View Full Version : benefits and disadvantages of synaptic instead of adept in Kubuntu
Jun 10th 2006, 10:49 AM
In Kubuntu 6.06 adept is standard package-manager. It works not so bad, but some things are a little disturbing.
Adept is not very fast
Adept-updater doesn´t show which updates are on the server (only shows me, e.g. that there are 3 updates and the size is 4M
Some packages - like java is difficult to install (licence agreement wasn´t shown and install wasn´t finished.
So i asked me, if i should change the Packagemanager - to synaptic.
But some questions remain:
*If i deinstall adept and i have already some software installed - would that be a problem or is it in a directory of aptitude or apt?
*If i deinstall adept - do i have to install synaptic with aptitude or apt-get - is the thing to do just: sudo aptitude install synaptic* - or are there other dependencies and things to do?
*Is synaptic a part of gnome desktop so that i would have to install gnome libraries?
*If i install synaptic, do i get a synaptic-updatemanager, which is suitable for kde - is synaptic 100% suitable for kde?
*if synaptic fullfills all requirements, why isn´t it allready a part of Kubuntu?
Jun 10th 2006, 12:17 PM
I made a post at the other forums, containing some of the pros and cons of the different package managers I've dealt with. It might give you an idea of what you're looking for:
Here's a review of some of the ones I've come across:
- can install and remove metapackages, together with their dependencies
- DE agnostic
- CLI only (It has a GUI, but one using ASCII, a sort of text-style GUI).
- basically the same as apt-get, except for metapackage handling
- History logs: you can see what you have installed through synaptic, without having to plow through the /var/logs
- Markings: marked changes can be saved, and later on edited to do the reverse: Mark packages for installation, save marked changes, and install. Later on, you can edit the file, change all "install" to "deinstall" or vice-versa, Read Markings into Synaptic and Apply. It will remove what it installed, and install what it removed.
- Categories: packages grouped according to type/use
CONS: - filter only filters package names, unlike Adept.
- Allows you to launch without asking for a password, if you only want to browse through. It will ask for the Admin password once you try to do something other than browse.
- Tree view at the side (not really sure how useful that is, though)
- Works with both RPM and DEB
It's a bit slow, especially in scanning and rebuilding the dependency tree.
4. Adept (version 2.0)
- Fast filter search that allows you to filter through package names, descriptions, or both.
- Configureable toolbar
- the UI is, IMHO, a mess. Only developers seem to love it. I think it scares the @#$* out of newbies.
- No confirmation dialog boxes, allowing room for accidentally removing half of your system.
- Their concept/use of tags is not very easy to understand.
- No utility to handle /var/cache/apt (similar to sudo apt-get clean).
As for your questions:
- No need to uninstall Adept. In fact, I don't recommend it, as it will also remove the metapackage kubuntu-desktop, which will make some upgrades a bit difficult to do. Also, there will be no problems with packages that you installed with Adept. Adept and Synaptic are just front-ends, meaning they are just graphical tools for things that happen beneath, so those thing underneath (your installed packages) won't be affected.
- you can install Synaptic anyway you like. However, I recommend you install it through aptitude, as this will allow you to remove Synaptic later on, together with the dependencies that it installed (as long as those dependencies aren't needed anymore). As aysiu likes to advice:
sudo aptitude update && sudo aptitude install synaptic
- when installing Synaptic, you will also be installing some GTK libraries that it needs. But you don't have to worry about those.
-I'm not really sure about this one. While I do recommend using Synaptic rather than Adept, I'm beginning to see the benefits of Adept Notifier. I'll talk about it later.
- Because Synaptic doesn't fit in KDE, when it comes to looks and possibly some features. And because some Kubuntu developers believe that they are really offering something good to the community.
Anyway, about Adept Notifier and Adept Updater, you have to distinguish the two.
Adept Notifier is a background service/daemon which checks if there are updates available each time you log in or use Fetch Updates or sudo apt-get update. It tells you, in the system tray, that there are # packages to be updated. Doesn't give much info right? But it doesn't stop there. You have to click it, and it will launch Adept Updater.
Now Adept Updater is basically a stripped down Adept. It only really just downloads upgrades, and nothing else. When you click on Adept Notifier in the system tray, it will launch Adept Updater (and of course, ask for the password). When it appears, you click on "Fetch List of Updates" at the bottom, and it will go through the process of checking which are available for updates. Then, it will list which updates are those (this is what you were complaining about). Then at the bottom, you have the option of going through the Upgrade process, or just "Forget Changes and Quit". Basically, that just what it does.
I guess that's a lot to read about for now. So just ask if you have any other questions. :D
Hope that helps!
Jun 11th 2006, 01:13 AM
I'd like to modify some of jucato's comments form my own viewpoint.
