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dselect(1)			    Debian			    dselect(1)

       dselect - Debian package management frontend

       dselect	    [--admindir      ]     [--help]	   [--version]
       [--licence|--license]	[--expert]    [--debug|-D]    []
       [--colour|--color			screenpart:[foreground],[back

       dselect is one of the primary user interfaces for managing packages  on
       a  Debian  system.  At  the dselect main menu, the system administrator
	- 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.

       All options can be specified both on the commandline and in the dselect
       configuration file /etc/dpkg/dselect.cfg. Each line in  the  configura
       tion  file  is  either  an  option (exactly the same as the commandline
       option but without leading dashes) or a comment (if it  starts  with  a

	      Changes  the  directory where the dpkg status, available and
	      similar files are located. This defaults	to  /var/lib/dpkg  and
	      normally there shouldnt be any need to change it.

       --debug  | -D
	      Turn on debugging. Debugging information is sent to .

	      Turns  on  expert  mode,	i.e. doesnt 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
	      optionally,  other  attributes)  of one part of the screen.  The
	      parts of the screen (from top to bottom) are:

	      title  The screen title.

		     The header line above the list of packages.

	      list   The scrolling list of packages (and also some help text).

		     The selected item in the list.

		     In  the list of packages, the text indicating the current
		     state of each package.

		     In the list of packages, the text indicating the  current
		     state of the currently selected package.

		     The  header line that displays the state of the currently
		     selected package.

		     The packages short description.

	      info   Used to  display  package	info  such  as	the  packages

		     The last line of the screen when selecting packages.

	      query  Used to display query lines

		     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

       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.

	      Displays the dselect copyright and license information and exits

	      Print version information and exit successfully.

       When  dselect is started interactively, it prompts the user with a menu
       of available actions:

       Choose and configure an access method to access package repositories.

       By default, dselect provides several methods such as  floppy,  harddisk
       or  cdrom,  but	other packages may provide additional methods, eg. the
       apt access method provided by  the  apt	package  or  multi_cd  by  the
       dpkg-multicd package.

       The use of the apt access method is strongly recommended.

       Refresh the available packages database.

       Retrieves a list of available package versions from the package reposi
       tory, configured for the current access method,	and  update  the  dpkg
       database.  The package lists are commonly provided by the repository as
       files named Packages or Packages.gz.  These files can be  generated  by
       repository maintainers, using the program dpkg-scanpackages(1).

       Details	of the update action depend on the access methods implementa
       tion.  Normally the process is straightforward  and  requires  no  user

       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.

       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 methods implementa
       tion.  The users 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

       Configures any previously installed, but not fully configured packages.

       Removes or purges installed packages, that are marked for removal.

       Quit dselect

       Exits the program with zero (successful) errorcode.

Package selections management
       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

   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 packages status, priority,  sec
       tion,  installed and available versions, the package name and its short
       description, all in one line. By pressing the V key, the  display  of
       the  installed  and available version can be toggled between on an off.
       By pressing the v key, the package status display is toggled  between
       verbose and shorthand.  Shorthand display is the default.

       The  shorthand status indication consists of four parts: an error flag,
       which should normally be clear, the current status, the last  selection
       state  and  the	current  selection state.  The first two relate to the
       actual state of the package, the second pair are about  the  selections
       set by the user.

       These are the meanings of the shorthand package status indicator codes:
	Error flag:
	 empty	 no error
	 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
	 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
	priority+section  available+priority  status+priority
	section+priority  available+section   status+section
       Where  not  listed  above  explicitly,  alphabetic order is used as the
       final subordering sort key.

   Altering selections
       The requested selection state of individual  packages  may  be  altered
       with the following commands:
	 +, Insert    install or upgrade
	 =, H	      hold in present state and version
	 :, G	      unhold: upgrade or leave uninstalled
	 -, Delete    remove, but leave configuration
	 _	      remove & purge configuration

       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  of  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

   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
       the selections as specified by the  user,  unconditionally.  Generally,
       dont do this unless youve read the fine print.

       The  opposite effect, to back out any selections change requests and go
       back to the previous list of selections, is attained  by  pressing  the
       X  or  escape  keys.  By repeatedly pressing these keys, any possibly
       detrimental changes to the requested package selections can  be	backed
       out completely to the last established settings.

       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.

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

       dselect was written by Ian Jackson (ijackson@gnu.ai.mit.edu). Full list
       of contributors may be found in dselect --license.
       This manual page was written by	Juho  Vuori  ,
       Josip Rodin and Joost kooij.

Debian Project			  2006-02-28			    dselect(1)

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