Aptitude & co - which one to use?


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I have always followed CLI instructions for installing stuff a bit blindly (doing what has been advised) and TBH I have used Synaptic (GUI) more. But I have just been looking at the man pages for aptitude and its equivalents.

I see there is aptitude, apt and apt-get, and they all seem to do basically the same thing, although they have some different options from each other. Why are there three of these things and not just one? Are they simply rival projects so therefore I can pick one and forget the others, or do we really need all three?

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