Apt-get create confusion

On my other laptop, I’m running under Debian-based Knoppix. I’ve heard the wonder that is apt-get and have really wanted to get it working, especially after trying to install a couple of programs and hunting down all of their dependencies individually in the Debian package library.

Every time I run apt-get install [program name here] I’m always told that the package either doesn’t exist or that it has been removed.

What am I doing wrong?

I had asked around elsewhere about how to install a program under Debian. The response was simply: apt-get install [program name here].

I would be supremely happy if it were that easy.

For some reason, it’s not.

I’m curious if being located in Taiwan might be causing this… (I don’t even know if that’s the right thought.)

you probably need to run the following command first:
apt-get update
This updates the information in your system about what packages are available (and what versions). If you don’t do this, then there’s a chance you’re trying to install an old version of the package - which no longer exists. Once this has run try ‘apt-get install XXX’ again …

If that doesn’t work, then you’ve likely got a misconfigured configuration: try posting the contents of the file /etc/apt/sources.list (which identifies where on the internet the packages are downloaded from) - if this is pointing at some weird Taiwanese mirror of Debian which is no longer active, then you’ll have to change it.

[quote=“david”]you probably need to run the following command first:
apt-get update [/quote]
Yep, that’s most likely to be the problem. When you run apt-get install, it only searches the local database. You have to run “apt-get update” every now and then to keep the database synchronized.
You can also use Synaptic (after you run “apt-get update”, try “apt-get install synaptic”) - that’s a graphical interface for apt-get.
It shows a categorized list of all available packages (including descriptions, dependencies, etc.). You can also use it to manage the apt-get mirrors. To update the package database, just click “reload”.
For a list of Debian mirrors (including a few located in Taiwan), look here:

BTW, there are apt-get mirrors for some other distributions too, not only Debian-based. I use apt-get in SuSE.:slight_smile:

Thank you both!

Now, apt-get is doing its wonder work and freeing up a lot of my spare time, time that was spent looking for packages…

A virtual handshake to you both.