So, I ssh into a (very) remote Ubuntu 10.4 server to do some admin and web dev+design. And I was looking through the various package manager options.

There's a lot.

The big ones are dpkg, apt, apt-get, aptitude, and synaptic. I don’t remember where I got the idea, but I seem to remember that each of these is basically building on top of its predecessors, so I kind of assumed that if I do some stuff in one tool, then do some more stuff in another tool, it wouldn’t cause any conflicts. (And I haven’t noticed any so far.)

But then I saw some dotfiles/dot-directories in my home directory and started to think more about it. Are these just storing configuration information for each tool’s “front end”? Or are they all tracking package management activities separately?

Separate would be bad. ☺

Is this safe?

  • 1
    You should delete apt from your list, it only represents (as a package) the set of apt-config apt-cdrom apt-mark apt-key apt-cache apt-get applications.
    – enzotib
    Commented Sep 6, 2011 at 13:37

1 Answer 1


You should be fine. Each front end will have its own set of configuration values, but as far as your system goes, the backend (in your case the Debian package system) is going to have the system-wide package database of things that have been installed etc.

The information about your system would not be in your home directory anyways :)

  • Thanks! I was hoping that was the case, but it’s nice to know for sure. ☺
    – Zearin
    Commented Sep 14, 2011 at 13:52

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