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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Find Out If A Package Is Installed In Debian

Today we’ll have a quick and easy article where we find out if a package is installed in Debian. There are times when you’re unsure of which packages are already installed. Today’s article looks to help with that, letting you know how to find out if a package is already installed.

Depending on where you live, yesterday was a holiday. A nice and easy article seems like a good idea. It’s actually a holiday as I write this, but that’s okay. I’d probably have written it ahead of time but Mother Nature was having her way with me and my neighbors. So, this is being written on Christmas Day. That’s another good reason to keep this short.

If you’re unaware, Debian is a Linux distro. Debian is one of the elders among distros, having just turned 30 not long before writing this article. It’s a very popular distro that has stood the test of time.

Debian also has a whole lot of derivatives. Then, there are derivatives of Debian derivatives. For example, there’s Ubuntu (and all the flavors) which has many derivatives, such as Linux Mint. While less common, there are probably derivatives of derivatives. By now someone has probably at least made a derivative of Linux Mint! (I did not look.)

That means that today’s article will apply to almost all of them. There’s bound to be an outlier, but anything still using apt or dpkg is good to go and will be able to use the information in this article. You won’t need to install anything, but you will need an open terminal.

Find Out If A Package Is Installed In Debian

Today’s article will involve the terminal. You can easily use a GUI for this. Just open your software manager to search for the package name. In this case, we’ll use a terminal and you can usually open your terminal by pressing CTRL + ALT + T.

You won’t need to install anything to determine if a package is installed in Debian. Everything you need, all the tools you’ll need, should be preinstalled. The tools you’ll be using:


You can use dpkg as one tool for this job. Given my preferences, this is the tool I’ll use for this job, simply because I like the output better. If you check the man page, you’ll see dpkg is described like so:

dpkg – package manager for Debian

That’s a pretty good-sounding description for the task. After all, we want to find out if a package is installed in Debian.

The syntax to do this with dpkg is quite simple:

For example (in Mint):

As you can see, Firefox is indeed installed. You should also remember that this operation is case-sensitive. This generally means you want lowercase letters.


You can also use apt to find out if a package is installed in Debian. If you don’t already know, apt is one of the tools you can use to manage packages in Debian. Think of apt (and apt-get, the stable cousin) as a front-end for Debian’s dpkg. The man page isn’t all that descriptive at first:

apt – command-line interface

But, if you look a little further, you’ll see:

apt provides a high-level commandline interface for the package management system.

So, apt is another fine tool to use for finding out if a package is installed in Debian. It too has a rather simple syntax and it looks like this:

For example (in Mint):

In this case, you can safely ignore the warning. Again, this is case-sensitive and you’ll almost certainly want lowercase letters in your command.


See? A nice and easy article for you. It’s not all that difficult to find out if a package is installed in Debian. This is something you can do quite quickly with an open terminal emulator. It’s something easy enough to remember, as well.

Today’s article was nothing too taxing and is something that can come in handy because, if you’re like me, you can’t possibly remember all the packages you’ve installed. Then, when you do install packages, you’re often installing dependencies.

Keeping track of all of those packages manually would be a tedious process! Just a little bit of terminal knowledge makes quick work of this and the commands are easy enough to memorize. Try them a few times and you might just remember them by rote.

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Disable A PPA The Hard Way

Today’s article is just for fun, as there’s usually a handy graphical way because we’ll be discussing how to disable a PPA the hard way. This is mostly an exercise in fun and education. It’s something you can do, but you do not need to do. We’ll be learning how to disable a PPA the hard way, specifically through the terminal.

If you’re interested in doing things the hard way, read on! We’ll have fun with this one, and having fun is essential.

There’s an easy way to manage your PPAs, and this is not that. In your application menu, look for ‘Software Sources’ and do that. Do not do this – unless you have no graphical environment.

A PPA is something used by Ubuntu, but is also used in Mint and is possible to use in others – like Debian which strongly suggests against it. PPA stands for Personal Package Archive and is meant to be exactly that. It’s us that abuse the idea, which is kind of how we ended up with Ubuntu Snaps and other similar package formats.

We use PPAs for all sorts of things, like adding entire other repositories to install custom software. It’s meant to be your personal package archive – meaning personal. We’ve decided it’s a fine way to add repositories to install software not included by default. Oops!

So, we’re going to disable a PPA, and we’re going to do it the hard way. We have no reason to do it this way, at least on desktop Linux, but we can. And so, just because we can, we have this article.

Disable A PPA The Hard Way:

Yeah, we’re doing this the hard way. So, that means we’re going to need an open terminal. If you don’t know how to open a terminal, you probably shouldn’t be doing this. But, just in case, you can normally press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal will open. Otherwise, you can open the terminal from your application menu.

