Aptitude is an open source command-line application designed to act as an apt front-end, offering a better way to install, update and remove applications from a Debian-based Linux operating system.
Features at a glance
The software comes with a handful of useful features, including dselect-like persistence of user actions, a mutt-like syntax for matching packages in a flexible way, the ability to collect and display the Debian changelog of most packages, as well as extreme customization and flexibility.
Additionally, we can mention that Aptitude is Y2K-compliant, non-fattening, naturally cleansing, and housebroken. The entire documentation of the software can be found in DocBook format under the ./doc folder, to generate it install the docbook-xsl, xsltproc and html2text software, then run the ‘./configure’ and ‘make -C doc’ commands.
Getting started with Aptitude
Every Debian or Ubuntu user can easily install the Aptitude software on their GNU/Linux distribution, as the program can be found on the official software repositories of the aforementioned operating systems. Use the built-in Software Center app for the installation.
After installing Aptitude, you must open the Terminal app, and run the ‘aptitude’ command to start the program. Its CLI UI is quite attractive, reminding us of the good ‘ol DOS and Windows 95 days.
Intuitive interface with lots of functions
You can quickly access and view the total number of upgradable packages (if available), installed packages, not installed packages (available in the software repositories), obsolete and locally created packages, virtual packages, as well as tasks.
While on the upper part of the window, you can find clickable, DOS-like menus that allow you to access the program’s options, to search packages, as well as various useful actions and commands for interacting with packages, on the bottom edge you can see detailed information about each highlighted section (see the paragraph above for details).