[Gllug] aptitude and source packages

John Edwards john at cornerstonelinux.co.uk
Wed Apr 14 17:23:20 UTC 2010

On Wed, Apr 14, 2010 at 06:02:44PM +0100, - Tethys wrote:
> On Wed, Apr 14, 2010 at 5:54 PM, Martin A. Brooks
> <martin at hinterlands.org> wrote:
>> What makes you describe the use of aptitude as idiotic?
>> (I'm not attempting to start a flamewar here, I'm genuinely curious).
> I'm also curious, because I find exactly the opposite. My biggest
> gripe with apt is the interface. With yum, the command I need to use
> is called "yum", regardless of whether I'm installing a package,
> searching for something or querying the database. I've lost count of
> the number of times I've typed "apt-get search foo". I shouldn't need
> to think about whether I need to be using apt-get, apt-cache or
> apt-file. In git terms, it should be plumbing, hidden behind some
> porcelain. With aptitude, that seemed to have been fixed, and it came
> with better dependency handling to boot.
> So what is it about apt-{get,cache,file} that you like so much, and
> what does aptitude not do for you?

aptitude's search facility is not the same as apt-cache:
$ apt-cache search genealogical
geneweb - genealogy software with web interface
gramps - Genealogical Research and Analysis Management Program
gwsetup - utilities to configure and manipulate Geneweb databases
lifelines - text-based genealogy software
$ aptitude search genealogical

The "Search Pattern" section of the aptitude Reference Guide shows
that you have to put in some special characters to say what part of
the package info you want to search (eg name, description, status):

I tried using aptitude to do a few searches of package descriptions,
and each time aptitude was about 6 times slower than apt-cache.

|    John Edwards   Email: john at cornerstonelinux.co.uk    |
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