I am completely new to linux and hence Ubuntu. Though i have been using the Ubuntu OS on my system for a while, it is for the first time I am trying to learn the nuances and hence starting with the documentation.

I am wondering , if we use apt-get command to install packages, what does apt-get install aptitude do ?

  • @david6 but actually, aptitude is a front-end for apt-get it's not the same and doesn't have the same functions... – Alvar Jun 21 '13 at 21:21
  • I over-simplified: Aptitude offers a curses (text-GUI) interface (when run without parameter) and a command-line interface that can do most things that apt-cache/apt-get does. It has a dependency resolver that let you browse between multiple solutions. When using command line, you can adjust the proposed solution (install or remove a recommended package). However, Aptitude is still based on the libapt library, and depends on apt-get; so you can't have it installed without apt-get (also in the 'apt' package). – david6 Jun 21 '13 at 21:54
  • See also: askubuntu.com/questions/1743/… – david6 Jun 21 '13 at 21:55
apt-get install PACKAGE_NAME

Is the command used to install any package you know the name for, like aptitude.
sudo is used to earn root access and be able to install and remove software. sudo is always required if you do system wide changes like installing, removing, updating and upgrading packages.


Is the command used to manage any software and software sources. install is an extra command that tells the computer that you want to install software with the package name as follows. It will then check the software sources for a download link with the same name and then download and install the latest version (or specified version).


will update the sofware sources with new versions of the software listed (not installing anything)


upgrades the software if new versions are available in the software sources.


removes the package name specified after (like install).

there are more useful commands, but these are necessary for getting started with managing software from the terminal.

After more research on aptitude i found out that it's already installed. So installing aptitude wouldn't resolve in anything besides errors in the conosle. Start aptitude by:

sudo aptitude

The aptitude package is a GUI version of the apt-get command, it hasn't got the full set of features as apt-get but you have the basics like, remove, update, upgrade, install, etc. More information about aptitude and it features can be found here.

Also search in the software center if you want o use a GUI to find and install/uninstall applications.

Useful sources:

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  • TL;DR it installs the aptitude package which can do things similar to apt-get. However, aptitude does not have multiarch support at last check, and apt-get can do pretty much everything that aptitude can – Thomas Ward Jun 21 '13 at 17:37
  • Thanks for the info about aptitude @ThomasW. Forgot it was a package manager, don't use it. updated my answer accordingly. – Alvar Jun 21 '13 at 20:09
  • No problem, and sorry about the TL;DR stuff, but you put a lot of stuff (that most people might get too lazy to read) ;) – Thomas Ward Jun 21 '13 at 20:12
  • @ThomasW. I put the info that I would like to read if I were new to the Command line, but yeah it was a bit big. But I wanted to explain it and just not give the simple half answer, that it would install aptitude. Which isn't entirely correct :P – Alvar Jun 21 '13 at 20:15

simple , it will install a package named as aptitude.

the syntax of installing packages is sudo apt-get install <pkg_name>

for more information : wiki-Ubuntu

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The command apt-get install aptitude will install a graphical package manager called aptitude.

Aptitude is a famous package manager with a ncurses GUI. I prefer it over the other package managers, since it is faster(IMHO) and the conflict management system works very well.


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sudo executes your actions as the root user, so you don't get privilege problems, same as entering your password when installing something off the Software Center. apt-get is what you are executing - the program, if you will, which handles apt files and most installation. install is the argument for the execution, telling it to install something, and then aptitude is the package name which you are installing.

It's exactly the same thing that it'd do if you went to the Software Center, searched for 'apitude' (which may show a different name), and hit install.

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  • Thanks to all . Yes i installed and i can see the Package manager – Bikash Jun 21 '13 at 16:52

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