Adept, Welcome to Your Installer (4 of ?)

Okay, so the time has come to tell you about the Adept Manager. This is by far the most frequently used program on my computer, next to kontact, konq, and konsole. I love this program almost as much as I love my kitty-cat. Have you hugged your kitty-cat today?
Manager main streenSo, let’s begin. The adept manager (to the right here) allows you to do a few things that I really like. Most importantly, it allows you to manage all software packages currently installed on your computer. Secondly, it lets you search and filter software–both installed and yet to be installed–in a variety of extremely useful ways. The third major thing it does is allow you to install, upgrade, reinstall and purge packages. Lastly, it lets you see some very important details about the packages you have installed and wish to install.
Let us walk through some scenarios. Okay, so you if you’re like me, you love quick games that occupy short bursts of time. So you want to find the world’s greatest quick Free Software games. So let’s just search for game programs. We accomplish this by simply typing the word “game” into the “Search” field. Adept will automagically start filtering, so there’s no further work necessary to fire off this search.
Manager with filtersNow, I don’t know about you, but I’m not a huge GNOME fan–sorry GNOME guys, no disrespect–but I prefer KDE applications. Therefore, let us filter out the GTK and GNOME stuff. I look under “Available Tags” and see a “[gtk] GTK” tag. I’ll just drag that over to the “Tags I Do Not Want” box. Now, I do want KDE games, so I’ll drag the “[kde] KDE” tag over to the “Tags I Want” box. Your window should look something like what I’ve got to the left after that.
Manager viewing detailsSo right off the bat, I see a game that I know I’m going to love. kbattleship sounds like a game I used to play when I was a kid. How awesome. Let’s take a deeper look at the package by clicking on the blue arrow to the left of the package. It should expand a little bit with some details about the package. I would like to see more details though. I can accomplish this with a click of the “Details” button.
Manager more detailsWell, this certainly is more detail, eh? With this view you can see several key details about the package. The section tells you what category or section the package is listed as. This display tells you how much disk space it will take up when installed. It also gives you a description of the package, who the maintainer(s) is(are), what the version is eligable for install, and if it is already installed, what version is currently installed. But boy oh boy, that isn’t the end to this fount-o-wisdom. If you look in the tabs below you’ll see three different groups of information: “Package Relationships,” “Installed Files,” and “Additional Information.”
In the “Package Relationships” tab you can see what packages are required, which packages are in conflict, and which packages may be relevent (there may be others, but they’re escaping me now). In the “Installed Files” tab, if the selected package is installed, you’ll see all of the files that are installed with quite a bit of detail about each file. Finally, if you look in “Additional Information,” you’ll see your list of tags again, but also the source package (the package where source is available from), the architecture, the filename in the repository, and the MD5 sum (which helps you verify the integrity of the package, and also helps if you’ve got two different versions you’re comparing to see if they’re identical, but that’s another story).
Manager preview changesSo let’s request to install the package. Click the “Request Install” button and notice that the “Requested change” field now shows “install.” Now let’s look at all of the operations that have been queued up. To get there click on the “Preview Changes” button up at the top of the main window. So now we can see the two packages that will be installed to put kbattleship on your machine. So now if you hit “Apply Changes” you will see the familiar install screens, and then it will take you back to the main display again.
Now, say you play kbattleship and you don’t like it. You may then–in the main display–remove it. Just right-click the package in question and click “Request Removal” and then click the “Apply Changes” button again to remove it.
I understand that this is a pretty light-weight tutorial on adept manager. I will get into the sources selector tomorrow. Have a good night, and thanks for reading the blog. I really hope this is helping you learn how to use one of my favorite programs.

9 Replies to “Adept, Welcome to Your Installer (4 of ?)”

  1. I thing which I miss in adept but found in RPMs is the ability to look at the files it is composed of without installing the package. With adept you can only see after installing it at which point it fills up the Installed Files tab. What if I want to check if a particular command/file is present in this or that package without installing it.

