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apt for Mandrake - apt-get - Synaptic - must have!
#include stddisclaimer.h>

This tip contributed by Calum. Thanks Calum!!

Pros: Have you ever heard the term RPM hell? Well forget it. This "apt" package brings Debian's excellent package management system to Mandrake. And as a bonus there is a cool graphical front end. Package management has never been easier. Keeping your system updated has never been easier. Installing the coolest Linux apps has never been easier. apt for RPM is more flexible and reliable than the Mandrake System Update or the Red Hat Network System Update.

Makes installing packages easier because it will automatically select dependent packages for installation and let you view selected packages before installing them.

Makes removing packages easier because it will automatically select dependent packages for removal and let you view selected packages before removing them.

Does not interfere or hinder in any way the normal use of the "rpm" command, database, or the Mandrake System Update. Too many more pros to list here.

Cons: Not all 3rd party RPMS are in the available apt repositories. Fortunately most of the best ones are there.

Ok, I'm convinced, now how do I set this up?

Let us begin: Get and install the latest "apt" RPM packages for Mandrake from this site. I'll just run through the installation process on my Mandrake 9.0 system:

$ su
(enter root's password)
# rpm -Uvh http://ftp.ibiblio.org/pub/Linux/distributions/contrib/texstar/apt/Mandrake/RPMS.texstar/apt-0.5.4cnc8-2tex.i586.rpm
# rpm -Uvh http://ftp.ibiblio.org/pub/Linux/distributions/contrib/texstar/apt/Mandrake/RPMS.texstar/apt-devel-0.5.4cnc8-2tex.i586.rpm
# rpm -Uvh http://ftp.ibiblio.org/pub/Linux/distributions/contrib/texstar/apt/Mandrake/RPMS.texstar/fontconfig-2.1-3tex.i586.rpm
# rpm -Uvh http://ftp.ibiblio.org/pub/Linux/distributions/contrib/texstar/apt/Mandrake/RPMS.texstar/synaptic-0.31-1tex.i586.rpm
# apt-get update
# synaptic

That last command will start the Synaptic apt-get graphical interface. You will not find Synaptic in the start menu or on the desktop however. You won't even usually be able to run it from the command line. It is installed in /usr/sbin/ so it is only in your path if you are root. This means you must 'su' to root every time you want to run 'synaptic'.

The first thing I installed was "msfonts", these are just a bunch of truetype fonts that you usually get with ms-windows. It's useful to have them installed in case you view any badly written web pages that expect you to have these fonts. You can do this by clicking on "msfonts" in the package list, then click the "install" button on the lower right part of the Synaptic window. If you have this package already installed, this button will say 'Upgrade' and if you have the most recent version of the package, the button will be inactive. You should notice that the "Proceed" button at the top is now active. If you click on the "Proceed" button Synaptic will download and install msfonts. Click the images below for a screenshot of the Synaptic interface:

Synaptic Screenshot    Another Synaptic Screenshot

Of course anything you can do in the graphical Synaptic interface you can also do on the command line. You can use apt-get very much like you use apt-get in Debian GNU/Linux:

# apt-get  install  msfonts

This would have done the same thing that we did in the Synaptic interface in the previous example. Also, you'll periodically want to run the "apt-get update" command or click the "Update List" button in Synaptic to get the latest lists of available packages. You can do an "apt-get upgrade" to upgrade any installed packages where newer versions of the packages exist (keeping your system up to date). There are a few other key commands you'll find in the manual page ('man apt').

If you can not get out to the internet without going through a proxy server you will need to configure apt to use your proxy server. Edit the /etc/apt/apt.conf file and add this section to your configuration:


ACQUIRE
{
  http
  {
    Proxy "http://proxy.somewhere.com:3128/";
  };
};


Change the "http://proxy.somewhere.com:3128/" above to the URL of your proxy server. If your proxy server requires authentication you can add your username/password to the URL like this:

http://username:password@proxy.somewhere.com:3128/

The port (3128 in this example) may not be required for your proxy server. If you do need a username/password you may want to make sure non-root users on your system can not read this file:

# chmod  go=  /etc/apt

Further Reading:
$ man  apt-get

Have fun!

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