aptitude is a front-end to the Advanced Packaging Tool (APT). It displays a list of software packages and allows the user to interactively pick packages to install or remove. It has an especially powerful search system utilizing flexible search patterns. It was initially created for Debian, but has appeared in RPM Package Manager (RPM) based distributions as well (such as Conectiva).
aptitude is based on the ncurses computer terminal library, with which it provides an interface that incorporates some elements commonly seen in graphical user interfaces (GUIs) (such as pull-down menus).
In addition to the ncurses interface, aptitude provides an extensive command-line interface (CLI). Even though aptitude is one executable file, it provides command-line functions similar to those of apt- family of tools (apt-get, apt-cache, apt-listchanges, etc.). Aptitude also emulates most apt-get command-line arguments, allowing it to act as a full replacement for apt-get. Note that it is bad practice to use aptitude and apt-get interchangeably, as they record changes made by a user separately. Newer versions also come with a GTK+ interface.
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