CLI for apt.

Basic commands:

list - list packages based on package names

search - search in package descriptions

show - show package details


update - update list of available packages


install - install packages

remove - remove packages


upgrade - upgrade the system by installing/upgrading packages

full-upgrade - upgrade the system by removing/installing/upgrading packages


edit-sources - edit the source information file

As you can see, it misses a purge option, but I still can type "apt purge" to remove packages, why doesn't it in its manpage?

  • The text you have quoted is from apt's help, not from the manpage. – muru Mar 21 '16 at 7:57

From the changelog of apt, apt purge was added in apt package version (dated 18 Jan, 2014):

apt ( experimental; urgency=low

* add "apt purge"

This behaves the same way as apt-get purge but the man page lacks the mention.

From cmdline/apt.cc of apt source code:

// package stuff
{"remove", &DoInstall},
{"purge", &DoInstall},

This should definitely go in a bug report.

Also note that, the apt command is evolving and the plan is to incorporate all the options of apt-get to apt in the process.

The man apt of Xenial (16.04) has it (Thanks @muru).


From man apt:

"APT is a management system for software packages."

From man apt-get:

"apt-get is the command-line tool for handling packages."

So apt-get is a commandline interface for using apt.

Also in the man-page of apt-get, we read

enter image description here

  • apt (Advanced Package Tool) is the command-line tool for handling packages. It provides a commandline interface for the package management of the system. See also apt-get(8) and apt-cache(8) for more low-level command options. – JulianLai Mar 21 '16 at 2:48
  • It is written in its manpage. – JulianLai Mar 21 '16 at 2:48
  • They both are command-line tools. – JulianLai Mar 21 '16 at 2:50
  • This is wrong..apt itself is now a standalone command to manage the apt interface.. – heemayl Mar 21 '16 at 2:58
  • @heemayl Is apt more like an interface to apt-get then? It's not exactly crystal clear how apt (& apt-get) and dpkg work together (at least nothing I've found in man pages). I only noticed apt lately since it doesn't need sudo to run – Xen2050 Mar 21 '16 at 4:56

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