• We are several admins working on hundreds of debian servers. Some are using aptitude, some are using apt-get.
  • To mark packages on hold, some use "echo $package hold | dpkg --set-selections", some use "aptitude hold $package".

Now the question: when I'm running mass aptitude upgrades, aptitude doesn't respect what apt-get marked on hold. This can have very bad consequences, as aptitude would upgrade packages that were not supposed to be upgraded.

What should I do ?

2 Answers 2


Several things come to mind:

  • Standardise on one tool or the other. There are plenty of things that the two tools don't really agree on (are they even using the same autoremove database yet?). Pick one, alias the other one to "echo Use $OTHER_TOOL, you tool"
  • You should use pinning; it's far more awesome.
  • I'd strongly recommend giving configuration management a try. Several hundred servers? No wonder stuff's breaking everywhere.
  • More documentation, less cowboy.
  • Chase up http://bugs.debian.org/146207 (and it's many, many merged bugs) to try and get aptitude fixed.

What should I do ?

use apt-get.

aptitude doesn't do that yet. It is not feature complete (squeeze/testing is currently using version

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