With your terminal open, you need to first know what repositories you have available to you. You need to know the added PPAs. That’s easy enough, just enter the following commands:

That will change you to the correct directory. We’ll now list the files like this:

That will show you an output similar to this:

Find the PPA you want to remove. In our case, we’ll use teamviewer.list as the PPA (or ‘regular’ repository) we wish to remove. This works for both PPAs from LaunchPad or other repositories you may have added.

So, you’ll want to use Nano for this. Odds are that Nano is installed by default these days, but this is not always true. So, read the following page before moving on.

Let’s Install Nano (With Some Bonus Information)

So, we want to edit the teamviewer.list to disable the TeamViewer repository. That’s done with Nano and the command looks like this:

You’ll then be faced with a text file. Look for the line that starts with deb and is not commented out, that is not starting with a #  symbol. For example:

Find the correct line to edit when trying to remove a PPA.
This should be fairly easy for anyone to follow. It’ll be the line without the pound sign.

So, in my case, I’d take the line that looks like this:

And I’d comment out that line. More specifically, I’d add a # sign at the front of that line. So, it’d look like this:

You’ll then need to tell Nano to save the file. That’s easily done. You can just press CTRL + X, then Y, and then ENTER to save a file with Nano.

Next, you do this for any repositories (not just PPAs) that you wish to remove. Be aware that the software installed from those repositories will no longer update (which can be a bad thing). If you remove a PPA and still have the software installed, it should be temporary so that you can troubleshoot something.

Otherwise, you can now verify this. You simply need to update the available software again. You do that with this command:

When you do that, you should find that you no longer have that PPA (or just regular ol’ repository) enabled. It will no longer update, thus no longer offer you new versions of that software.

The latter part of that previous paragraph should be considered essential.

So, choose carefully. If the repository has software that you plan on using, you should probably keep updating it. Many of the updates aren’t just bug fixes. Oftentimes, they’re legitimate security fixes. Software is software, regardless of the operating system. It has bugs and sometimes those bugs are security issues. It’s best to keep your system updated and doing so makes you a good Netizen.


So, yeah… We’ve discussed how to disable a PPA the hard way. You can disable any repository this way, I suppose. I’m not sure that I’d suggest doing it this way – unless you need to do it this way. If that’s the case, you should do it this way. Most of the time, there are nice handy graphical tools to manage that sort of stuff.

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How To: Remove A Package With YUM

Today’s article is pretty basic, as the title so helpfully implies, as it simply tells you how to remove a package with YUM. I am writing this article because of a comment sent to me via the contact page. The gist of the comment is that I seldom include information about YUM but lots of information about APT.

I welcome such. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have the option to contact me! In a similar vein, if I didn’t welcome comments WordPress would happily allow me to disable said comments. I welcome all that sort of stuff, even including the comments I get elsewhere. For the record, some of those comments are so good that they’d be welcomed additions to the articles themselves. Alas, so few people seem inclined to do so and their helpful additions are lost to the aether.

Anyhow, back to the comment sent via the contact page…

The person sending me the message is correct. It’s true. More often than not, I only include information about APT. In my defense, other than servers or playing around in virtual machines, APT is my usual weapon of choice. I’m familiar with it, indeed comfortable with it. As such, my brain just kinda defaults to it.

So, what is YUM? Well, YUM is like APT for people using RHEL, CentOS, Fedora, Rocky, and quite a few other choices, might I say professional, operating systems. While the numbers I can find indicate the APT-using distros dominate the desktop market, it’s almost certain that the server market is dominated by people using a distro with YUM as the package manager.

YUM stands for Yellowdog Updater, Modified. It is the package manager for distros using the RPM (Red Hat Package Manager) formatted, or standardized, packages. It is very old and very stable. Those are not bad things, especially in the server and professional markets – where things like stability are prized. If you used YUM back in the day, I have good news for you. It hasn’t changed! Well, not significantly, as Wikipedia happily tells me that the last stable version was about eleven years ago at the time of this writing. Again, that is not a bad thing! I can’t stress that enough.

Because I don’t cover YUM enough, I figure a nice introductory article will be good. It’ll be a good thing to expose folks to YUM when they’re mostly just familiar with APT. As such, I figure some basic commands are a good place to start. 

So, let’s get to it…

Remove A Package With YUM:

Of course, you use YUM in the terminal. That means you’ll need to have an open terminal. In most distros, you can just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open. If this doesn’t open your terminal, you can almost certainly find a quick and easy way to modify your keybindings.

