Apt Cheat Sheet

This cheat sheet lists some of the useful commands when interacting with linux based systems

Apt Cheat Sheet
Apt Cheat Sheet

What is Apt?

Apt is a powerful package manager that allows you to add and remove programs on your Linux system easily. It works by installing packages from software repositories, which are collections of software made available online. This makes it easy to find and download any open-source program compatible with your distribution (for example, Ubuntu or Debian). What's more, apt makes it easy for developers to create and share their packages - if they have the skills!

If you're just starting with Linux, learning about Apt can be a great way to get comfortable using your system's terminal (the command line interface). Get familiar with apt using the cheat sheet below.

For a quick reference guide, head down at the end of the article to download a PDF copy of this cheat sheet.

Apt cheat sheet

Updating the list of available packages

Command Action
apt-get update Keeps you upto date with possible package updates mostly security updates

Installing packages

Command Action
apt-get install Gets your desired package installed
apt-get install pkg1- Removes pkg1
Apt-get install pkg1 pkg2+ Remove pkg1 and install pkg2
apt-get -t dist install pkg Installs pkg from distribution dist
apt-get install pkg=version Install a specific version of a package
apt-get -h Gives you the help text

Remove packages

Command Action
apt-get remove Removes a package from your system but leaving the configuration files intact.
apt-get --purge Remove a package completely
Command Action
apt show bar Lists intall status and metadata of package bar
apt search bar Searches for package bar in repository
apt-file search file Searches for a filename in all packages
apt-file update Updates the database of files all packages contain
apt-file --list bar Lists all files included in package bar
dpkg -L package Lists all files installed from package
dpkg -S file Searches for a file name in installed packages

Upgrading packages

Command Action
apt-get upgrade upgrade packages within the same distribution
apt-get upgrade dist-upgrade Upgrade packages within the same distribution as well upgrade to a new distribution
apt-get -u upgrade Show complete list of packages that will be upgraded.

Upgrading to a new release

Command Action
apt-get -u dist-upgrade Upgrades packages and installs new packages

Removing unused package files: apt-get clean and autoclean

Command Action
apt-get clean Removes everything except lock files
apt-get autoclean Removes only packages files that can no longer be downloaded (old files).
If there is an issue with the cheat sheet, let us know in the comments and we will update it immediately.

Ending ...

Apt is a powerful package manager that allows you to easily add and remove programs on your Linux system. Whether you are new to Linux or an experienced user, knowing how to use Apt can be beneficial for managing your system and keeping it up-to-date with the latest packages. Some useful commands include apt-get update, which updates the list of available packages, and apt-get upgrade, which upgrades existing packages within your system. Additionally, there are several options for removing unwanted packages from your system using the apt command, such as apt-get remove and apt-purge. Finally, you can also use APT with dselect for more advanced package management tasks. (Lesson for another day).

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