[NCLUG] apt-get questions

Daniel Miles dmiles at holly.colostate.edu
Thu Jan 16 12:06:56 MST 2003

On Thu, 2003-01-16 at 11:30, Marcio Luis Teixeira wrote:
> Hi there,
> I finally decided to replace my RH installation with the Debian based Libranet 
> distro. I've been using it for a while now and really like it, but now I have 
> a couple general apt-get questions:
>   1) What's the best front-end to "apt-get"? Right now I am using "synaptic", 
> which is awesome (especially with the retro NeXTStep look), but it does lack 
> a few handy features, such as a file list for installed packages ("dpkg -L"). 
> Are there any front-ends out there that are more complete?

I hate to be the one to say this but it's been my experiance that there
is no good front end to apt-get (apt-get being a front end to dpkg in
itself). The one that ships with the distribution is dselect and it is
my opinion that it is the worst piece of software ever written (although
I've been told it's the second worst, I've never come accross anything
to take the title). apt-get and apt-cache do just about everything you
could ever need and they're not that hard to use, just read the man

>   2) How frequently are Debian packages updated? Are the package versions tied 
> to the current stable release (like, Woody), or do they get upgraded 
> independently of the releases? 

To start with, woody has been declared stable and it will never be
updated again. Until woody was moved to stable, the stable distribution
was called Potato and it hadn't been updated since about 1652 (the
origional code was chissled into stone tablets). The package versions
*are* tied to Woody but in Sarge (the new "unstable" release) they
change as the debian people test them enough to bring them out of the
testing distribution (sid). I use Sarge and it works great for me, I
don't think it deserves the title unstable.

> I'm sort of used to Gentoo, where packages get 
> upgraded whenever their developers feel like it, and you get new packages on 
> a daily basis. With Debian, does it make sense to check for updates every 
> week (day, hour... whatever), or am I just wasting my time?

As to how often, I generally do an apt-get upgrade once a month or so
but there is usually a change made every day; it just depends on how
close to the "bleeding edge" you want to be.

> Thanks,
> Marcio Luis Teixeira
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