The Differences Between APT and APT-GET.

Today will be a brief essay-type of article where we simply discuss the differences between APT and APT-GET. This article is really only useful to you if you use a distro that supports this. Those would be distros in the Debian family, so distros like Ubuntu or Linux Mint.

This will be a brief article and an article where I cheated. I let AI write most of this for me. It seemed like a good task for ChatGPT. So, it was largely written by an ML (Machine Learning) model.

If you’re interested in this sort of thing, read on! Who knows, if it takes off I’ll do more of these types of articles. They don’t save much time because I still need to format the output and crafting the input can be a bit tricky.

Ah well… It’s still fun and informative!

The Differences Between APT and APT-GET:

Debian’s package management system has evolved over time, and two widely used tools for managing packages and software updates are apt-get and apt. Both tools serve similar purposes, but they differ in terms of user experience, functionality, and underlying technology.

apt-get was the traditional command-line tool used in Debian-based systems to handle package management tasks. It has been a reliable workhorse for system administrators and users alike. However, it had some limitations and lacked certain user-friendly features.

apt, on the other hand, stands for “Advanced Package Tool” and was introduced as a more user-friendly alternative to apt-get. It was designed to provide a more intuitive and streamlined user experience while retaining all the functionalities of apt-get.

One of the key differences between apt-get and apt is the command structure and user interface. apt-get commands are generally longer and less intuitive, while apt commands are more concise and easier to remember. For example, to install a package using apt-get, you might use:

Whereas with apt, the command becomes simpler:

Both commands perform the same function of installing the specified package, but apt provides a more user-friendly syntax.

More Differences:

Another notable difference is that apt has a more modern and user-friendly progress bar during package downloads and installations. It offers clearer and more informative output, making it easier for users to track the progress of their package operations.

Additionally, apt supports various new features and functionalities that were not present in apt-get. For instance, apt includes the apt autoremove command, which helps in removing unnecessary dependencies that were automatically installed but are no longer needed. This feature simplifies package management and helps keep the system clean by removing residual dependencies.

Furthermore, apt also integrates the functionality of other apt-get commands like apt-cache and apt-config, providing a more unified and cohesive package management experience. Users can perform tasks like searching for packages, checking their metadata, and managing configurations more efficiently within a single tool (apt).

Despite these differences, both apt-get and apt use the same underlying package management libraries and repositories. They share a common package database and can perform all the essential package management tasks such as installing, updating, upgrading, and removing packages.

In summary, apt is an evolution of apt-get, offering a more user-friendly interface, improved output readability, and additional functionalities while utilizing the same package management backend. Users transitioning from apt-get to apt will find the latter more intuitive and efficient, but both commands remain viable options for managing packages on Debian-based systems.


Well, AI did a pretty good job of this. If you wanted to know the differences between apt and apt-get, now you do! You can decide for yourself which you prefer. As you’ve seen throughout these many articles, I default to apt. 

I also wrote this article with AI because I have a storm coming. I want to get this scheduled ahead of time. My brain only works for so long and I run out of ideas to write about. I flip through my notes and they look like articles I want to write, but I can’t figure out what to write about.

Basically, I only have so much creative energy and these articles consume that energy pretty quickly. Sometimes, I have spurts of creative energy and can write a few articles ahead, but that’s not something I can count on. Articles are generally written the night before they’re published. By then, I’ll have enough creative energy again.

I needed to do this the same day that I published an article because Mother Nature doesn’t care about my publication schedule. I’ve had a few years without major outages. It seems like that’s going to be different this year. I suppose I can be grateful for those times when I had no major outages. I’ll be warm, secure, and have electricity – I just may not have internet.

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List Installed Software In Lubuntu

There may come a point in your Linux journey where you must list the installed software in Lubuntu. This is easily done and I will show you a couple of quick ways to get this list in the terminal. So, if you want to list installed software in Lubuntu, this is the article for you!

I’m writing this article because it’s quick and easy. I won’t make this article as long as I’ve made recent articles. We’re just going to get to the point, more or less. I will show you a couple of different ways, each with its own merits. You can decide which way works for you.

The article headline and related material reference Lubuntu. That’s because I’m using Lubuntu when I write this article. I am a Lubuntu member, after all. It makes sense that I’d be using Lubuntu!