  2. That’s a good point. The unfortunate thing is that even with RPMs, you must still actually have the package in order to know what is in it for sure. You can do this with dpkg, if I recall correctly, but no, Adept doesn’t have that. The important distinction here I think is that RPM and DEB are installer formats. Adept isn’t a deb installer, it’s a deb repository installer. It only interfaces with apt to install packages from remote locations, not local locations.

  3. Thanks for a very enlightening article. I do agree with you about gnome being too simple, and Adept being powerful, but the user interface could be more “newbie friendly” IMHO. Adept seems like the package management equivalent of “shock and awe” 🙂
    One thing that would really be nice was a way to _easily_ add a filter or rating system for obscure/old packages. To as in your example, when searching for “Games”, I think a lot of users aren’t interested in one-man projects abandoned in 2003, or in a package that is needed to provide Hebraic input for said project.
    Thanks again for a good read.

  4. I’m not saying GNOME is too simple at all. It’s a robust desktop environment. I just prefer KDE, that’s all.
    The older obscure packages are often times just not included in the repository. In order for packages to be included in these repositories somebody has to have merged in any changes, and packaged it for that version of the distribution. You may want to talk to the Ubuntu people to see if they have a policy on how they do obsoleted packages.

  5. I like it, BUT, it’s missing some things still..
    There’s no “sorting” into installed/not installed packages, or by date or anything. You can click the headings, but it does nothing.
    The tags are a fantastic idea, but it doesn’t appear they’re updated for new packages. Put in that you don’t want Gnome packages, and it still shows quite a few Gone packages in the list.
    It’s improved since I last used it over a year ago, though. It use to crash quite often while filtering, but it’s a lot more stable now. My favorite thing is the “Preview Changes” button! One day, using an inferior package manager, I managed to delete my kernel because I didn’t realise I was selecting packages that I wanted to keep, rather than selecting those I wanted to delete. :/ Hooray for Adept!

  6. Even though I’ve been a Kubuntu user from the very start of the project (and before that it was SuSE) I never got accustomed to Adept manager, especially the interface.
    Ask’s comparison to “shock and awe” is rather correct. Adept manger gives you all the information … at once. When I last opened Adept manger (after installing Feisty), I truly didn’t know where to click and how to get the results I needed. Also, just like for Amanda, filtering didn’t seem to work. So I use another package manager. Just like before. 🙁
    I’m really grateful for your posts, since they do explain a lot and I will definitely give Adept manager another try. But it’s not a good sign when you have to explain an app, that should be used daily and therefore simple.
    Maybe the tags together with the “Smart”, “Simple”, “All” tabs could be moved to a different tab (like in System Settings) or in a Sidebar that appears when clicking on a button labeled “Filter by tags”. This would reduce the clutter. Also making Adept manager open in a lager window by default would help.

  7. Well the thing about adept manager is that it is a bit of shock and awe. Manager is an exceedingly complicated interface, because managing all of your packages is an exceedingly complicated task.
    That’s why for people who are less familiar and less interested with adept manager, I recommend the use of adept installer (see 2 of ? for a write-up on that).
    I agree that there is still work to be done on adept. There’s still development being done on it. Problems are being sorted out, it’s just that these things do take some time. If you wait for Feisty, you’ll find several improvements to the adept program.
    Thanks for commenting though. I’m tickled senseless that my write-ups are helping people.

  8. just a short, hopefully inoffensive comment. I have tried Adept and Kubuntu… but I feel Ubuntu and Synaptic Package Manager perform tasks better. I really cant pin it down… but I think the superiority of Gnome in *buntu is parallel to the superiority of KDE in Mandriva. and in *buntu Synaptic just does what you want it to do without any fuss… I have had Adept crash a few times in 6.10.
    before the flame wars start, let me mention that I am not a fanboy of any camp and my 1st 2 yrs in Linux were on KDE… but with *buntu, Gnome simply works…. and works astoundingly well 🙂

  9. I don’t think you have anything to worry about ^_^
    Synaptic does work, and work well. I like Kubuntu’s treatment of KDE better though. I think Adept has much work still to be done to it, but it’s certainly making its way towards the functionality and stability that folks now enjoy with Synaptic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.