Linux package management – some common operations

For my own benefit (and maybe others), here are some of the common package management operations and how to do it (in Linux Mint and other Linux distros)

  • Update all install software:
    • apt-get update # refresh repos
    • apt-get upgrade # upgrade all software
    • (note: do both of the above, in that order)
    • Note: In Linux Mint you’ll see a shield with an exclamation mark in the bottom right hand corner when you need to update your software. Click on it and follow the instructions
  • Install a new package, if you know the name: apt-get install <package name>
  • Search for a package: use Synaptic (Menu -> Administration -> Synaptic), enter (partial) name or other keyword (e.g. “game”) in the search box at the top of the screen
  • View installed packages: In Synaptic, bottom left hand corner, click on “Status”, then (top left hand corner) click on “Installed”
  • Get more information about an installed package
    • Use Synaptic, find the package, click on the Properties button (top of the screen)
    • Common: Installed version, status (e.g. installed)
    • Dependencies – what other packages this package needs to work
    • Installed files – what files is this package made up of
    • Versions – what versions are available
    • Description