View Poll Results: Which one do you use more?

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  • apt-get

    146 57.25%
  • aptitude

    109 42.75%
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Thread: Aptitude vs Apt-Get

  1. #1
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    Aptitude vs. apt-get: Which is better?

    As I demonstrate here, aptitude is preferable to apt-get if you install and then uninstall a lot of applications.

    There are a lot of threads about apt-get v. aptitude, and almost all of them come to that same conclusion:
    http://www.ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=162114
    http://www.ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=131922
    http://www.ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=117394
    http://www.ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=91535
    http://www.ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=66995
    http://www.ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=37736

    Now, my first question: is there a downside to aptitude (as opposed to apt-get)? If so, what is it?

    Second question: if there is no downside, why does almost every Ubuntu guide out there ask users to apt-get stuff instead of aptitude installing/removing stuff?

  2. #2
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    Re: Replace apt-get recommendations with aptitude...?

    Quote Originally Posted by aysiu
    Now, my first question: is there a downside to aptitude (as opposed to apt-get)? If so, what is it?
    I think the downsides are pretty clear.
    1. The graphical frontends are frontends to apt, not aptitude, so if you manage your software from the command line and via synaptic and gnome-app-install you'll end up with a mixed environment, which is a mess.

    2. I never really tried aptitude, so correct me if I'm wrong, but from what I understand it's claim to fame is that it also gets rid of all the dependencies when you uninstall an application. Now this is of course great, however I'm not entirely sure if this isn't problematic when it comes to meta-packages. For example, if you want to get rid off something that ubuntu-desktop depends so this will lead to ubuntu-desktop being uninstalled. Now, couldn't there be the problem that when ubuntu-desktop and dependencies get uninstalled you'll get rid of a lot more software than you actually wanted to?

  3. #3
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    Re: Replace apt-get recommendations with aptitude...?

    Quote Originally Posted by helpme
    I think the downsides are pretty clear.
    1. The graphical frontends are frontends to apt, not aptitude, so if you manage your software from the command line and via synaptic and gnome-app-install you'll end up with a mixed environment, which is a mess.
    I don't see how it's a mess. I use Synaptic, apt-get, and aptitude, and I've never run into any problems.

    2. I never really tried aptitude, so correct me if I'm wrong, but from what I understand it's claim to fame is that it also gets rid of all the dependencies when you uninstall an application. Now this is of course great, however I'm not entirely sure if this isn't problematic when it comes to meta-packages. For example, if you want to get rid off something that ubuntu-desktop depends so this will lead to ubuntu-desktop being uninstalled. Now, couldn't there be the problem that when ubuntu-desktop and dependencies get uninstalled you'll get rid of a lot more software than you actually wanted to?
    I'm not 100% sure, but I don't think that's the case. For example, in the link I posted above, here's an excerpt:
    Code:
    user@ubuntu:~$ sudo aptitude remove kword
    Reading package lists... Done
    Building dependency tree... Done
    Reading extended state information
    Initializing package states... Done
    Building tag database... Done
    The following packages are unused and will be REMOVED:
      kspread libwv2-1c2
    The following packages will be REMOVED:
      kword
    0 packages upgraded, 0 newly installed, 3 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
    Need to get 0B of archives. After unpacking 19.6MB will be freed.
    Do you want to continue? [Y/n/?] y
    Writing extended state information... Done
    (Reading database ... 80478 files and directories currently installed.)
    Removing kword ...
    Removing kspread ...
    Removing libwv2-1c2 ...
    user@ubuntu:~$
    It's removing those dependencies because they're "unused." So my guess is that if they were... used... they would stay, but I haven't tested that theory yet.

  4. #4
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    Re: Replace apt-get recommendations with aptitude...?

    Quote Originally Posted by aysiu
    Second question: if there is no downside, why does almost every Ubuntu guide out there ask users to apt-get stuff instead of aptitude installing/removing stuff?
    I think more people are familiar with apt-get, so it naturally gets used more. That being the case, if you value consistency there's no question which tool should be in your documentation.
    Hang in there. It gets better...

  5. #5
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    Re: Replace apt-get recommendations with aptitude...?

    Quote Originally Posted by aysiu
    I don't see how it's a mess. I use Synaptic, apt-get, and aptitude, and I've never run into any problems.
    Well, maybe mess is to hard a word, but if for example you install somethings with apt and then some with aptitude, wouldn't it mean that stuff installed with apt would not be managed by aptitude? For exmaple, you install program a using apt, which needs library x, then get rid of program a, which leaves library x on your computer. Now you install program b with aptitude, which also requires library x. After that you decide you don't need program b after all and remove it with aptitude. Contrary to what you might expect, wouldn't library x still be on your machine?

