How to Use Synaptic Package Manager

Ubuntu has a two simple ways to install a software either the Software Center or APT command line tool. Both are great but Software lacks the control of APT and APT lacks the graphical interface. Synaptic Package Manager comes to rescue. Synaptic is a graphical user interface (GUI) for managing software packages on Debian-based distributions. It provides the same features as the apt-get command line utility with a GUI front-end based on Gtk+.

If you want to know what a package manager is read following article :

Switching to Ubuntu

To know how to install synaptic watch this video :

View Packages By Repository

If you use PPAs – or other third-party software repositories — on your system, it can be useful to see exactly which software is provided by which PPAs. The Ubuntu Software Center doesn’t show you this information, but you can use the Origin section in Synaptic to view packages categorized by software repository.

View Packages By Repository

View Packages By Repository

 

View Manually Installed Software

You can also view packages that didn’t come from repositories – for example, packages you installed by downloading DEB files yourself — select Local in the Origin section.

View Manually Installed Software

View Manually Installed Software

 

Downgrade Packages & Lock Package Versions

Using Synaptic, you can install a specific version of a package and lock it in place so it won’t be automatically upgraded. We’ve covered this process in more detail in the past.

Downgrade Packages & Lock Package Versions

Downgrade Packages & Lock Package Versions

 

See Installed Files

If you’d like to know which files a package installed to your system – and where they’re located — you can right-click the package in Synaptic, select Properties, and click the Installed Files tab.

See Installed Files

See Installed Files

 

View Package Information

From the Properties dialog, you can also see other information about a package, including its installed size, maintainer, and dependencies.

View Package Information

View Package Information

 

Download Changelogs

To view a package’s changelog and see what changes were made in a new version of the package, you can select the package in Synaptic, click the Package menu, and select Download Changelog.

Download Changelogs

Download Changelogs

 

Remove Automatically Installed Software

Some packages are automatically installed when you install a package – these packages are called dependencies because other packages need them to function. In some cases, the dependencies may stay installed even after you’ve removed the package that required them. These dependencies are marked as “auto removable” if they’re no longer required – you can view auto-removable packages by selecting the Status tab and clicking Installed (auto removable). From here, you can easily remove all these packages.

Remove Automatically Installed Software

Remove Automatically Installed Software

 

Generate Package Download Script

Synaptic can generate package download scripts that can quickly install packages on another system. To generate a shell script, search for the packages you want to install and use the “Mark for installation” option on each package as if you’re installing it normally. After you’re done marking packages, click the File menu and select Generate Package Download Script instead of clicking the Apply button. You can run this script on other systems to quickly install the marked software.

Generate Package Download ScriptGenerate Package Download Script

Generate Package Download Script

 

Delete Cached Package Files

Synaptic can delete cached package files to free up space. By default, Ubuntu stores copies of the packages it downloads – if you’re low in space, you might want to delete them. To do so, open Synaptic’s preferences window and click the Delete Cached Package Files button on the Files tab.

Delete Cached Package Files

Delete Cached Package Files

 

Install Suggested Packages

The Ubuntu Software Center installs a package’s “recommended” packages by default – but a package’s maintainer can also mark some packages as “suggested.” You can install these in Synaptic by right-clicking a package and using the Mark Suggested for Installation menu.

Install Suggested Packages

Install Suggested Packages

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