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    Command:

    dselect

    
    
    

    SYNOPSIS

           dselect [option...] [action]
    
    
    

    DESCRIPTION

           dselect  is one of the primary user interfaces for managing packages on
           a Debian system. At the dselect main  menu,  the  system  administrator
           can:
            - Update the list of available package versions,
            - View the status of installed and available packages,
            - Alter package selections and manage dependencies,
            - Install new packages or upgrade to newer versions.
    
           dselect  operates as a front-end to dpkg(1), the low-level debian pack-
           age handling tool. It features a full-screen package selections manager
           with  package depends and conflicts resolver. When run with administra-
           tor privileges, packages can be installed, upgraded and removed.  Vari-
           ous access methods can be configured to retrieve available package ver-
           sion information and installable packages  from  package  repositories.
           Depending  on  the used access method, these repositories can be public
           archive servers on the internet, local archive servers or cdroms.   The
           recommended access method is apt, which is provided by the package apt.
    
           Normally dselect is invoked without parameters. An interactive menu  is
           presented,  offering  the user a list of actions. If an action is given
           as argument, then that action is started immediately.  Several  command
           line  parameters are still available to modify the running behaviour of
           dselect or show additional information about the program.
    
    
    

    OPTIONS

           All options can be specified both on the command line and in  the  dse-
           lect  configuration file /etc/dpkg/dselect.cfg or the files on the con-
           figuration directory /etc/dpkg/dselect.cfg.d/. Each line in the config-
           uration  file is either an option (exactly the same as the command line
           option but without leading dashes) or a comment (if it  starts  with  a
           #).
    
           --admindir directory
                  Changes  the  directory where the dpkg 'status', 'available' and
                  similar files are located. This defaults  to  /var/lib/dpkg  and
                  normally there shouldn't be any need to change it.
    
           --debug file | -Dfile
                  Turn on debugging. Debugging information is sent to file.
    
           --expert
                  Turns  on  expert  mode,  i.e. doesn't display possibly annoying
                  help messages.
    
           --colour|--color  screenpart:[foreground],[background][:attr[+attr+..]]
                  Configures screen colors. This works only if your  display  sup-
                  ports  colors.   This  option may be used multiple times (and is
                  best used in dselect.cfg).  Each  use  changes  the  color  (and
                         In  the list of packages, the text indicating the current
                         state of each package.
    
                  pkgstatesel
                         In the list of packages, the text indicating the  current
                         state of the currently selected package.
    
                  infohead
                         The  header line that displays the state of the currently
                         selected package.
    
                  infodesc
                         The package's short description.
    
                  info   Used to  display  package  info  such  as  the  package's
                         description.
    
                  infofoot
                         The last line of the screen when selecting packages.
    
                  query  Used to display query lines
    
                  helpscreen
                         Color of help screens.
    
           After the part of the screen comes a colon and the color specification.
           You can specify either the foreground color, the background  color,  or
           both,  overriding  the  compiled-in  colors.  Use standard curses color
           names.
    
           Optionally, after the color specification  is  another  colon,  and  an
           attribute specification. This is a list of one or more attributes, sep-
           arated by plus ("+") characters. Available attributes include (not  all
           of  these  will  work  on  all terminals): normal, standout, underline,
           reverse, blink, bright, dim, bold
    
           --help Print a brief help text and exit successfully.
    
           --version
                  Print version information and exit successfully.
    
    
    

    ACTIONS

           When dselect is started it can perform the  following  actions,  either
           directly  if  it  was specified on the command line or by prompting the
           user with a menu of available actions if running interactively:
    
       access
           Choose and configure an access method to access package repositories.
    
           By default, dselect provides several methods such as  cdrom,  multi_cd,
           nfs,  multi_nfs,  harddisk,  mounted,  multi_mount,  floppy or ftp, but
           other packages may provide  additional  methods,  eg.  the  apt  access
           Details of the update action depend on the access method's  implementa-
           tion.   Normally  the  process  is straightforward and requires no user
           interaction.
    
       select
           View or manage package selections and dependencies.
    
           This is the main function of dselect. In the select  screen,  the  user
           can  review  a  list  of all available and installed packages. When run
           with administrator privileges, it is  also  possible  to  interactively
           change  packages  selection  state.  dselect tracks the implications of
           these changes to other depending or conflicting packages.
    
