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|Developer(s)||Alfredo Kojima, Gustavo Niemeyer and Michael Vogt|
|Initial release||November 13, 2001|
|Stable release||0.75.12 / June 12, 2012|
|Written in||C, C++ and Python|
|Operating system||Debian and other distributions using APT|
Synaptic is a computer program which is a GTK+ graphical user interface front-end to the Advanced Packaging Tool for the Debian package management system. Synaptic is usually used on systems based on deb packages but can also be used on systems based on RPM packages. It can be used to install, remove and upgrade software packages and to add repositories.
- Install, remove, upgrade and downgrade single and multiple packages
- System-wide upgrade
- Package search utility
- Manage package repositories
- Find packages by name, description and several other attributes
- Select packages by status, section, name or a custom filter
- Sort packages by name, status, size or version
- Browse available online documentation related to a package
- Download the latest changelog of a package
- Lock packages to the current version
- Force the installation of a specific package version
- Undo/Redo of selections
- Built-in terminal emulator for the package manager
- Allows creation of download scripts (see Usage for more details)
- Configure packages through the debconf system
- Xapian-based fast search
- Get screenshots from screenshots.debian.net
The package manager enables the user to install, to upgrade or to remove software packages. To install a package a user must search for the program they want and mark it for installation. Changes are not applied instantly; the user must first mark all changes and then apply them.
Synaptic development was funded by Conectiva, which asked Alfredo Kojima, then an employee, to write a graphical frontend for APT, continuing the work initiated with the creation of the APT RPM backend, apt-rpm. Eventually Synaptic became used in Conectiva's install process.
In October 2009, when the Ubuntu Software Center became available, Synaptic and other utilities were to be replaced by the Ubuntu Software Center in an unspecified future version of Ubuntu. In Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot, Synaptic has been removed from the default installation, but remains available as a package in the repository.
When one installs a new package, Aptitude, like Synaptic, automatically installs required packages (called dependencies). But when one removes a manually installed package, Aptitude also has the ability to remove the no-longer-used packages that were automatically installed. The same effect, however, can be achieved through a terminal with an apt command: apt-get autoremove.
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