Plus, it’s a weekend. I’ve formalized the idea that articles written during weekends will be easier. I have a life outside of writing articles and doing other things to help the Linux community. (It’s amazing, but it’s true!)

However, you can use these commands on anything that uses dpkg or apt. That means you can use these commands on Debian, Linux Mint, Ubuntu, and myriad other distros that use .deb files as their software packages. These commands are fairly universal across those distros and you shouldn’t have any issue running either of them on any of those machines.


The following commands will not show you Snap packages or flatpak packages. Software installed by those means does not show up in these commands. Only software installed with dpkg/apt (which includes all .deb packages even if you used a GUI installation method) will be shown.

Fortunately, that’s not a problem.

To show flatpak applications:

To show Snap applications:

AppImages aren’t really installed and I can find no way to list those that make sense. Sure, we could use the find command and list any .appimage file, but that won’t tell us if you use it. We’ll just ignore those for the sake of simplicity and to stay within the realms of ‘reasonable’.

List Installed Software In Lubuntu:

In the opening paragraph, I mentioned that this was something you’d be doing in the terminal. That means you need an open terminal. As you’re using Lubuntu, you can just press CTRL + ALT + T and QTerminal should open right up.

With your terminal now open, the first command we’ll be using is dpkg. This will not show all the installed applications at the same time. This outputs a nicely formatted list. You can see the version of the software on the right. It’s easy to understand.

It will show you a page at a time and your arrow button lets you scroll down to see them all. To exit the list, you press the Q button on your keyboard. To list installed software in Lubuntu with dpkg, you simply run the following command:

The second command might be a little more useful, but it’s not formatted nearly as nicely. This time around, we’ll be using the apt command. If you don’t know, apt is basically a front end for dpkg. Now you know.

If you want to use apt to list installed software in Lubuntu, you would just run the following command:

That will spit out the entire list, though you could pipe it to the less command. To do that, try this command:

That will output the list a page at a time. Like the above dpkg command, if you want to exit the list, you just press the Q button on your keyboard.

This command is also useful to create a list of installed applications. Again, this won’t list Snaps or flatpaks, but it will list the traditionally installed applications. That means it’s pretty useful to create a list, especially if you want to recreate the system later. To do that, just run this command:

There you go, you now have a handy list of installed applications in Lubuntu! Pretty easy, isn’t it?

That’s all there is to it today. 


Yeah, it’s a weekend. This article might just break 800 words, so it’s not nearly as long as many of my recent articles. This time around,  you’ve learned how to list installed software in Lubuntu. It wasn’t even that complicated and you’ve been given the choice between two commands. Just pick the one that works for you and commit it to memory. You’ll be golden and have taken one more step in your route of Linux learning.

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

Dealing With “Could not get lock /var/lib/apt/lists/lock”

Today’s article is a rather specific article, where we examine a couple of ways to deal with the message “Could not get lock /var/lib/apt/lists/lock”. This is an error message that you’ll get when something is already updating (or installing) and you try to install something else or if you try to perform updates.

Basically, when you update something, apt will lock a file so that nothing can interfere with it. This is a good thing, ensuring your updates go smoothly. This is something you want to have to happen.


Things don’t always go according to plan. Things may freeze, things may take too long, and things can stop the upgrade (or update, let’s use those words largely interchangeably). You may find yourself coming across this message and not knowing what to do.

A bit on update and upgrade

First, obviously, this article only applies to distros that use ‘apt’ as their package manager. So, that’s Debian, Ubuntu, Mint, and many more that are derived from Debian or Ubuntu.

You have on your computer a database of software available in the repositories you’ve enabled. Then you update this database software with ‘sudo apt update‘. You then upgrade your software when you run ‘sudo apt upgrade‘. So, in the very specific terminology used, there’s a difference between update and upgrade. I know this, but will use the words interchangeably. 

As mentioned, when you’ve started this process (that is the updating of the database) you’ll be frozen out of further apt commands that can act on the system. You can still run queries like ‘apt-cache search foo‘ but you can’t install or uninstall software while this process is happening. The same is true during the upgrade portion of the process.

Well, that’s when you’re going to get this error message.

For example, I recently had to update a Linux Mint system and the update process was horrible – but mostly because it didn’t seem designed to work with bandwidth like mine.

