Is it safe to run this command on a brand new Debian server?

aptitude -y full-upgrade

The command is from http://www.linode.com/stackscripts/view/?StackScriptID=1

On a related note, how is aptitude update different from apt-get update?

1 Answer 1


Of course it's safe; what's the risk? If the server's brand new, you have no data to lose, and no services to get complaints about.

From the aptitude manpage:


Upgrades installed packages to their most recent version, removing or installing packages as necessary. This command is less conservative than safe-upgrade and thus more likely to perform unwanted actions. However, it is capable of upgrading packages that safe-upgrade cannot upgrade.

This command was originally named dist-upgrade for historical reasons, and aptitude still recognizes dist-upgrade as a synonym for full-upgrade.

Generally speaking, it's fine. The difference between apt and aptitude the algorithm for dependency solvers. Eventually you can expect apt-get to be replaced underneath by aptitude, when it's improved to the point where it's better than apt-get in every case.

  • Generally speaking, should I be using aptitude instead of apt-get?
    – Miko
    Mar 28, 2010 at 3:28
  • Generally, it doesn't matter at all. Sometimes, when things go horribly wrong, aptitude can calculate a way out with fewer remove packages, but typically the distinction is irrelevant
    – jldugger
    Mar 28, 2010 at 8:15
  • 1
    From the DebianWiki on Aptitude: "Score-based and (usually) smarter dependency resolver than apt-get. aptitude is also non-fattening, naturally cleansing, and housebroken..." wiki.debian.org/Aptitude . The Debian FAQ is a little bit more serious and states: "Note that aptitude is the preferred program for package management from console both for package installations and package or system upgrades." debian.org/doc/FAQ/ch-pkgtools.en.html Mar 28, 2010 at 15:07
  • FWIW the thinking has changed at Debian and they now suggest using 'apt' instead of 'apt-get' or 'aptitude' Apr 22, 2018 at 15:50

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