Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

How can i disable totally the prompts that appear while installing a Debian package, i've used all the options that i've found but there are some packages that are still prompting.

I'm using this command:

apt-get -y --allow-unauthenticated --force-yes -o DPkg::Options::="--force-overwrite" -o DPkg::Options::="--force-confdef" install x11-common

Why the x11-common package is still prompting? how can i get rid of these prompts?

Thanks in advance


Edit: just to clarify, the prompts are not "yes/no" prompts, are open questions in a coloured screen (typical two color screen) but i want to set the default option of these questions

share|improve this question

Select a new front end by setting your env.

DEBIAN_FRONTEND=noninteractive apt-get -y install x11-common

I use this all the time in automating package installation with cfengine.

share|improve this answer
+1 This is the right answer – lynxman Aug 17 '11 at 9:47

Not having manually install x11-common, I am not sure what questions you are being asked. But if they are coming from debconf, then you should be able to pre-answer the questions with debconf-set-selections.

share|improve this answer
This is the solution, thanks. I've get the properties with debconf-get-selections and set them previously with the debconf-set-selections and no more prompts appeared – v1kt Dec 9 '10 at 18:33
Even with selections set some packages may still ask questions depending on the priority. But I do recommend setting selections where possible. Setting the frontend to noninteractive is the magic "don't ask me anything no matter what" flag. – bahamat Jun 30 '13 at 6:04

You need to dpkg-reconfigure debconf and tell it to "Ignore questions with a priority less than: Critical".

This doesn't get you out of answering critical questions.

share|improve this answer

To disable the prompts globally for reconfiguring all packages with debconf, just comment out the second line from /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/70debconf file.

Or if you're provisioning VM, add these commands to your provision script:

sudo ex +"%s@DPkg@//DPkg" -cwq /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/70debconf
sudo dpkg-reconfigure debconf -f noninteractive -p critical

You may also try the same way how Travis CI does it:

sudo -E apt-get -yq --no-install-suggests --no-install-recommends --force-yes install some_package

For some other packages, like ttf-mscorefonts-installer (which is dependent on language-pack-en), the above seems to not work, so try:

echo ttf-mscorefonts-installer msttcorefonts/accepted-mscorefonts-eula select true | sudo debconf-set-selections
sudo apt-get install -y language-pack-en
share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.