All these commands require sudo!
* apt-get update - Run this after changing /etc/apt/sources.list or /etc/apt/preferences. You also must run it periodically to make sure your source list is up-to-date.
* apt-get install packagename - installs a new package (but see aptitude, below)
* apt-cache search string - Searches for string in the list of known packages
* dpkg -l package-name-pattern - List packages matching pattern
* aptitude - Curses viewer of packages installed or available. Aptitude can be used from the command-line in a similar way to apt-get, but only for some commands - install and remove being the most common. However, because aptitude keeps track of more information than apt-get does, it can be considered better at install and remove operations.
* apt-cache showpkg pkgs - Show information about packages.
* apt-cache dumpavail - Prints out an available list.
* apt-cache show pkgs - Displays package records, similar to dpkg --print-avail.
* apt-cache pkgnames - Fast listing of every package in the system.
* dpkg -S file - Which installed package owns the file?
* dpkg -L package - List files in the package.
* apt-file search filename - Search for a package (need not be installed) containing files including the string. apt-file is a package of its own, which you may have to apt-get install first, then run apt-file update. If apt-file search filename shows you too much, try apt-file search filename | grep -w filename (which shows you only the files that contain filename as a whole word) or variants like apt-file search filename | grep /bin/ only files located in directories like /bin or /usr/bin, useful if you're looking for a particular executable).
* apt-get autoclean - Run this periodically to clean out .deb archives from packages which are no longer installed on the system. You can regain lots of disk space that way. If you're really desperate for disk space, apt-get clean is more radical, and will remove .deb files even for packages currently installed. But most of the time you probably don't need the .debs any more, so it might be worth it if you're strapped for megabytes.
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