Software Manager or Synaptic Package Manager?

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lsemmens
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Software Manager or Synaptic Package Manager?

Post by lsemmens » Wed May 16, 2018 10:39 pm

Thread drift (well really a minor deviation) Which is the better for apps in MINT. (i.e. the most stable up to date works like it's supposed to in MINT stuff) Synaptic or Software manager? I'd've considered that it was software manager, because I thought it has been developed for MINT, However, I suspect I am wrong on all of the above.
Last edited by karlchen on Thu May 17, 2018 8:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Split off from this (related) thread: https://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=269514
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JerryF
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Re: Software Manager or Synaptic Package Manager?

Post by JerryF » Thu May 17, 2018 8:39 am

lsemmens wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 10:39 pm
Thread drift (well really a minor deviation) Which is the better for apps in MINT. (i.e. the most stable up to date works like it's supposed to in MINT stuff) Synaptic or Software manager? I'd've considered that it was software manager, because I thought it has been developed for MINT, However, I suspect I am wrong on all of the above.
I don't think it matters. Both interfaces (Software Manager and Synaptic Manager) get their apps from the same place that is set in your Software Sources.
Last edited by JerryF on Thu May 17, 2018 9:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Software Manager or Synaptic Package Manager?

Post by smurphos » Thu May 17, 2018 9:01 am

Other than flatpak being integrated into 18.3+ Software Manager both access the same repos so are equally up to date.

For 'stability' of the application itself I think that Synaptic has a slight edge over the current 18.3 Software Manager.

Other key differences include...

Software Manager in 18.3 is integrated with MintBackup for lists of installed packages - Synaptic is not.

Software Manager has access to reviews (of questionable value) - Synaptic does not.

Software Manager is arguably better for 'idle browsing' of available software.

Synaptic gives fine-grained control over whether or not to install recommended and suggested packages in addition to the main package being installed.

Synaptic gives easy access to changelogs when available.

Synaptic provides detailed information about dependencies and sources of the software (i.e which repo or PPA it's from or whether it's a 'foreign' package (normally a .deb install)

Synaptic provides easy access to a full list of what files a package has actually installed and where those files are in the file system.

Synaptic displays a history of installations / removals / and updates.

Which is best? I don't think there is a straight answer and probably depends on the user's experience level and what task the user needs to undertake.
Last edited by smurphos on Thu May 17, 2018 9:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Sir Charles
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Re: Software Manager or Synaptic Package Manager?

Post by Sir Charles » Thu May 17, 2018 9:02 am

In terms of functionality, I find Synaptic much more versatile than Software Manager. Apart from installing/uninstalling packages, it can perform other operations as well, like fixing broken packages, locking a package to an specific version, cleaning the archive etc. All in all, and in accordance with the splendid description by smurphos, I think Synaptic gives the user more control over the package management process.
I suppose that's one of the ironies of life, doing the wrong thing at the right moment -C.C.

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Re: Software Manager or Synaptic Package Manager?

Post by absque fenestris » Thu May 17, 2018 9:12 am

It's the appearance:
Software Manager is like a supermarket with many promising special offers everywhere, everything the digital heart desires.
Synaptic Packet Manager in comparison is the big warehouse with endless shelves.
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Re: Software Manager or Synaptic Package Manager?

Post by lsemmens » Thu May 17, 2018 9:15 am

Thank you, gentlemen (I think you are all blokes, if not, I apologise) My thinking was not too far of the mark. Now BOT! :D
Kernel: 4.15.0-36-generic x86_64 bits: 64
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Re: Software Manager or Synaptic Package Manager?

Post by JerryF » Thu May 17, 2018 9:45 am

smurphos wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 9:01 am
...
For 'stability' of the application itself I think that Synaptic has a slight edge over the current 18.3 Software Manager.
...
Can you expound on that? I'm interested in how that would be.
lsemmens wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 9:15 am
Thank you, gentlemen (I think you are all blokes, if not, I apologise) My thinking was not too far of the mark. Now BOT! :D
Yes, male here!
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Re: Software Manager or Synaptic Package Manager?

Post by smurphos » Thu May 17, 2018 9:57 am

JerryF wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 9:45 am
smurphos wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 9:01 am
...
For 'stability' of the application itself I think that Synaptic has a slight edge over the current 18.3 Software Manager.
...
Can you expound on that? I'm interested in how that would be.
Just a few rare glitches I've experienced with the 18.3 Software Manager - e.g. Installations appearing to 'hang' when they haven't.

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Re: Software Manager or Synaptic Package Manager?

Post by JerryF » Thu May 17, 2018 10:08 am

smurphos wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 9:57 am
...
Just a few rare glitches I've experienced with the 18.3 Software Manager - e.g. Installations appearing to 'hang' when they haven't.
Thanks.
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Re: Software Manager or Synaptic Package Manager?

