The Synaptic Layout

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Start the Synaptic Package Manager by selecting System -> Administration -> Synaptic Package Manager. After you enter your password, the main Synaptic Package Manager window appears.

The main window is divided into six sections:
• The menu bar
• The toolbar
• The category selector
• The package list
• The description field
• The status bar
Each of these sections provides features for managing the packages on the system, as described in the following sections.


The Menu Bar
The menu bar provides access to all of the features in Synaptic, separated into standard menu categories:

• File: Provides features for saving selected package settings and restoring them from a file, generating a script to perform the selected package installations at a later time, adding downloaded packages, and displaying the history of package operations.

• Edit: Lets you undo a change, unmark all selections to start over, search for a specific package, reload package information from repositories, add a local CD to the repository list, mark all packages that have available upgrades, and fix broken packages.

• Package: Controls package management, such as marking packages for installation, reinstallation, upgrade, or removal; locking a package version; forcing a specific version of a package; and configuring a package.

• Settings: Allows you to configure repositories (the Software Sources window), preferences, and filters used for determining which packages are available.

• Help: Provides quick access to the Synaptic Package Manager manual, as well as access to online help, if available.


In the Preferences window you can specify how Synaptic handles package changes, displays package information, and connects to the remote software repositories (if a network proxy server is required). You can also specify whether to load only the package versions that match the current distribution release.

By default, Ubuntu allows you to install the highest-available version of a software package. Sometimes, though, this can cause problems when working with other packages in the distribution. If you need to synchronize all of the packages in your distribution to the same release levels, click the Distribution tab in the Preferences window and select the Always Prefer the Installed Version option.


The Toolbar
The toolbar provides quick access to common functions in Synaptic:
• Reload: Refresh the package list from the configured repositories
• Mark All Upgrades: Mark all installed packages that have an upgrade available.
• Apply: Perform the operations as marked in the package list.
• Properties: Display the properties for the selected package.
• Quick Search: Enter text in the text box to perform a real-time search of the package based on package names and descriptions.
• Search: Search for packages using other attributes, such as version numbers, dependencies, and the maintainer. Although there aren’t many buttons in the Synaptic toolbar, the ones supplied should cover most of the features you need for normal operations.


The Category List
The category list helps filter the packages that appear in the package list. There are five categories of filters you can select from:
• Sections: Contains individual section filters based on the package application type.
• Status: Displays the status of the package—installed or not installed.
• Origin: Filters packages based on which repository they were loaded from.
• Custom Filters: Lets you create your own definitions for filtering packages.
• Search Results: Filters the results based on the Search tool.

The Sections filter divides packages into sections based on the primary category they belong to. There are 32 different categories of packages, such as base packages loaded at installation time, GNOME packages, KDE packages, networking packages, and library packages. Within each category there may be multiple entries, depending on the type of applications:
• Main: open-source packages supported by Ubuntu
• Multiverse: packages that may be covered by copyright or patent licensing but are not supported by Ubuntu and are not provided with automatic updates
• Restricted: packages that are supported by Ubuntu but are not open-source programs, such as proprietary hardware drivers
• Universe: packages that are open-source and supported by the open-source community but are not supported directly by Ubuntu (Ubuntu doesn’t guarantee updates for these packages but may provide them if they are available) Packages not marked as one of these four types are part of the Ubuntu main repository and are fully supported by Ubuntu.


The Package List
The package list displays the packages available on the system, depending on the filters set in the category list. The package list provides five pieces of information about the packages:
• The package status (installed, not installed, marked for upgrade, marked for installation, or marked for removal)
• The package name
• The installed version of the package
• The version currently available in the repository
• A brief description of the package

When you select a package, the lower section of the package list provides a more detailed description of the package.

Source of Information : Wiley Ubuntu Linux Secrets

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