Do Synaptic Package Manager and Software Manager...

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Do Synaptic Package Manager and Software Manager...

Postby MtnDewManiac on Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:37 am

...communicate with each other? By that, I mean, if I do something in one, will it be reflected in the other (and vice versa)?

Reason I ask is that I generally use Synaptic Package Manager because, unlike Software Manager, it's not slow, it doesn't freeze for long periods of time (although I am not sure "freeze" is the correct terminology, since the mouse cursor still works, but the app goes catatonic), or occasionally just completely disappear as if I closed it. But, having a bit of laziness in me, I occasionally use Software Manager because it's right there near the top of the menu (and I just don't seem to be able t learn from my mistakes).

I have thought about trying to uninstall Software Manager and putting Synaptic in its place in the menu, but am unsure if I could do so without problems (IOW, if it's one of those things that other things depend on). Plus, the review thing seems like a good idea (in theory).

Thanks,
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Re: Do Synaptic Package Manager and Software Manager...

Postby xenopeek on Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:53 am

These are all just APT front-ends, the Debian package management system. Doesn't matter which you use; what you install with one APT front-end will be visible in another APT front-end. Though note that Synaptic by default does not install recommended packages of the package that you select for installation, generally giving you a more limited experience by default as commonly installed add-ons and plug-ins will not be automatically installed for you. For example Software Manager and apt-get do install recommend packages by default.

Software Manager can appear to hang (it's not; it's searching and won't update till done) if you search for words of one or two letters, of if you are an exceptionally patient typer, or if your computer is and exceptionally patient searcher... If you are using a recent version of Linux Mint, do yourself a favor and look in the Edit > Preferences menu. Disabling "Search while typing" will probably be an improvement for you (now you have to press Enter after typing to start a search).
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Re: Do Synaptic Package Manager and Software Manager...

Postby eanfrid on Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:01 am

IMO Software Manager is quite clumsy and mostly useless. Synaptic (*) and aptitude are far better to manage packages. You can also use gdebi for individually downloaded packages. On the CLI, dpkg and apt(-get) are the kings but need more knowledge and practice if you want to use uncommon options.

(*) Mintupdate uses Synaptic under the hood, with a few restrictive options to make it more friendly.
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Re: Do Synaptic Package Manager and Software Manager...

Postby MtnDewManiac on Sat Mar 16, 2013 9:30 am

xenopeek wrote:These are all just APT front-ends, the Debian package management system. Doesn't matter which you use; what you install with one APT front-end will be visible in another APT front-end.


And by that you mean that the app/file will be correctly listed as "installed?" Great, that's what I was hoping.

xenopeek wrote:Though note that Synaptic by default does not install recommended packages of the package that you select for installation, generally giving you a more limited experience by default as commonly installed add-ons and plug-ins will not be automatically installed for you.


So if I install a GNOME component on my Xfce system with Synaptic, it won't go ahead and install GNOME 3 along with it?

You seem to be inferring that this is not a good thing. I don't understand.

Wait... "Recommends" and "depends" are two entirely different things, aren't they? Synaptic (still) takes care of the latter, I believe.

xenopeek wrote:Software Manager can appear to hang (it's not; it's searching and won't update till done)


I usually just gave up after a bit. But I have waited a while a couple times. And, once, I forgot about it and ended up messing around in Firefox for a while and only noticed that it was still running when I started closing apps to shut the laptop down and bring it back inside for the night. Err... How many hours does it usually take, lol?

xenopeek wrote:if you search for words of one or two letters, of if you are an exceptionally patient typer, or if your computer is and exceptionally patient searcher...


No to all - my computer is slow and I type fast.

xenopeek wrote:If you are using a recent version of Linux Mint, do yourself a favor and look in the Edit > Preferences menu. Disabling "Search while typing" will probably be an improvement for you (now you have to press Enter after typing to start a search).


I will try that next time I'm lazy and run Software Manager instead of Synaptic. I really like Synaptic a lot better, though. Is it... newer, or something?

BtW, if I do as you suggest, will it still find results where my term is only part of a word? Such as being able to type in xfce (and then pressing Enter) and still receive results for things which mention "xfce4" instead of just "xfce?"

Incidentally, the times when it went off into its little world whilst searchiing weren't the times when I was the most concerned, but, rather, when I had just used the thing to install an app and it never snapped out of it.

Now it must be said that my computers are old and one is shot, so my problems may well be of the sort that other people won't encounter.

But Synaptic has never gotten lost in the midst of an operation (in my experience).

In truth, I wonder what the point of Software Manager is in the first place. I mean, sure, it's got bells and whistles. But if I want bells and whistles (I cannot see that ever happening, but "in theory"), I'll go get a bell and a whistle. I won't go out and try to exchange my cat for one that someone has nailed a bell and whistle to the side of, lol. It probably wouldn't make the cat's, err... core functionality be any better. But then again, I'm from a rural area, not New York City. So I don't read "Great" Designs and How to Convince Yourself You Have to Have Them, What's Happening NOW and Why It's So Yesterday, or other craptastic magazines and sit up all night agonizing because my home doesn't look like the pictures. Some of the tools in my toolbox were my grandfather's. They still work quite well, thanks, and I have no need to replace them with something from WalMart that'll get replaced by something else flashier next week.

Is there actually some point in not using Synaptic? Or is it just one of those situations that I see from time to time, where someone came along, looked at Synaptic, and said, "Sure, it's nice, does what it is supposed to, and does it well. But I didn't write the thing, so it's junk." And then they wrote it. And someone, somewhere, thought, what the ****, they went to all that trouble, I'd hate for them to think (realize) that instead of reinventing the wheel only in a somewhat lighter shade of blue, that they should have been doing something useful, so I'll see if I can get it put into the repos so that they can point it out to both of their friends." Kind of thing? Just curious how it came to be - and why

(NOTE: To whoever wrote Software Manager, no offense, I know it's a scary world out there and there's not really a need for you to go out and use your programming excellence(?) to create a new and unique app instead of just rehashing an already existing one. So do not be bothered by my observations. I'm lazy and uncreative at times, too, don't sweat it.)
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