Ubuntu's useful apt-get hints

Ubuntu 7.04, or Feisty Fawn as it’s known to it’s friends, has added a neat upgrade to the apt-get tool. For those who don’t know, apt-get is the tool Ubuntu uses to install and remove software. A small problem in the past has been trying to figure out what the name of the package required was.

In Feisty Fawn, if you try to run a command that isn’t installed a small message will be displayed telling you how to install it! The software has to be in your repository, so typing notepad and expecting it to tell you to apt-get install windows isn’t going to happen!

This morning I needed to update my local WPMU work area so …

$ svn update
The program 'svn' is currently not installed. You can install it by typing:
sudo apt-get install subversion

apt-get moo still works too! 🙂

Author: Donncha

Donncha Ó Caoimh is a software developer at Automattic and WordPress plugin developer. He posts photos at In Photos and can also be found on Google+ and Twitter.

6 thoughts on “Ubuntu's useful apt-get hints”

  1. Pretty cool.:)

    (The program ‘banshee’ is currently not installed. You can install it by typing:
    sudo apt-get install banshee
    Make sure you have the ‘universe’ component enabled
    bash: banshee: command not found)

  2. You would think that they would just ask if you would like to install the package (y/n) rather than asking you to re-type the entire command. Maybe in the next release…

  3. Cool idea… as for what Barry proposes, I think it’s “A very Bad Idea”(TM)… it’d be over-intrusive and may brake working shell scripts (that may catch errors internally) by asking for input where it shouldn’t.

  4. I have found this upgrade to be immensely useful. Being a relative Linux-newbie, getting hints on what to install to run a certain command is very nice indeed.

  5. How can I turn that off?
    Mor often thatn not, it’s just a typo.
    Program friefox isnot installed…
    I don’t need those suggestions, so how can I turn them off?

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