Take the acroread or libpam-ldap packages as examples.

Even when installed with apt-get --force-yes they still ask questions:

  • acroread wants to know whether acrobat should be the standard PDF reader (how to assume yes?)
  • libpam-ldap What's your LDAP-Servers URI, version, password, ...? (how to just assume anything, the ldap.conf will be overwritten by puppet anyway)

Is there a "for god's sake assume anything and stop nagging"-switch for apt-get?

2 Answers 2



export DEBIAN_FRONTEND=noninteractive
apt-get -y install package1 package2
  • Is export DEBIAN_FRONTEND=noninteractive needed or the y option in apt-get is sufficient? Oct 30, 2021 at 3:21

Another solution: use yes command to blindly answer yes to all questions.

Apt is smart enough that this solution isn't recommended unless:

  1. you know what you're doing, and

  2. the -y and --force-yes options don't do what you want

In my case, I want to downgrade Nginx, and I don't care about the dependencies. For some reason force-yes didn't work, nor did the DEBIAN_FRONTEND=noninteractive environment variable.

Here's how to downgrade a package noninteractively:

yes | apt install nginx-common=1.4.6-1ubuntu3.3 nginx-full=1.4.6-1ubuntu3.3

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