           When a conflict or failed depends is detected, a dependency  resolution
           subscreen  is prompted to the user. In this screen, a list of conflict-
           ing or depending packages is shown, and for each  package  listed,  the
           reason  for  its  listing  is shown. The user may apply the suggestions
           proposed by dselect, override  them,  or  back  out  all  the  changes,
           including the ones that created the unresolved depends or conflicts.
    
           The  use  of  the  interactive  package selections management screen is
           explained in more detail below.
    
       install
           Installs selected packages.
    
           The configured access method will fetch installable or upgradable pack-
           ages  from  the  relevant  repositories  and  install these using dpkg.
           Depending on the implementation of the access method, all packages  can
           be prefetched before installation, or fetched when needed.  Some access
           methods may also remove packages that were marked for removal.
    
           If an error occurred during install, it is  usually  advisable  to  run
           install again. In most cases, the problems will disappear or be solved.
           If problems persist or the installation performed was incorrect, please
           investigate  into  the  causes and circumstances, and file a bug in the
           Debian bug tracking system. Instructions on how to do this can be found
           at  http://bugs.debian.org/  or by reading the documentation for bug(1)
           or reportbug(1), if these are installed.
    
           Details of the install action depend on the access method's implementa-
           tion.   The user's attention and input may be required during installa-
           tion, configuration or removal of packages. This depends on  the  main-
           tainer scripts in the package. Some packages make use of the debconf(1)
           library, allowing for more  flexible  or  even  automated  installation
           setups.
    
       config
           Configures any previously installed, but not fully configured packages.
           dselect directly exposes the administrator to some of the  complexities
           involved  with managing large sets of packages with many interdependen-
           cies. For a user who is unfamiliar with the concepts and  the  ways  of
           the  debian  package  management  system, it can be quite overwhelming.
           Although dselect is aimed at easing package management and  administra-
           tion,  it is only instrumental in doing so and can not be assumed to be
           a sufficient substitute for administrator skill and understanding.  The
           user is required to be familiar with the concepts underlying the Debian
           packaging system.  In case of doubt, consult the  dpkg(1)  manpage  and
           the Debian Policy manual, contained in the debian-policy package.
    
           Unless  dselect  is  run  in expert or immediate mode, a help screen is
           first displayed when choosing this action from the menu.  The  user  is
           strongly  advised  to  study  all  of  the information presented in the
           online help screens, when one pops up.  The online help screens can  at
           any time be invoked with the '?' key.
    
       Screen layout
           The  select screen is by default split in a top and a bottom half.  The
           top half shows a list of packages. A cursor bar can select an  individ-
           ual  package,  or  a group of packages, if applicable, by selecting the
           group header. The bottom half of the screen shows  some  details  about
           the package currently selected in the top half of the screen.  The type
           of detail that is displayed can be varied.
    
           Pressing the 'I' key toggles a  full-screen  display  of  the  packages
           list,  an  enlarged  view  of the package details, or the equally split
           screen.
    
       Package details view
           The package details view by default shows the extended package descrip-
           tion  for the package that is currently selected in the packages status
           list.  The type of detail can be toggled by pressing the 'i' key.  This
           alternates between:
            - the extended description
            - the control information for the installed version
            - the control information for the available version
    
           In  a  dependency  resolution  screen, there is also the possibility of
           viewing the specific unresolved depends or  conflicts  related  to  the
           package and causing it to be listed.
    
       Packages status list
           The  main  select  screen  displays a list of all packages known to the
           debian package management system. This includes packages  installed  on
           the system and packages known from the available packages database.
    
           For  every package, the list shows the package's status, priority, sec-
           tion, installed and available versions, the package name and its  short
             R       serious error, needs reinstallation;
            Installed state:
             empty   not installed;
             *       fully installed and configured;
             -       not installed but some config files may remain;
             U       unpacked but not yet configured;
             C       half-configured (an error happened);
             I       half-installed (an error happened).
            Current and requested selections:
             *       marked for installation or upgrade;
             -       marked for removal, configuration files remain;
             =       on hold: package will not be processed at all;
             _       marked for purge, also remove configuration;
             n       package is new and has yet to be marked.
    
