Advanced Packaging Tool

The Advanced Packaging Tool (APT ) is a package management system that has emerged in the area of the operating system Debian GNU / Linux and the actual dpkg package management used. The aim is an easy way to search, install and update software packages to provide. APT consists of a program library and this library multiple -use command-line programs, of which are centrally apt- get and apt -cache. Since Debian 3.1 to use aptitude as console- based package management system is recommended.

APT is also available in OpenSolaris available ( it was included in the distribution Nexenta OS) and has also been ported to Mac OS X, where it is used as part of the Fink project to install Debian software packages.

Based on the idea of APT -Get Win was created, which provides a similar package manager for MS Windows.


In the / etc / apt / sources.list file contains the so-called repositories, ie sources for packages. This can be either a CD or DVD, directories on the hard drive or, more often, directories on HTTP or FTP servers. The requested packet is located on a server (or a local disk ), it will be automatically downloaded and installed.

The packages are in Debian package format (. Deb ) in which the respective dependencies of the packages are stored with each other. To program required libraries are automatically installed with a program also may be downloaded and.

APT is based on dpkg. APT is concerned primarily with the acquisition of packets, the comparison of the available versions of the packages and the management of package archives.


Besides the above-mentioned command -line interface, there are other front-ends for package management, the use APT. Aptitude offers a character-based user interface. Synaptic is a GUI frontend for the desktop environment. KDE also in the programs Adept or KPackageKit available. The latter only supports APT also other systems such as RPM. By building on the abstraction layer qapt Muon Package Management Suite are also next to another GUI frontends in development.

Smart Package Manager can also access repositories that were created for APT. He uses but not APT, but your own routines.

With Fink and Cydia are front ends for Mac OS X and its derivatives are available.


Although originally written for the Debian software packages, APT was later ported to RPM systems. Gustavo Niemeyer led by porting the Linux distribution Conectiva and used this for some time as the maintainer. Meanwhile, however, he is mainly working on his new project Smart Package Manager and APT- RPM is maintained and further developed by other developers.

Apt - cacher and apt-proxy

Who has more computers with an APT -based package management in the network, can significantly relieve its network and the servers that make the packages available, by using one of these programs. In contrast to less specific proxy servers, such as Squid, which can only use the information contained in the transmission protocols, know and use those proxies the packet structure and ensure the timeliness of their data stored accordingly. Apt - cacher can be adjusted so that it is automatically updated at regular intervals.