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I have a server build script which uses apt-get to install packages. It then puts pre-written configuration files directly in place, so the interactive post-install configuration dialog in packages such as postfix is not needed. How do I skip this stage of the installation? It creates a piece of manual intervention that I would rather avoid.

I am aware of the -qq option, but the manpage warns against using it without specifying a no-action modifier. I do want to perform an action, I just want to suppress a specific part of it.

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1 Answer 1

up vote 42 down vote accepted

You can do a couple of things for avoiding this. Setting the DEBIAN_FRONTEND variable to noninteractive and using -y flag. For example:

export DEBIAN_FRONTEND=noninteractive
apt-get -y install [packagename]

If you need to install it via sudo, use:

sudo DEBIAN_FRONTEND=noninteractive apt-get -y install [packagename]
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I agree with the lynxman's method. –  Jonathan Rioux Jan 26 '11 at 16:50
This works perfectly, thanks. –  jl6 Jan 26 '11 at 17:05
If you're using sudo the export of the environment variable won't work, but you can do it this way: sudo DEBIAN_FRONTEND=noninteractive apt-get -y [packagename] –  aculich Oct 31 '12 at 21:10
Pretty close, but you're all missing the 'action' to apt-get (i.e. "install"): apt-get -y install [packagename] (the same goes for the comment regarding sudo) –  Cristi Diaconescu May 11 '13 at 15:03
I wish the Chef "package" resource had an attribute that would set an environment variable for me. Elsewhere I saw about options --force-confold --force-confnew, and those don't work for me either. –  Mojo Jun 21 '13 at 23:23

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