The best package handling utility coded by c – apt-get. Compare to yum, urpmi, yast etc, apt-get is well known to be the fastest package downloader. Thats is one of the reason, why so many people switch to debian based distro such as ubuntu.
Apt-get support download and manage the deb packages from repos specified at /etc/apt/sources.list. It solves all the dependencies for you, and download all dependent packages and install all for you.
Let say you want to download stardict, which is a dictionary tool, you do this:
apt-get install stardict
To download and install, you need root privilage, so if your distro support sudo, you will have to put sudo infront of apt-get. Let say i want to download stardict and stardict-common, i do this
sudo apt-get install stardict stardict-common
Usually, stardict-common is a dependent package for stardict, it will be download together automatically when you just specified stardict, but example above is to show you that you can download multiple packages at the same time.
/etc/apt/sources.list contains all the repositories address, in case you have add a new repo, you need to update the apt-get database, by doing this.
Usually debian distro comes with apt-get by default and it capable for you to do live update, to check what files you need to update and update for you automatically, you can do that without going through gui updater. You can do this with apt-get.
Okay, what if I do not sure the name of the packages i need to download? apt-cache is the tools to help you out, and it is very very fast compare to yum search.
The simplest search for the package names and short description with keyword is
apt-cache search dictionary
But sometimes the results is long, if you know the name, you can search by package names only, without description will show.
Let say you know the packages you want will start with keyword “star”, then you do this
apt-cache pkgnames star
Results will shows:
stardict-common starplot startalk stardict starttls .....
There are a lots more options for apt-cache, but i found this 2 useful. To get more option, simply type apt-cache will do.