apt /

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APT, a Command-line Wrapper

A shorter, simpler, and slightly-saner interface to the Debian APT command-line tools.

apt may be thought of as a traffic cop that directs commands to the appropriate tool, automatically elevating itself with sudo if need-be. It consolidates all commands from apt-get and apt-cache, and the most common from aptitude, dpkg, dpkg-query, add-apt-repository, and apt-key. It has a much narrower focus than "kitchen-sink" tools such as wajig.

Hopefully this micro-project will make your life a tiny bit easier.


sudo pip install apt-wrapper

or for a possibly more up-to-date version:

sudo pip install


apt                         # list available commands
apt addrepo ppa:who/foo     # invokes sudo...

apt update
apt search foo
apt policy foo
apt install foo bar

apt remove foo
apt instdeb foo.deb

Shortened commands

apt can also handle shortened commands. Add letters until it can be uniquely identified:

apt cl

results in:

sudo apt-get clean


There are a few aliases for common commands as well:

apt in foo                  # install
apt rm bar                  # remove
apt se baz                  # apt-cache search
apt who-owns                # dpkg-query --searchfiles

Problem? -d can help by outputting debugging information such as the full command-line:

$ apt who-owns /bin/less -d
Running: dpkg-query -S /bin/less
less: /bin/less


Licensed under the GPL, version 3+.

Release Notes

  • 1.04 - Allow additional options to be passed thru unharmed.
  • 1.03 - Update readme with release notes and document new aliases.
  • 1.02 - Add who-owns alias for searchfiles.
  • 1.01 - Add in alias for install.