What is the difference between apt and dpkg

apt vs dpkg
Debian Package managers

In this article, you will learn the differences between APT and DPKG and see which one suits your needs.

Apt (Advanced Package Tool) and dpkg (Debian Package Manager) are both package managers used in Debian-based Linux distributions. However, noticeable differences are seen between the two tools.

Apt vs. Dpkg

  1. Apt (Advanced Package Tool) is a newer package manager that offers more features than dpkg. It can automatically handle dependencies, so you don't have to worry about manually installing them. Apt also has a wider range of repositories from which you can install packages.

    Dpkg (Debian Package Management System) is the older package manager. It doesn't have as many features as apt, but it's still a powerful tool. Dpkg can't automatically handle dependencies, so you'll need to install them manually. Dpkg also has a limited range of repositories, but you can still find the most common packages.

  2. Apt is a higher-level tool that provides a more straightforward interface to work with than dpkg. While dpkg can only install, remove, or query individual packages, apt offers additional functionality, such as automatically handling dependencies, retrieving and installing packages from remote locations, and upgrading all installed packages to their latest versions.

  3. Additionally, apt offers several useful commands for managing repositories and upgrading the system. For example, the apt-get command can install or remove packages, while the apt-cache command can search for available packages.

  4. Another difference is that dpkg is primarily a command-line tool, while apt also provides a graphical user interface (GUI) in the form of the aptitude tool.

  5. Apt offers additional features, such as rollback changes, whereas dpkg does not.

Which Package manager should you use?

So, which package manager should you use? It depends on your needs. If you want a more powerful tool with automatic dependency management, then apt is the way to go. On the other hand, if you want a more straightforward package manager or if you need to install packages from a specific repository, then dpkg is the better choice.

Overall, apt (Recommended tool) is a more user-friendly and robust option than dpkg, making it the preferred package manager for most users. It provides a simpler and more automated way to manage packages on your system. However, dpkg can still be helpful in certain situations, such as when working with old or custom packages that are unavailable through apt.


Apt and Dpkg do the same thing but with different results. Apt is newer and has more features, while dpkg is the lower-level tool upon which apt is built. If you're doing basic package management, either tool will work fine. However, for more complex tasks or if you need greater flexibility, apt is the better choice. If the article was helpful, share it.

Thanks for reading.

If you enjoy our content, please consider buying us a coffee to support our work:

Table of Contents
Great! Next, complete checkout for full access to GeekBits.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
You've successfully subscribed to GeekBits.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.
Success! Your billing info has been updated.
Your billing was not updated.