I've recently heard of tasksel, a tool that "installs multiple related packages as a co-ordinated "task" onto your system". What is the difference between using tasksel and installing meta packages via apt-get? What does it do that meta packages can't accomplish?

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tasksel is ancient, ancient history, and is there mainly for historical reasons. Better just to forget about it.

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  • Then how come this tasksel screen pops up whenever you install ubuntu server if its now defunct? – JohnMerlino Nov 11 '12 at 15:47

Tasksel can't really express complex dependencies that include version comparisons, optional dependencies, alternative packages, conflicts, etc.

To give a simple example: the tasksel task dns-server installs bind9, while a meta-package could depend on bind9|pdns-server (and a bunch of other DNS servers, but this is just an example), which means installing one of the 2 listed packages fulfils the dependency.

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one of the reason for using tasksel is that you don't need tu know the name of installed package (for example SSH Server vs package openssh-server)

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  • 1
    Couldn't the same be said of Software Center then? – Olivier Lalonde Nov 20 '10 at 12:05
  • Software Center isn't available via command line, so it would be useless in server environment – Praweł Nov 20 '10 at 12:16
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    Tasksel pre-dates software center by some considerable margin. – popey Nov 20 '10 at 12:39

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