There were constant timeout warnings even though things were still downloading. Things would also freeze entirely and it was during this that I realized I should write an article about what to do when you get the message “Could not get lock /var/lib/apt/lists/lock”. After all, I was killing that process like an assassin in a video game. I showed no mercy!

NOTE: The correct thing to do is wait. If waiting doesn’t work and much time has passed, the next correct thing to do is reboot. After you’ve rebooted, you should try the update again and follow any directions it might give you.


I don’t always follow directions well. Nor do I always do the right thing. This is hardly the first time I’ve given you answers about how to do the “wrong” thing right. This probably won’t be the last time I’ve told you how to do things that are generally considered a bad idea, sometimes an especially bad idea.

With that said and done…

Fix “Could not get lock /var/lib/apt/lists/lock”:

You’re going to want an open terminal for this. Yes, a terminal. You should be used to that by now. The terminal is a handy application and we use it often. In most cases, you can just press CTRL + ALT + T and your terminal should open.

We want to get rid of the message “Could not get lock /var/lib/apt/lists/lock”. and I’ll cover a couple of quick and easy ways to do this, meaning you can (generally) start the process all over again. With your terminal, we’re going to find the PID – that is Process ID – and kill it.

You can read this article:

Find An Application’s Process ID (PID)

Or you can skip that article…

We already know that we’re interested in apt’s PID, so we just run this command:

Take the output from that and enter it in the following command:

Of course, that’s the fun way. You can actually use a much easier command to deal with the “Could not get lock /var/lib/apt/lists/lock” message. It’s not nearly as fun, but it should work every time. Try this command:

That one command should always work and is fairly easy to remember. You just take the path of the lock from the command, elevate your permissions, and remove the lock. It’s not unlike using lock cutters on a real-world lock, but requires much less physical effort!

Again, I highly suggest you resolve this message in the proper manner. Wait a while, reboot if nothing changes over time, and then try the update again so that you can follow any directions it gives you. That’s the smart way to deal with this.


Yup… Here I am giving bad advice on the internet. I figure folks might just want to do this. If they want to do this, they might as well have good directions. This isn’t the correct way to deal with “Could not get lock /var/lib/apt/lists/lock” but it’s a way of doing so. You could end up with some currupt files and impropperly installed software, so you really should not do it this way, but it’s your computer.

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

Show Files Installed With A Package (Using ‘dpkg’)

Today’s article is going to be quick and easy, as we simply cover how to show files installed with a package. Because I am reasonably compelled to optimize for search engines, the title just plain sucks. It should be much longer. Even though the exercise is really simple, explaining what we’re doing is a bit more complicated.

NOTE: The ‘dpkg’ may confuse some folks, but it means this article is only valid for those folks who are using .deb files, the apt package manager, and nothing else. So, if you’re using Debian, Ubuntu, Mint, or similar, then this article is meant for you. If you’re using a different distro, maybe I’ll cover those in another article.

So, what exactly are we doing?

Well, when you install software you don’t generally install just a single file. At least not if the software is all that complicated. 

Instead, you install all sorts of other files along with the software you’re installing. You don’t just install a single binary file, you install quite a few other files along with it.

Today, we’re going to list the files, the dependencies if you will, that go along with the applications we install. It’s not difficult, just a single command, but you can see why this would make for a very long article title.

Let’s keep this article short, as I’ve done some longer material lately:

Show Files Installed With A Package:

Yeah, you’re going to need a terminal for this. If you want to use ‘dpkg’ then you will need an open terminal. As that’s what we’re using, we need said terminal. In most distros you can just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

The tool we’re using is ‘dpkg’ and the man page describes it like this:

dpkg – package manager for Debian

The ‘Debian’ bit is important. As I mentioned above, this only works for distros that use dpkg to begin with. Anyhow, that’s an accurate description of what dpkg does.

The command we’ll use is simply:

For example, you might try:

If you have Chrome installed,  you might try this command:

As you can see from the output, you’re generally installing a bunch of files when you install a new application. It may not appear that way during the installation process, but you’re most likely installing more than a single file each time you install an application.


If you’ve ever wanted to show files installed with an application, now you know. It’s a pretty handy command to have if you’re into that sort of thing. If you’re playing the game of the lightest-possible-distro, then maybe you want to keep the number of files installed to a minimum and use the lightest software you can. Either way, it’s an informative command that should amuse my readers for five to ten minutes.

