I have several questions regarding apt-get vs. dpkg.

  • Do they install to the same place?
  • Is info from these tools 1 to 1 with each other?
  • Is there any difference in the commands utility?
  • 4
    Click here to get more more detail about apt-get,dpkg and aptitude. Dec 10, 2013 at 19:08

1 Answer 1


apt-get makes use of dpkg to do the actual package installations. So in a sense they're "installing" to the same place.

I would always use apt-get to do any package management since this is the tool that understands how to source packages from remote repositories and provides capabilities for searching the meta data related to packages either locally or remotely.

That being said there are times where you'll have to make use of dpkg to perform queries against the system to find out information about the packages that are installed.

The major reason to use apt tools though is for the dependency management. The apt tools understand that in order to install a given package, other packages may need to be installed too, and apt can download these and install them, whereas dpkg does not.

  • Thank you that is exactly what I needed. Possibly you can offer advice on unix.stackexchange.com/questions/104594/… also Dec 10, 2013 at 19:24
  • @user54189 - what sort of advice regarding the Q? The commands dpkg -L and dpkg -S are 2 scenarios where you need to resort to dpkg to get this type of meta information. The apt tools do not have it in an easy to access fashion.
    – slm
    Dec 10, 2013 at 19:51
  • Most queries that you can perform with dpkg-query can also be performed by aptitude and sometimes by apt-cache. Dec 10, 2013 at 23:30
  • OK. So does it mean that dpkg will always give a more comprehensive list of all the packages installed on the system (including dependencies etc.) than apt-get ? And is it safe to assume that dpkg can be used to list ALL the software (user/system/etc. applications) installed on a system ?
    – qre0ct
    Feb 7, 2017 at 12:26
  • 1
    @slm cool. Done here Requesting help
    – qre0ct
    Feb 7, 2017 at 12:35

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