APT 4 Newbies

An interesting and detailed howto on apt, first posted on linux mint community tutorials
Intro by Wikipedia:
The Advanced Packaging Tool, or APT, is a free user interface that works with core libraries to handle the installation and removal of software on the Debian GNU/Linux distribution and its variants. APT simplifies the process of managing software on Unix-like computer systems by automating the retrieval, configuration and installation of software packages.
When you launch Software Manager or Update Manager or Synaptic Package Manager, you’re using APT via different GUIs. But you can control APT even via command lines in an easy and quick way.

To understand this tutorial you must know:

how to open a terminal;
your root password;
what is a repository;
how to connect your computer to the internet.

Every first “sudo” command will be followed by a password request. Remember that when you type a password in terminal, you see nothing on screen.

All command lines are wrote in “classical syntax”; they work in Mint, Ubuntu, Debian and other distros supporting APT. A lot of commands have this structure:

sudo apt-get myspecificcommand

In Mint you can use just “apt”, without “sudo” and “-get” [thanks remoulder]:

apt myspecificcommand

Of course, for security reasons, system will still ask you the root password.

If you need a software that is not in the official list, you must add its repository to your software sources. To know the repository data, browse the software site.

Let’s make an example with Ubuntu-Tweak [a kind of "Swiss Tool", partially compatible with Mint]. It’s not listed in the software manager.

Browsing official site, you find the repository id is ppa:tualatrix/ppa. To add it to your sources, open a terminal and write this string.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tualatrix/ppa
Your system will contact the repo and import all the needed data. So, the command line to add a repo is
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:your-repo/ppa

Read more at Linux Aria

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