Debian 3.0 CDRs

Matthew Hawkins matt at
Tue Aug 13 13:16:29 EST 2002

Chris Wallis (walski at wrote:
> Try aptitude for package management. It is so easy compared to dselect and
> doesn't make issues with apt cache. I found in the past that dselect is one
> way to cause conflicts on a Debianized system and in the long run caused me
> to reinstall.

Strange, aptitude uses (by default) the exact same keypresses as dselect
to install, uninstall, place on hold, and move around the package
selection list.  It also has not quite as many sorting options, and if
you choose them it tends to crash or lock up (unlike dselect which works
fine).  dselect has also been around a lot longer and taken more of a
beating wrt. bugs being fixed.  In light of this, in what way do you
find aptitude easier?  (playing devils advocate a little here since I
used aptitude until recently)  One thing I liked was it put the common
functions on the command line, so you didn't have to go into the text
based GUI to use it.  I found "aptitude" easier to type than apt-get
(saved reaching for the hyphen key ;)

While we're on the subject, deity is another one worth a shot.  I
believe its scheduled to replace dselect "eventually".  It has all sorts
of frontends available, and at least the text-based one lets you play
tetris while it downloads package lists or the packages themselves.
Very handy on slow links when you have nothing better to do ;-)

The one I've been using more recently is "wajig".  It has more
functionality than anything else.  Maybe it simply appeals to my
patriotic senses as it was written by someone at CSIRO :)  In any case,
there's no annoying GUI of any kind, its well documented, and can be
used in pipelines.  As well as basic update/install/remove, it'll clean
out the downloads dir, let you move (a la apt-move) into an official
mirror-like hierarchy, search for packages (a la "apt-cache search")
list files in a package, list packages containing particular files,
source and build packages, figure out if the build dependencies are
available for a package, stop, start and restart services, and will call
sudo to do privileged operations if you're not root.  It will handle
target releases, versioning, and let you specify packages using regular
expressions.  Now all I need is a "wajig brew-coffee" command... ;-)

"So, logically, if she weighs the same as a duck, she's made of wood, and therefore a witch!"
(Monty Python and the Holy Grail)
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