Tips and Tricks for Using the aptitude User Interface

Figure 23-11 shows the default aptitude interface that you see the first time that you start aptitude with no arguments in a GNOME Terminal.

FIGURE 23-11

The default aptitude interface in the GNOME Terminal

File Edit view Terminal Tabs Help

Actions Undo Package Resolver Search Options Views Help C-T: Menu ?: Help q: Quit u: Update g: Download/Install/Reuiove Pkgs aptitude 0.4.9

— Upgradable Packages

— Installed Packages

--- Wot Installed Packages

--- Obsolete and Locally Created Packages

— Virtual Packages Tasks

ft newer version of these packages is availahlp.


This interface looks essentially the same in an X Window system xterm or any other terminal application that supports color. (It's slightly more psychedelic in an xterm, but I won't bore you with a screenshot.)

If you insist on using this interface but are having problems seeing the text or dealing with the color scheme, you're somewhat out of luck because the aptitude application doesn't offer command-line options for changing the color scheme. However, all is not lost—you can make the interface easier to read by changing your terminal application's underlying notion of the type of terminal in which you are running aptitude. A good choice for this is the value vt100, which is a classic terminal from the late Digital Equipment Corporation that only supported black and white. To make this change, exit aptitude by pressing Q and using the tab key to emphasize that you do actually want to exit from aptitude. Next, type the following command in your terminal application:

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