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April 14, 2024

Exploring the Refined APT Command-Line Interface in Ubuntu 24.10 and Debian Trixie

Die-hard terminal emulator enthusiasts will be pleased to discover that the forthcoming Ubuntu 24.10 and Debian GNU/Linux 13 “Trixie” operating systems will include a polished APT command-line interface (CLI).

Julian Andres Klode, an APT developer and engineer at Canonical, showcased the redesigned APT interface on LinkedIn. The interface is fueled by the forthcoming APT 3.0 package manager, aimed at providing users a more succinct and orderly command-line output when updating, installing, or removing packages through the terminal emulator.

The fresh APT 3.0 UI introduces a columnar display, making it easier for users to swiftly scan for a package name. It has support for colors (red for removals and green for other changes), facilitating swift command distinction at one glance. Further, it features smoother install progress bars using Unicode blocks.

The new APT 3.0 command-line interface will also be more concise and provide additional padding. This enhancement will simplify the distinction of sections and extraction of pertinent details for you. A comparison between the new APT 3.0 UI and the existing APT UI can be observed in the featured screenshot above, courtesy of Julian Andres Klode.

“Ever installed too many kernels in your Debian or Ubuntu system, or too many packages and ran out of space APT [3.0] will show you how much space you have available, and warn you if you will exceed that space, taking into account separate /boot partitions too,” said Julian Andres Klode.

This will be the default command-line interface feel for the APT command starting with the upcoming Debian GNU/Linux 13 “Trixie” operating system series, due out in June-July 2024, and, of course, Ubuntu 24.10, which should be available later this year in October.

Bleeding-edge users and Linux enthusiasts who want to try this right now can check out Debian Unstable. The first release in the APT 3.0 development series was already uploaded in Debian Unstable’s repositories as APT 2.9.0, so make sure you have it installed to test the new APT interface.

Image credits: Julian Andres Klode

Thank you Simon for the tip!

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