dselect - Linux


dselect is a powerful package management tool designed for Debian-based distributions. It provides a command-line interface to manage the selection and installation of software packages from package archives.


dselect [options] [package1] [package2] ...


  • -i: Install the specified packages.
  • -r: Remove the specified packages.
  • -u: Upgrade the installed versions of the specified packages.
  • -c: Check for package updates.
  • –show-available: Display the list of available package archives.
  • -a: Install all packages that are not yet installed.
  • -n: Do not actually perform any actions, only print what would have happened.
  • –full-updates: Perform a full update instead of an incremental update.
  • -f: Ignore dependency checks.


Install a Single Package

dselect -i vim

Upgrade All Packages

dselect -u

Remove a Package

dselect -r python3-pip

Check for Updates

dselect -c

Common Issues

Dependency Problems

dselect can sometimes encounter dependency problems when installing or removing packages. This can happen when the package being installed or removed depends on other packages that are not yet installed or that conflict with existing packages. To resolve these problems, try installing the missing dependencies or removing the conflicting packages before attempting to install or remove the desired package.

Broken Packages

If a package installation or removal is interrupted or fails, it can leave the system in a broken state. To fix broken packages, run the following command:

dselect -f install -r


dselect can be integrated with other Linux commands and tools to automate package management tasks. For example, you can use a cron job to automatically check for and install package updates:

0 0 * * * dselect -c && dselect -u

Related Commands