpn.list. This file contains the following link to a repository: deb https://repo.nordvpn.com/deb/nordvpn/debian stable main. That repository is where the actual program is installed from.

The reason the outputs for apt-get update are different is that when you run apt-get update, apt checks all the repositories listed in /etc/apt. The first time you ran it after installing the deb, apt checked the newly added repository and found there were packages that needed to be updated, so it got the new data about those updates. The second time you ran apt-get update, apt already knew about the available updates, so it found nothing new to do. After that apt-get upgrade can upgrade the necessary packages.

For the bionic-security update, I would try running sudo apt-get upgrade, and then update again. That should change to hit.

Hope this clears it up

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  • Hey, thanks for responding! Couple things. 1) Is it possible to see exactly what a deb file does before it does it? 2) I have actually run upgrade and update several times, but several repositories will always have a few hits and several will have gets, no matter how much I update or upgrade. It's a bit confusing. And I'm also confused why some nordvpn repositories disappear after an update and why some remain as "hits." Maybe bionic-security just always gets by default? But that doesn't happen for you? – Akimbo Oct 22 '19 at 7:25
  • Edit: Well this is odd, but all repositories seem to be "Hitting" now after refreshing with synaptic instead of update. That's a bit bothersome since i wish I knew why that wasn't working with terminal commands as I try to learn – Akimbo Oct 22 '19 at 7:33
  • You can see the contents of a deb file by running dpkg -c myPackage.deb. The output should be able to give you a fairly good idea of what the deb will do. I don't know why the repositories were getting/hitting as they were. I wouldn't consider it to be a problem one way or the other but if you do want an explanation I'd recommend asking a separate question so more people can see it. – Kyle Oct 22 '19 at 7:44
  • It appears some repositories are back to being stuck on "get" regardless of how many times I update or if I refresh in synaptic. – Akimbo Oct 22 '19 at 20:58

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