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Traditionally, programs were installed on Linux by compiling them from source. This was true especially if the programs were open source. Once the programs were compiled, relevant files had to be moved to different folders in Linux. This was not a convenient mechanism especially for end-users and also for more advanced users since it was easy to break something. For instance, if a file was not placed in the right folder, the program would not execute correctly.

Packages facilitate the installation process. They consist of a file that downloads all relevant libraries and programs. These are then placed in their appropriate locations in the file system.


Apt-get is a command line package manager. It fetches packages from various repositories from the Internet. It allows you to install, remove and upgrade the kernal.

apt-get commands

commandfunction summaryCommon Parameter
apt-get installinstalls the specified of package to install
apt-get removeUninstalls a of package to remove.
apt-get autoremoveDeletes packages that are no longer required.None
apt-cache searchLooks for a of the package to find
apt-cache showDisplays information about a package.Name of package for which information is desired.
apt-get updateRefreshes the cache of packages.None
apt-get upgradeDownloads updates and installs them.None.
apt-get distupgradeUpgrades the kernal of the operating system.None
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Page last modified on March 21, 2012, at 08:30 PM