What Is APT (Advanced Package Tool) For Linux?


Apt or Advanced Package Tool is a tool or application which is used to manage packages on Linux distributions. In Linux terminology, a package is an application, library, tool which is similar to the program on Windows. Linux distributions generally use centralized repositories to install and update applications where the package is provided by these repositories.

APT is mainly used by deb based distributions like Ubuntu, Debian, Mint, Kali, etc. APT is tightly integrated with these distributions even another package management software is available.

The apt package manager is created in March 1998 and used more than 20 years. The latest version is 1.8 because package management to not pose new functions.

Apt and Dpkg Relation

Apt is used with the deb based packages where deb is a packaging format created and used for dpkg package management tool. Dpkg and Apt are tools used to accomplish each other where dpkg is used locally by providing the package name and location to install or name for removal where apt is a network or internet-based tool which will update, search, download, solve package dependencies from other package repositories using the internet. The installation is done by dpkg in the background.

APT Usage and Functions

Apt is a command-line tool where there ae GUI version also exists. System administrators generally use apt via command line with the apt subcommands. Most used apt subcommands can be listed just typing apt to the command line like below. Both software and package terms can be used in Linux interchangeably without a problem in most cases.

$ apt
Apt Command Main Functions and Subcommands

Command apt list is used to list software or package that can be provided by repositories or currently listed in the system.

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Command apt search is used to search with a specific name, term, category or version on the repositories.

Command apt show is used to print and list installed or available software or package information like size, full name, version, category, maintainer, etc.

Command apt install is used to install specified software or package.

Command apt remove is used to remove already installed software or package.

Command apt update is used to get latest information about software and packages which are useful for upgrade and search.

Command apt upgradeis used to get and install the latest updates provided for the already installed software or packages.

Apt GUI

Even mainly used with via command line there are a lot of GUI interface implementations for the apt. GUI for apt provides easy usage with a single button clicks to update, install or remove software or packages.

Syntaptic is one of the most popular GUI tool designed for the apt. It is using the GTK-based graphical user interface to provide a lot of package management features.

Apt Package Management GUISynaptic

The most popular tool for apt GUI is Ubuntu Software Center . It is created by Ubuntu and integrated into the Ubuntu distribution. It provides easy package and software management in an integrated way with a clean and simple GUI.

Apt Package Management GUI Ubuntu Software Center

APT Alternatives

Apt is mainly used by deb package based distributions like Ubuntu, Debian, Mint, Kali but there are other alternatives that can be used instead of the apt package manager.

yum , rpm and dnf are all of the same package management tools which are the main alternative for the apt. They can provide most of the apt functionality without problem but because of the general usage of the apt-based distributions changing the default package manager is not a straight forward way.

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