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How To: Install .DEB Files In Ubuntu

Today’s article is only useful for a subset of my readers, that is those who need to know how to install .deb files in Ubuntu. That’s a bit cheeky of a headline, but there’s a character limit to adhere to. So, if you want to install .deb files in Ubuntu, this article is for you…

What are .deb files?

The .deb file extension means that it is a package meant to be installed in Debian. So, this article will be valid for all Debian users – even those downstream, like Ubuntu or Linux Mint.

Quite a few Linux distros use .deb files, not just Ubuntu. I happen to be an Ubuntu member and many of my readers use distros based on Ubuntu (which is, of course, based on Debian). To keep things short, we’re not going to type all that out over and over again.

Many new users start with Ubuntu or Mint, and Debian itself of course. You might be a new user and have reached the point where you’re comfortable installing software from the graphical installer built into your operating system of choice.

Well, this is Linux… There are all sorts of ways to do things! Assuming you’re safe, or unsafe if you want – it’s your choice, you can find software that’s not available in the graphical installer, or newer versions than what you’ll find in the graphical installer. You’ll often find this software available in .deb format and this article will show you a few ways to install those .deb files.

How To: Install .DEB files in Ubuntu:

The first way we’re going to cover will be in your terminal. You’ll likely need an open terminal for the rest of the methods, so you might as well open your terminal now. You can just smash the CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal application should pop open.

The first method is pretty easy. You’re simply using ‘apt’ in the terminal, much like you’d do if you wanted to update from the terminal. The command would look something like this:

You’ll usually have downloaded the file to your Downloads directory, so you can either navigate to Downloads using the cd command or you can just include the folder in your path to the file, kind of like this:

Of course, you’ll use the actual file name and you’ll be asked for your password (unless you’ve changed that). Enter your password and let apt do its thing. Using apt is great because it will do its best to resolve any dependency issues you might have.

Now onto some GUI ways to install .deb files in Ubuntu!

Install .DEB Files With GDebi:

You followed the directions above and have an open terminal, right? Good, because GDebi doesn’t always come installed by default. I’ve previously written an article about GDebi, but it’s actually on the old site. I won’t bother linking it.

GDebi is a great GUI, that is a graphical, way to install .deb files. In fact, on the man page, it is described as:

gdebi – Simple tool to install deb files

To install .deb files with GDebi you first need to install it. You can do that right there in the terminal. To install GDebi, just run this command:

Once you have GDebi installed, you just use it from the right-click menu. Use your file manager to navigate to the download’s directory. Then you just right-click on the .deb file and choose to install it. The first time around, you might need to do some sort of ‘open with’ exercise, but then it should appear as something like “Open with GDebi package installer” or you will pick it from a list.

I’m positive you can figure it out from there. The great thing about using this GUI method to install software in Ubuntu is that it too will attempt to deal with any dependency issues automatically.

Install .DEB Files With QApt:

Do you still have that terminal open? Good! We have one final graphical method to install .deb files in Ubuntu. This one is a fairly new application and it’s a Qt application. However, it installs with very few dependencies and takes up very little space. Functionally, it’s very similar to GDebi.

So then, let’s start with getting QApt properly installed. The name is quite a bit longer, but it’s still easy to install QApt. To install the software, try this:

It’s a nice and light way to graphically install .deb files. For the life of me, I can’t figure out the correct man page incantation to make it work. No amount of trying the various words results in a man page opening. I do not know why, but I do know that it works. If you search to install QApt, it describes itself as:

qapt-deb-installer – tool for installing deb files

That’s plenty accurate. That’s what it is and that’s what it does. While I can’t find a man page for QApt, that’s an adequate description.

This QApt is a bit different. Like with GDebi, you’ll use your file manager to navigate to the directory that contains your .deb file (usually the Downloads directory) and right-click on the .deb file you wish to install. You’ll then pick “Open With” and click on the “QApt Package Installer”. With QApt now open, you’ll just click the obvious install button and wait patiently for it to do its thing.


So, there you have it… You have another article and this one has you learning how to install .deb files in Ubuntu. There are a few ways and you can pick the one that works best for you. Much of the time, I already have a terminal open and already navigated to the ~/Downloads directory. Because of this, I’ll often just do the installation right there in the terminal, using the apt command. But, it’s up to you. You have choices!

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

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