Aptitude actually has a quasi-GUI. If you type "aptitude at a konsole prompt, you wind up in a ncurses psuedo-gui. Unfortunately, the conventions used by Aptitiude are different for the ones that I've always thought of as standard for ncurses. As a result, the first time I tried to use the Aptitude, (my first Debian install) I got my installation so bollixed up that I had to do it over (without the "help" of Aptitude). I was so traumatized that I won't even use it from the command line. The main attraction of Aptitude is that it has what the Debian developers regard as "more intelligent" package management than apt-get. This is why Aptitude handles meta-packages better than apt-get and it's descendents. However, sometimes this can cause strange behavior (it's only artificial intelligence, after all) wherein it removes libraries that it thinks have been orphaned when they haven't been. You only find out about when some program crashes because some library it requires is inexplicably gone, gone, gone.
Apt-get, is actually my favorite command line package manager because it leaves the intelligence up to you. It gets packages (and their dependencies) when you ask it to and IT TELLS YOU WHAT IT'S GOING TO DO, which is a very big plus in my book.
I didn't know that Kpackage was still available. I thaought it had been deprecated. I used to use it all the time to search for packages without root privileges to avoid disasters such as accidentally installing some thing when I just wanted to find out what it did, or worse, actually uninstalling something.
I use Synaptic for almost everything. It actually has 6 search modes names, names and descriptions, maintainer (useful if you know that someone maintains a particualr set of packages, like perl or tetex,), version (useful to install something like kde, x, with a lot of package names but only one version),dependencies, and "provided packages". I've never used the last two. Like apt-get, IT TELLS YOU WHAT IT'S GOING TO DO.
I hate Adept, even though I actually like debtags, and I hope Synaptic adopts them. For all the negative reasons that Jucato listed.
There is actually another possibilty that has always intrigued me, but that I've never fully investigated To quote from the package description: "Wajig is a single commandline wrapper around apt, apt-cache, dpkg, /etc/init.d scripts and more, intended to be easy to use and providing extensive documentation for all of its functions."
Jun 11th 2006, 02:49 AM
Sorry I forgot to edit my post at Ubuntuforums to mention that Aptitude does have that text-based GUI. But IMHO, for an application like that, a "pseudo-GUI" is even more confusing that just plain old CLI or complete GUI.
I don't really have that much experience with uninstalling metapackages using Aptitude, but aysiu seems to favor it. AFAIK, it only uninstalls the metapackage's dependencies if and only if no other package depends on it. I'm not really sure about that though.
Synaptic does have 5 search categories. But searching will always be slower than filters. Adept, on the other hand, has 3 filter categories that correspond to 3 of Synaptic's 5 search categories: name, description, maintainer. The nice thing about Adept is that you can mix and match filter options so I can filter for name and description, or name and maintainer, or description and maintainter, etc. And I haven't even mentioned the installed, not installed, upgradable filters.
I think Adept's tags (or debtags?) would be useful, if only they explained how to use it! They usually say something like "Oh, Adept is 2.0 now and it has some cool features, etc, etc.!", without saying what those cool features are and how to use them. Don't you find it a bit intriguing that the only people so far who have said that Adept is actually nice are Kubuntu and/or KDE developers. I have yet to see any review or comment from regular users that would prove my feelings wrong.
Kpackage still exists, although I'm not sure if it's still actively maintained. KSynaptic is the dead one.
Apt-get and Synaptic, and perhaps KPackage as well (with a little more polish, though), are the top package managers, given the choices that we have. I just wish that they could really handle metapackages well. It's not that I want them to do the thinking for me, but there are just some things that you'd rather let them do. For example, there is no easy way to uninstall *buntu-desktop metapackages, or even big stuff like kdevelop or koffice.
I'll take a peek at that Majig. ;D
Jun 11th 2006, 03:24 AM
For the record, aptitude let's you know what's it's going to do as well.
And when you remove a package it will remember what packages you installed along with that package and remove them only if other packages do not depend on them.
sudo aptitude update
sudo aptitude install kword
sudo aptitude remove kword
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install kword
sudo apt-get remove kword to see the difference.
Jun 11th 2006, 04:12 AM
That's great. It confirms what I thought. Now if only they developed a full GUI front-end for aptitude, then we're talking about a really good package manager.
Thinking about a Synaptic-like front-end for Aptitude makes me drool. :D
Sep 15th 2006, 07:16 AM
What would be good is if Adept allowed you to install deb packages and resolve dependencies for it, so it would be closer to the full suite. Having an option to convert and install packages from rpm to deb (as in alien) would be sweet as but I guess that is what the "smart" package manager is aiming at
Sep 15th 2006, 07:37 AM
It would be good, but it would need something different from DPKG. DPKG is used to install individual .deb packages, and it's not able to resolve dependencies. APT (Advanced Package Manager) is a front-end package manager that resolves the dependencies needed, but still uses DPKG to install the packages. Same thing with Synaptic and Adept, which are just GUI front-ends to APT.
So unless DPKG (or the nature of .deb) changes, no app will be able to resolve the dependencies of a .deb file that you have download somewhere.
That is, AFAIK.
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