Sometimes I use Aptitude in visual mode[1] to install and upgrade packages.

When I upgrade from the command line using apt or aptitude I often use full-upgrade instead of safe-upgrade[2] because I run the testing flavour of Debian, but which one is used in Aptitude visual mode?

Basically, what really happens when I press U?

If it's one way or another, is there a way to configure the default behaviour, or to decide manually which one to use?

[1] The GUI. Some call this a TUI.
[2] Formerly called upgrade and dist-upgrade respectively.



When you press U, every package which can be upgraded is flagged for upgrade, except for packages that are held back or would be upgraded to a forbidden version. This isn’t the same as either safe-upgrade or full-upgrade on the command line, because conflicts aren’t resolved fully: the upgrade flagging can result in (tentatively) broken packages, which you’ll see indicated by the number of broken packages, but Aptitude won’t do anything about those breakages simply as a result of pressing U. You can resolve any conflicts manually, or you can ask Aptitude to show you the various resolution possibilities using e, . and , to navigate, and ! to apply a resolution.

In the code itself, the U handling is closer to safe-upgrade than to full-upgrade, because it ignores removals initially. But as mentioned above, it’s not quite the same.

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