    Quote Originally Posted by aysiu
    I'm not 100% sure, but I don't think that's the case. For example, in the link I posted above, here's an excerpt:
    Code:
    user@ubuntu:~$ sudo aptitude remove kword
    Reading package lists... Done
    Building dependency tree... Done
    Reading extended state information
    Initializing package states... Done
    Building tag database... Done
    The following packages are unused and will be REMOVED:
      kspread libwv2-1c2
    The following packages will be REMOVED:
      kword
    0 packages upgraded, 0 newly installed, 3 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
    Need to get 0B of archives. After unpacking 19.6MB will be freed.
    Do you want to continue? [Y/n/?] y
    Writing extended state information... Done
    (Reading database ... 80478 files and directories currently installed.)
    Removing kword ...
    Removing kspread ...
    Removing libwv2-1c2 ...
    user@ubuntu:~$
    It's removing those dependencies because they're "unused." So my guess is that if they were... used... they would stay, but I haven't tested that theory yet.
    I think this is a problem for meta-packages, not for normal packages, as meta-packages don't only rely on libraries, but on the high level apps themselves.
    For example, let's say ubuntu-desktop relies on the gimp. Now if you install ubuntu-desktop with aptitude and then uninstall something with aptitude that also gets rid of ubuntu-desktop, wouldn't that also mean that gimp will be uninstalled, or am I simply wrong here?

  6. #6
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    Re: Replace apt-get recommendations with aptitude...?

    Quote Originally Posted by aysiu
    ...
    Good question.
    As htinn mentioned, maybe because Aptitude just isn't as well known?
    I don't think there are any downsides to Aptitude, at least none that I've encountered.
    I use it pretty much exclusively instead of Synaptic/Apt.

    Quote Originally Posted by helpme
    Well, maybe mess is to hard a word, but if for example you install somethings with apt and then some with aptitude, wouldn't it mean that stuff installed with apt would not be managed by aptitude? For exmaple, you install program a using apt, which needs library x, then get rid of program a, which leaves library x on your computer. Now you install program b with aptitude, which also requires library x. After that you decide you don't need program b after all and remove it with aptitude. Contrary to what you might expect, wouldn't library x still be on your machine?
    Yes, it would be still there (but it would not mess anything up).

    Basically, if you want to take advantage of Aptitude's automatic dependency handling when removing packages, you'll need to have (well...no, there is a way around this) installed said package with Aptitude (or else how would it know?).

    However, you can, at any time, mark packages as 'automatically installed'.
    When this flag is set, any packages that are marked in that manner will be uninstalled when they are no longer depended upon by any other package.
    This is exactly what Aptitude does itself when installing packages.


    General tip: If you want to use Aptitude, it's easiest to just install and uninstall using aptitude.

    Quote Originally Posted by helpme
    For example, let's say ubuntu-desktop relies on the gimp. Now if you install ubuntu-desktop with aptitude and then uninstall something with aptitude that also gets rid of ubuntu-desktop, wouldn't that also mean that gimp will be uninstalled, or am I simply wrong here?
    Yup, you are right.
    If you want to get around this, just mark the packages you want to keep (or all) depended upon by the metapackage as 'manually installed'.
    Last edited by 5-HT; April 22nd, 2006 at 03:13 PM.

  7. #7
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    Re: Replace apt-get recommendations with aptitude...?

    I ran into difficulties when I installed gaim2 beta because I tried removing the old gaim and it told me xubuntu-desktop was broken, and offered to fix it every time I installed/updated anything else. If I try and remove xubuntu-desktop it wants to remove lots of other things that I use all the time, so I'm not convinced it can tell which packages are unused effectively.

    That said, I do prefer to use aptitude over apt-get. I never use synaptic so I'm not too worried about the mess.

  8. #8
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    Re: Replace apt-get recommendations with aptitude...?

    I guess I have a lot of the same questions as helpme does--I'm not myself that well-versed in aptitude, and that's why I asked if there are any known (not suspected) downsides.

    Well, I think I may just keep recommending apt-get for general things (until I've had more time to play around with aptitude) but still recommend aptitude for metapackages and also to people who really like a "clean" system but also like to install and uninstall a lot of stuff.

  9. #9
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    Re: Replace apt-get recommendations with aptitude...?

    aysiu you might be on to something with this. could a user get the same results installing deborphan, and configuring an "Orphan" filter under synaptic.
    Advantages and Disadvantages of 64bit.(Plus install Guides)

    ‘In search of some small measure of peace, that we all seek, and few of us ever find.’

  10. #10
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    Re: Replace apt-get recommendations with aptitude...?

    Quote Originally Posted by SD-Plissken
    aysiu you might be on to something with this. could a user get the same results installing deborphan, and configuring an "Orphan" filter under synaptic.
    I don't know.

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