This video explains the difference between apt and apt-get commands of Linux. It also lists some of the most commonly used apt commands that replace the older apt-get commands.
One of the noticeable new features of Ubuntu 16.04 was the ‘introduction’ of apt command. The reality is that the first stable version of apt was released in the year 2014 but people started noticing it in 2016 with the release of Ubuntu 16.04.
It became common to see apt install package instead of the usual apt-get install package. Eventually, many other distributions followed Ubuntu’s footsteps and started to encourage users to use apt instead of apt-get.
You might be wondering what’s the difference between apt-get and apt? And if they have a similar command structure, what was the need for the new apt command? You might also be thinking if apt is better than apt-get? Should you be using the new apt command or stick with the good old apt-get commands?
I’ll explain all these questions in this article and I hope that by the end of this article, you’ll have a clearer picture.
apt vs apt-get
What’s the difference between apt vs apt-get
Just a quick word for Linux Mint users. A few years ago, Linux Mint implemented a python wrapper called apt that actually uses apt-get but provides more friendly options. This apt which we are discussing here is not the same as the one in Linux Mint.
Before we see the difference between apt and apt-get, let’s go into the backdrop of these commands and what exactly they try to achieve.
Why apt was introduced in the first place?
Debian, mother Linux of distributions like Ubuntu, Linux Mint, elementary OS etc, has a robust packaging system and every component and application is built into a package that is installed on your system. Debian uses a set of tools called Advanced Packaging Tool (APT) to manage this packaging system. Don’t confuse it with the command apt, it’s not the same.
There are various tools that interact with APT and allow you to install, remove and manage packages in Debian based Linux distributions. apt-get is one such command-line tool which is widely popular. Another popular tool is Aptitude with both GUI and command-line options.
If you have read my guide on apt-get commands, you might have come across a number of similar commands such as apt-cache. And this is where the problem arises.
You see, these commands are way too low level and they have so many functionalities which are perhaps never used by an average Linux user. On the other hand, the most commonly used package management commands are scattered across apt-get and apt-cache.
The apt commands have been introduced to solve this problem. apt consists some of the most widely used features from apt-get and apt-cache leaving aside obscure and seldom used features. It can also manage apt.conf file.
With apt, you don’t have to fiddle your way from apt-get commands to apt-cache. apt is more structured and provides you with necessary options needed to manage packages.
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