With your terminal now open, the process is pretty simple to remove a package with YUM. The command would look something like this:

You can also use the following format:

Those commands will only remove the package you named. So, if you removed a program like Thunderbird, your configuration files and any dependencies will (should) remain on the system. This is useful for when you need to reinstall an application but want to try keeping your existing configuration.

If you want to also remove your configuration files and any dependencies, YUM will happily allow you to do that. To do so, that is to remove the application, any configuration files, and dependencies, you’d try a command like this:

While it may look similar, it functions differently than autoremove functions in distros like Ubuntu. So, the syntax may look similar, but there are differences between the commands and it may be prudent to remember that. After all, the goal is to remove a package with YUM and not APT.

If you want to get fancy, you can add the following to your /etc/yum.conf to make sure that when you remove a package with YUM it will automatically remove the dependencies and configuration files:

However, adding that command will mean you do exactly what I said you’d do if you did that. You will also remove your configuration files and any of the application’s dependencies. If you’re sure that’s what you always want to do, you can do it! Ain’t Linux awesome?!?


Well, I wanted to write an article about YUM for our RHEL-using peers. I didn’t want it to be too basic, so I figured I’d add a little more to it. The reality is that I don’t cover other distros that often but, in my defense, this is largely aimed at making Linux approachable – or, as the tagline says, “Getting you up to speed.” Most of my readers are going to be using distros with APT and much of my content is generic enough to apply to any major Linux distro.

So, there’s that… If you want to see even more of this type of content, leave a comment (here, preferably) to let me know. I ain’t scared! If this is the type of content that suits you, that’s great and I can write more of it. It’s not hard to include the commands for other distros, it’s just time-consuming.

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How To: Search With apt

Today we’ll learn how to search with apt. There are any number of reasons why you’d want to do this. You can use this to find applications by name or subject. Maybe you want to find files that meet a certain criteria? It could be that you’ve forgotten the name of the application you’re thinking of? Perhaps you want to know if an application is available in the repositories before you go seeking it elsewhere?

There are all sorts of reasons, including those, why you might want to search with apt. Obviously, this requires an operating system that uses apt, so that limits you to things like Debian, Ubuntu, official Ubuntu flavors, Linux Mint, etc… So, well, it’s a pretty sizable number of distros where this will work.

This will be a pretty simple article. It will also be pretty brief. I’ve likely mentioned searching in another apt article, but it’s important that we cover it. Alas, I’m running out of things that make for longer articles (in the notes I’m working from), so this is just another article where I’m trying to make you aware that certain tools exist.

This should absolutely be a short and easy to understand article. In some recent commentary, I realized that what’s ‘simple’ to me is something that someone else has been dealing with for the past year. Even my easier articles have the chance to help people figure out their Linux problems. Good… It makes me feel better when I write an ‘easy’ article.

So, with all that said… Let’s learn how to:

Search With apt:

This article pretty much requires an open terminal, like oh so many other articles on this site. If you don’t know how to open the terminal, and you should by now – if you’ve been following along long enough, you can do so with your keyboard – just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

Now, it should go without saying, apt is how you interact with your package manager. It’s how you install, uninstall, or otherwise manage your software in the terminal. You could insist on using a GUI to install software, in which case this won’t be of much interest to you, or you could just do it all in the terminal. Either way, if you are using a different package manager then this will be of no value to you.

Me? I prefer to do this sort of stuff in the terminal because I find it easier and faster. I’ve already got a terminal open anyhow, so I might as well use it.

Anyhow, with your terminal open, go ahead and type:

For example:

Seriously, if you’ve never used the search function, go ahead and try the above command. You might be surprised by what you find.

Now, if you’re trying to narrow it down some, you can use the –names-only flag. Which isn’t as accurate as it could be. For example, try:

But, as near as I can tell, that’s searching not just the names but also searching the one-liner description. Like, if you run the above command you’ll also see ‘terminator’, which is definitely not ‘terminal’.

However ‘terminator’ includes ‘terminal’ in the description. So, I’m not sure where that’s going with that and the man pages weren’t all that helpful. You can also use RegEx (Regular Expressions, for the uninitiated). For example,  you can run:

This, of course, only works if you have Google’s Chrome repositories enabled. Otherwise, pick something else to test this with. Or, just trust me when I say RegEx works, which the man page will confirm.

Anyhow, our example command from above would (on this computer) would have an output that looks like this:

Which, as you can see, means I have multiple versions of Chrome available. So, that’s something positive in my life! But, the point is, I did a search with apt and came away with the information I wanted. I’d normally send you to the application’s man page, but in that probably won’t make it all that much clearer. 


Yeah, that’s it. You can now search with apt and find what you’re looking for. Use some of your own search terms, like apt-cache search image editor, and see what sorta results you get. It’s not the most refined, but it’s an effective way to search with apt.

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 own site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

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