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While using synaptic and update-manager in Debian (I'm using unstable), I always like to see what it is doing while installing and always manually expand the "Show installing files" and "Details" tabs. Is there a way to make this a permanent setting?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

On the General tab of preferences, there is an option labelled "Apply changes in a terminal window".

While this is likely a bit MORE detail than you'd like, I haven't found a way to automatically enable the 'mid-level' detail that the 'Details' selectors show.

But you can see what's going on, at least. Give it a try.

Found a way!

If you look in /usr/share/synaptic/gtkbuilder, you'll find a bunch of 'ui' files, containing the information to build/display the various windows shown.

As an example, to default enable the 'Show Details' button, look in the file windows_summary.ui:

Near line 392:

<object class="GtkToggleButton" id="togglebutton_details">
    <property name="visible">True</property>
    <property name="can_focus">True</property>
    <property name="label" translatable="yes">_Show Details</property>
    <property name="use_underline">True</property>
    <property name="relief">GTK_RELIEF_NORMAL</property>
    <property name="focus_on_click">True</property>
    <property name="active">False</property>
    <property name="inconsistent">False</property>

If you look in there, you'll find a property named "active", set as False.

If you change that to True, the window will be displayed with that button enabled, thus giving you the default Details shown like you want.

Of course, if synaptic gets upgraded, it'll get 'fixed', but it doesn't get upgraded THAT often, so this would be a decent fix for your desires.

Search the rest of the 'ui' files for the (English) text of the menus you're looking to change defaults for, and you can make them all show details as you wish.

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Thanks, I wasn't aware of the gtkbuilder files. This is a good solution for now. I was thinking I might even write some code to make an option for this behavior and submit a patch, but I haven't had time to get to it yet. If I do I'll come back here and post the info. – James Curbo Jul 17 '12 at 2:04

Synaptic and Update-Manager are both GUI interfaces for APT1 - if you always want to see what is going on as you use the package manager, use apt-get or aptitude in a terminal.

For the difference between apt-get and aptitude see the this question: What is the real difference between "apt-get" and "aptitude"? (How about "wajig"?)

[1] http://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/reference/ch02.en.html

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