apt - Linux


The apt command (Advanced Package Tool) is a powerful package management tool used in Debian-based Linux distributions like Ubuntu. Its primary purpose is to handle the installation, updating, and removal of software packages. apt simplifies the process of managing software by automating the retrieval, configuration, and installation of software packages from predefined repositories.


The general syntax for apt is:

apt [options] command


  • install: Installs a package.
  • remove: Removes a package.
  • update: Updates the package index.
  • upgrade: Upgrades all upgradable packages.
  • full-upgrade: Performs an upgrade, removing installed packages if necessary.
  • autoremove: Removes orphaned packages.
  • search: Searches for a package.
  • show: Shows package details.


  • -h, --help: Show help and exit.
  • -q, --quiet: Minimize output.
  • -y, --yes: Automatic yes to prompts; assume “yes” as an answer to all prompts and run non-interactively.
  • -v, --version: Show the program version and exit.
  • --no-install-recommends: Do not consider recommended packages as dependencies for installing.
  • --allow-downgrades: Allow downgrading when necessary.


  1. Installing a package:

    apt install vim

    Installs the vim text editor.

  2. Updating package index:

    apt update

    Refreshes the repository index.

  3. Upgrading packages:

    apt upgrade

    Upgrades all upgradable packages.

  4. Searching for a package:

    apt search nginx

    Searches the repositories for the nginx package.

  5. Removing a package:

    apt remove apache2

    Removes the apache2 package.

Common Issues

  • Failed to fetch errors: Can occur if repositories are down or URLs are incorrect in the sources list. Ensure network connectivity and correct URLs.
  • Unmet dependencies: Occurs when installing software that requires dependencies that cannot be installed. Can often be resolved with apt install -f.


Integrate apt with shell scripts to automate updates and maintenance:

apt update && apt upgrade -y
apt autoremove -y

Combine apt with grep to filter search results:

apt search apache2 | grep server
  • dpkg: Lower-level tool for installing, removing, and providing information about .deb packages.
  • apt-get: Another command-line tool for handling packages, works with more advanced options.

Additional Resources: