I have a Kali Linux installed recently, but due to its inflexible mirror selection, all deb packages are downloaded from a mirror that I don't trust. Is it possible to tell apt / dselect to re-download and reinstall all packages, assuming sources.list has been updated to use new mirror?

  • 2
    apt-get clean && apt-get install --reinstall $(dpkg --get-selections | grep -w 'install$' | cut -f 1)?
    – Alex
    Oct 16, 2014 at 15:30

3 Answers 3


As Alex pointed out:

sudo apt-get clean
sudo apt-get install --reinstall $(dpkg --get-selections | grep -w 'install$' | cut -f 1)

The first one makes sure apt's cache is empty. That way apt-get will need to download the packages from the repositories. The second, first you need a list of all installed packages, which is what the $(...) part is doing, and then you are using apt-get to reinstall them. There's another way with aptitude:

sudo aptitude --reinstall install '~i'

The ~i search for "installed packages".

For both methods you will end without any automatically installed packages, so you must use apt-mark showauto > packages before doing this, and sudo apt-mark auto $(cat packages) to reestablish the list.

  • Urgh, actually I have accepted the answer too early. There are lots of dependency cycle problem so that certain packages have to be installed first. Anyway this is a good enough starting point. Oct 21, 2014 at 23:45
  • For a somewhat full installation, these packages need to be installed first: dpkg, debconf, liblocale-gettext-perl, gawk, foomatic-filters (printing is not part of base system though). Then install all the remaining ones. Oct 21, 2014 at 23:54
  • Both of these answers cause dependency cycles for me.
    – mlissner
    Mar 6, 2015 at 7:13
  • 2
    Simply sudo aptitude reinstall '~i' with aptitude 0.7.3 Oct 15, 2015 at 0:43
  • 1
    @Braiam The aptitude command fails, cause it cannot download and reinstall the package. Is there a way to workaround that without uninstalling the packages?
    – Sven
    Sep 19, 2016 at 13:45

The answers here helped me solve the problem, this solution probably not the most efficient but gets the job done.

for package in `dpkg --get-selections | grep -w 'install$' | cut -f 1`; do
    apt-get install --reinstall $package;
  • Thanks, this method of trying one-at-a-time gets around any errors from packages which can't be downloaded from apt repo.
    – MrYellow
    Aug 9, 2016 at 2:29

I used this script and was asked from time to time to give a Y(es) Than the script went on. But because it takes quite a while this makes the time to complete much longer. I changed the script with inserting --yes force-yes Recommend forcing automatic def/old config acceptance as well

for package in `dpkg --get-selections | grep -w 'install$' | cut -f 1`; do
    apt-get --yes --force-yes -o Dpkg::Options::="--force-confdef" -o Dpkg::Options::="--force-confold" install --reinstall $package

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