Post by Hoser Rob » Thu May 17, 2018 11:28 am

The only advantage I can see to software manager, in theory anyway, is the reviews. But more experienced users, who write better reviews, usually don't use software manager anymore. Ubuntu is the same. I use Synaptic or the terminal.

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Re: Software Manager or Synaptic Package Manager?

Post by 151tom » Sat May 26, 2018 6:35 pm

I'll look through the Software Manager to see what software is available and then use either Synaptic Package Manager or Command Terminal to install or uninstall software.

I find the results the same using any of the options.

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Re: Software Manager or Synaptic Package Manager?

Post by lmuserx4849 » Mon Jun 04, 2018 6:43 pm

If you are new to linux and computers, I'd tend towards recommending the Software Manager.
If you use flatpaks, I'd tend towards recommending the Software Manager (although you can use the command line).
Everything is trying to look the same these days, like a phone app... google playstore...

I like Synaptic Package Manger. It reminds me of YaST from opeSuSE. I'm not sure if Synaptic officially supports GTK3. If you go to the source page, it says Gtk+ 2.4. They all use the same repository. The things I want to know quickly about a package are easily visible in Synaptic. I turn on the option Settings > Preferences > Appearance > Show package properties in the main window. By the time I'm ready to do an install, I just want to know details about the package that is in the repo. I've done my research online, therefore reviews and editor picks at this stage get in the way.

Nothing beats command line (apt, rpm, pacman) :-)

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Re: Software Manager or Synaptic Package Manager?

Post by rado84 » Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:08 pm

Personally, I use both. I use Synaptic for when I know exactly what I need. When I just wanna have a look at all of the available software, I use the Software Manager.

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Re: Software Manager or Synaptic Package Manager?

Post by Kyorl » Sat Oct 06, 2018 9:35 am

Since this topic is related to my question, I didn't open a new thread.

I want to install ExifTool on Mint 18.3. Since now I always used the Software Manager and according to previous answers, it should use the same repositories as Synaptic. However, the Software Manager does not show me ExifTool (libimage-exiftool-perl), but Synaptic does. How is this explained? And does it matter for consistency and the mentioned listing of installed software for backup, if I install it via Synaptic?

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Pierre
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Re: Software Manager or Synaptic Package Manager?

Post by Pierre » Sat Oct 06, 2018 9:57 am

that Software Manager is simply a list of the Most Popular Programs,
whereas Package Manager AKA synaptic has all programs & lots of dependency files, as well.

so, you could easily find an program in synaptic, that is Not in Software Manager .. ..
- like you just did.
Image
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Re: Software Manager or Synaptic Package Manager?

Post by gm10 » Sat Oct 06, 2018 10:52 am

Pierre wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 9:57 am
that Software Manager is simply a list of the Most Popular Programs,
That's only true for the categories in Software Manager, but the search function spans the entire contents of all repositories.

However, to make the results more manageable than they are in Synaptic, only standalone software packages are shown (emphasis on Software in Software Manager). Software Manager will not show you any libraries, development and debug packages, etc. Since libimage-exiftool-perl is a perl module, not standalone software, it gets filtered from the search results (edit: actually reading the description the package also contains a command line tool, I raised an issue with the devs: https://github.com/linuxmint/mintinstall/issues/213).

Here's the full list of what gets filtered for those interested, should be readable enough even for those unfamiliar with python code (filtering is purely based on package name):

Code: Select all

        if name.startswith("lib") and not name.startswith(("libreoffice", "librecad")):
            continue
        if name.endswith(":i386") and name != "steam:i386":
            continue
        if name.endswith("-dev"):
            continue
        if name.endswith("-dbg"):
            continue
        if name.endswith("-doc"):
            continue
        if name.endswith("-common"):
            continue
        if name.endswith("-data"):
            continue
        if "-locale-" in name:
            continue
        if "-l10n-" in name:
            continue
        if name.endswith("-dbgsym"):
            continue
        if name.endswith("l10n"):
            continue
        if name.endswith("-perl"):
            continue
Kyorl wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 9:35 am
does it matter for consistency and the mentioned listing of installed software for backup, if I install it via Synaptic?
As mentioned, only packages installed via Software Manager can be handled by mintbackup ("Backup Tool"), but mintbackup is currently broken and overall bad, anyway, there are much better tools out there.

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Re: Software Manager or Synaptic Package Manager?

Post by Kyorl » Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:21 pm

That's interesting, because as far as I remember I installed ExifTool in 18.2 via the Software Manager and never used Synaptic. Thanks!

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Re: Software Manager or Synaptic Package Manager?

Post by smurphos » Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:52 am

Kyorl wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:21 pm
That's interesting, because as far as I remember I installed ExifTool in 18.2 via the Software Manager and never used Synaptic. Thanks!
Maybe the other ruby based exiftool (which is listed in Software manager search in 19). Or maybe it's just the list of exclusions has been modified between 18.2 Software Manager and 19. Software Manager had a big revamp between 18.2 and 18.3.

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