Cupt

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Cupt (it sounds like someone is trying to say “Cups” with a lisp) is a very new alternative to APT. It just hit its first beta today and development started just last year. I decided to give it a spin in a Debian unstable virtual machine. First impressions is very good. It unifies all the different tools you’d traditionally use with apt, it also offers alternative solutions when they’re available like Aptitude does.

It’s features are very familiar and it didn’t take long at all to get comfortable with it. Here’s an output of it’s built-in help to give you an idea of what it does:

Actions:
 autoclean: cleans unavailable from repositories archives from binary package cache
 build-dep: satisfies build dependencies for source package(s)
 changelog: views Debian changelog(s) of binary package(s)
 clean: cleans the whole binary package cache
 config-dump: prints values of configuration variables
 copyright: views Debian copyright info of binary package(s)
 depends: prints dependencies of binary package(s)
 dist-upgrade: does a two-stage full upgrade
 full-upgrade: upgrades the system with possible removal of some packages
 help: prints a short help
 install: installs/upgrades/downgrades binary package(s)
 markauto: marks binary package(s) as automatically installed
 pkgnames: prints available package names
 policy: prints pin info for the binary package(s)
 policysrc: prints pin info for the source package(s)
 purge: removes binary package(s) along with their configuration files
 rdepends: print reverse-dependencies of binary package(s)
 remove: removes binary package(s)
 safe-upgrade: upgrades the system without removing packages
 satisfy: performs actions to make relation expressions satisfied
 screenshots: views Debian screenshot web pages for the binary package(s)
 search: searches for packages using regular expression(s)
 shell: starts an interactive package manager shell
 show: prints info about binary package(s)
 showsrc: prints info about source packages(s)
 source: fetches and unpacks source package(s)
 unmarkauto: marks binary package(s) as manually installed
 update: updates repository metadata
 version: prints versions of packages 'cupt' and 'libcupt-perl'
 why: finds a dependency path between system/package(s) and package

I tried the ’screenshots’ option to see what it would do in a text-only terminal. It basically opens up a web page with the screenshot using sensible-browser, so it ended up opening in w3m, where you can see the entire web page except the actual screen shot, it probably wouldn’t work all that well for people getting a screenshot from a remote terminal. In my opinion it would’ve been better if cupt just pasted a URL to the image or downloaded it for you. Not a big criticism, just a minor suggestion :)

It’s installable next to APT, so you don’t have to remove any of your current APT tools. Just a note of caution, if you’re running Ubuntu, the newest version available is only 0.2.3, so you probably don’t want to install if from the Ubuntu archives just yet.

From toying around with it and adding/removing some packages I couldn’t really find anything big that’s wrong about it. It even does things like “cupt install htop apache2-” correctly, it seems that they’ve worked quite hard to match most of what the apt tools do. I haven’t tried the debdelta integration yet, and I think the support for an external problem solver has some potential for making upgrades smoother. I quite like it and hope that the Cupt developers maintain the kind of momentum they have now.

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2 Responses to “Cupt”

  1. ethana2 Says:

    [email protected]:~$ install example
    [sudo] password for ethan:
    Reading package lists… Done
    Building dependency tree
    Reading state information… Done
    E: Couldn’t find package example
    [email protected]:~$

  2. Trey Ethridge Says:

    The question you didn’t answer that I really wanted to know, was what problem this software tries to solve? I’ll google it.

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