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I find Synaptic a rather convenient tool for browsing through the repositories looking what's in them but I prefer to use command line to install the actual packages (to let bash maintain history of what I have installed manually) and it annoys me that I can't use apt-get when Synaptic is running. I would also like to be able to use a nice GUI to browse remote repositories without attaching them. Does anybody happen to know a tool I might like?

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    /var/log/apt/history.log should show which apps where installed manually (including the command used). Synaptic can be run without root, meaning it can't apply changes, or lock the databases. – muru Nov 10 '15 at 16:54
  • Synaptic download size is ~1.3mb. How much more lightweight can you get! – Prahlad Yeri Nov 10 '15 at 16:55
  • @PrahladYeri I don't mean download size, I mean the behaviour. – Ivan Nov 10 '15 at 17:07
  • @muru "Synaptic can be run without root..." - how? It asks for my password every time I launch it. – Ivan Nov 10 '15 at 17:08
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    Run synaptic from the terminal. – muru Nov 10 '15 at 17:10
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Synaptic asks for root because the Synaptic .desktop file launches synaptic-pkexec:

$ grep Exec /usr/share/applications/synaptic.desktop 
Exec=synaptic-pkexec

Running just synaptic will avoid the root requirement, preventing Synaptic from locking the databases, or making any changes. You can create your own .desktop file which will invoke just synaptic, running it as a normal user:

cp /usr/share/applications/synaptic.desktop ~/.local/share/applications
chmod +x ~/.local/share/applications/synaptic.desktop
sed -i 's/-pkexec//;/^Name/s/$/ (non root)/' ~/.local/share/applications/synaptic.desktop

I don't know of any browser for an unconnected repository.

  • Won't installing things through synaptic mark them as manually installed as well? – Seth Nov 10 '15 at 17:35
  • @Seth it should. – muru Nov 10 '15 at 17:39

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