       Cursor and screen movement
           The  package  selection  list  and  the  dependency conflict resolution
           screens can be navigated using motion commands mapped to the  following
           keys:
             p, Up, k           move cursor bar up
             n, Down, j         move cursor bar down
             P, Pgup, Backspace scroll list 1 page up
             N, Pgdn, Space     scroll list 1 page down
             ^p                 scroll list 1 line up
             ^n                 scroll list 1 line down
             t, Home            jump to top of list
             e, End             jump to end of list
             u                  scroll info 1 page up
             d                  scroll info 1 page down
             ^u                 scroll info 1 line up
             ^d                 scroll info 1 line down
             B, Left-arrow      pan display 1/3 screen left
             F, Right-arrow     pan display 1/3 screen right
             ^b                 pan display 1 character left
             ^f                 pan display 1 character right
    
       Searching and sorting
           The  list  of packages can be searched by package name. This is done by
           pressing '/', and typing a simple search string. The string  is  inter-
           preted as a regex(7) regular expression.  If you add '/d' to the search
           expression, dselect will also search in descriptions. If you  add  '/i'
           the  search  will  be case insensitive.  You may combine these two suf-
           fixes like this: '/id'.  Repeated searching is accomplished by  repeat-
           edly  pressing  the 'n' or '\' keys, until the wanted package is found.
           If the search reaches the bottom of the list, it wraps to the  top  and
           continues searching from there.
    
           The  list  sort  order  can  be varied by pressing the 'o' and 'O' keys
           repeatedly.  The following nine sort orderings can be selected:
            alphabet          available           status
    
           When the change request results in one or more unsatisfied  depends  or
           conflicts,  dselect  prompts  the  user  with  a  dependency resolution
           screen. This will be further explained below.
    
           It is also possible to apply these commands to groups of package selec-
           tions, by pointing the cursor bar onto a group header. The exact group-
           ing of packages is dependent on the current list ordering settings.
    
           Proper care should be taken when altering large groups  of  selections,
           because  this  can  instantaneously  create large numbers of unresolved
           depends or conflicts, all of which will be  listed  in  one  dependency
           resolution  screen,  making them very hard to handle. In practice, only
           hold and unhold operations are useful when applied to groups.
    
       Resolving depends and conflicts
           When the change request results in one or more unsatisfied  depends  or
           conflicts,  dselect  prompts  the  user  with  a  dependency resolution
           screen. First however, an informative help screen is displayed.
    
           The top half of this screen lists all the packages that will have unre-
           solved  depends  or conflicts, as a result of the requested change, and
           all the packages whose installation can resolve any of these depends or
           whose  removal  can  resolve  any  of  the  conflicts.  The bottom half
           defaults to show the depends or  conflicts  that  cause  the  currently
           selected package to be listed.
    
           When  the  sublist of packages is displayed initially, dselect may have
           already set the requested selection status of some of the listed  pack-
           ages,  in  order  to  resolve  the depends or conflicts that caused the
           dependency resolution screen to be displayed. Usually, it  is  best  to
           follow up the suggestions made by dselect.
    
           The  listed  packages'  selection state may be reverted to the original
           settings, as they were before the unresolved depends or conflicts  were
           created,  by  pressing  the 'R' key. By pressing the 'D' key, the auto-
           matic suggestions are reset, but the change that caused the  dependency
           resolution  screen  to  be  prompted is kept as requested.  Finally, by
           pressing 'U', the selections are again set to the automatic  suggestion
           values.
    
       Establishing the requested selections
           By  pressing  enter,  the  currently  displayed  set  of  selections is
           accepted. If dselect detects no unresolved depends as a result  of  the
           requested  selections,  the  new  selections  will be set.  However, if
           there are any unresolved depends, dselect will again  prompt  the  user
           with a dependency resolution screen.
    
           To  alter  a  set of selections that creates unresolved depends or con-
           flicts and forcing dselect to accept it, press the 'Q' key.  This  sets
    
    
    

    ENVIRONMENT

           HOME   If set, dselect will use it as the directory from which to  read
                  the user specific configuration file.
    
    
    

    BUGS

           The dselect package selection interface is confusing to some new users.
           Reportedly, it even makes seasoned kernel developers cry.
    
           The documentation is lacking.
    
           There is no help option in the main menu.
    
           The visible list of available packages cannot be reduced.
    
           The built in access methods can no longer stand up to  current  quality
           standards.  Use  the  access method provided by apt, it is not only not
           broken, it is also much more flexible than the built in access methods.
    
    
    

    SEE ALSO

           dpkg(1), apt-get(8), sources.list(5), deb(5).
    
    
    

    AUTHORS

           dselect was written by Ian Jackson (ijackson@gnu.ai.mit.edu). Full list
           of contributors may be found in 'dselect --version'.
           This manual page was written by  Juho  Vuori  <javuori@cc.helsinki.fi>,
           Josip Rodin and Joost kooij.
    
    
    

    Debian Project 2011-08-14 dselect(1)

    
    
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