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apt-wrapper 1.07

A simpler interface to the Debian APT command-line tools.

Latest Version: 1.12

A shorter, simpler, and slightly-saner interface to the Debian APT command-line tools.

apt may be thought of as a traffic cop that directs commands to the appropriate tool, automatically elevating itself with sudo if need-be. It consolidates all commands from apt-get and apt-cache, and the most common from aptitude, dpkg, dpkg-query, add-apt-repository, and apt-key. It has a much narrower focus than “kitchen-sink” tools such as wajig.

Hopefully this micro-project will make your life a tiny bit easier.


sudo pip install apt-wrapper

or for a possibly more up-to-date version:

sudo pip install



apt                         # list available commands
apt addrepo ppa:who/foo     # invokes sudo automatically.

apt update
apt search foo
apt policy foo
apt install foo bar
apt remove foo
apt instdeb foo.deb

apt who-owns `which tr`     # dpkg-query --searchfiles
coreutils: /usr/bin/tr

Shortened commands

apt can also handle shortened commands. Add letters until it can be uniquely identified:

apt cl

results in:

sudo apt-get clean


There are a few aliases for common commands as well:

apt in foo                  # install
apt rm bar                  # remove
apt se baz                  # apt-cache search
apt ls boo                  # list installed packages, optionally
                            # with pkg name or name fragment\*
apt dir                     # dir (e.g. NT or ls -l) installed

Problem? -d can help by outputting debugging information such as the full command-line:

$ apt who-owns /bin/less -d
Running: dpkg-query -S /bin/less
less: /bin/less


Licensed under the GPL, version 3+.

Release Notes

  • 1.07 - Fix auto elevate for instdeb.
  • 1.06 - Add ls and dir aliases and doc syntax.
  • 1.05 - Doc improvements.
  • 1.04 - Allow additional options to be passed thru w/o error.
  • 1.03 - Update readme with release notes and document new aliases.
  • 1.02 - Add who-owns alias for searchfiles.
  • 1.01 - Add in alias for install.