Wednesday, February 8, 2012

synaptic or usc?

Ubuntu no longer ships the Synaptic package manager by default, as of Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric), although Synaptic is still available in the repos. Instead, they include Ubuntu Software Center, which I have yet to try out.

The author of this article points out some differences between the two. He says that while Synaptic doesn't support purchasing paid software from the Ubuntu repos, it can do these things that Ubuntu Software Center can't:

- Fix Broken Packages
- Lock Package Versions (there might be a few packages that you don't ever want to upgrade, e.g. Grub in case of Wubi installs)
- Custom Filters for different kinds of packages
- Package Upgrades (both online and offline)
- Package Reinstallations
- Sort Packages by Status (e.g. automatically installed, manually installed, residual config, etc.)

The author continues, "Even the Section (category) wise sorting of packages in Synaptic is far better than Ubuntu Software Center, even though that is the main thing USC has been focusing on."

I have no interest in using Ubuntu Software Center, so when I install Ubuntu 12.04, one of the first things I'll do is install Synaptic.

Of course, Ubuntu users are still free to use apt-get from the command line. See the Ubuntu Community Documentation AptGetHowto page for details.

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