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I'm looking for a command line tool that can install a package from a file and automatically resolve dependencies via download. Does such a thing exist?

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You are probably looking for the tool gdebi

gdebi lets you install local deb packages resolving and installing its dependencies. apt does the same, but only for remote (http, ftp) located packages.

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The description suggests that the dependencies also need to be local files, which is not what is being asked for. – John Gardeniers Jul 26 '12 at 7:58
@JohnGardeniers If that is how you read the description, then the description from the manpage sucks. It is able to pull required packages from defined repositories. – Zoredache Jul 26 '12 at 16:32
Yep, the description definitely sucks. – John Gardeniers Jul 27 '12 at 1:13
up vote 1 down vote accepted

After playing with it a bunch I see what's going on now. You dpkg -i whatever.deb and it will load it on the machine in some broken capacity but not completely install it, then you run apt-get -f install and it will download and fix up the dependencies for you and then it will complete the install process of the deb package. Not pretty but it works, and I'm happy.

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