APT 2.9 Released: Debian's APT 3.0 To Have A New UI With Colors, Columnar Display & More

Written by Michael Larabel in Debian on 13 April 2024 at 12:00 AM EDT. 30 Comments
APT as the packaging tool built around Debian Linux is embarking on some big upgrades with the APT 2.9 development series to then roll-out as APT 3.0. There's big improvements to the command-line user interface with the new APT and it's certainly looking nice from my initial Friday night encounter.

Released tonight was APT 2.9 as the latest version to this packaging tool used on Debian and derivatives like Ubuntu. Catching me by surprise in the release announcement was:
"Welcome to the APT 3.0 development series. It has a new UI for apt(8). It has colors, columnar display, some more padding, and shows removals last (Closes: #755088), making the output more easy to quickly scan."

Catching my interest, I decided to quickly try a test build of APT 2.9 on an Ubuntu box.

Debian APT 2.9 colors

Ooo yes APT is finally sporting colored text.

Debian APT 2.9 screenshot

I immediately loved the columnar format for the APT output. Paired with the colors and columnar format, the new text UI is a big improvement over the long-standing APT output.

Debian APT 2.9 looking good

While just spending a few minutes with the new APT 2.9 build, it's a big improvement in my perspective over how APT has long looked with its text user interface. This will culminate with the APT 3.0 stable release but already the coloring and columnar layout is a big improvement for quickly sorting through the output when involving a long list of packages.

Debian APT 2.9 better readability

It's looking nice and I'm looking forward to APT 3.0. Downloads and more details on today's APT 2.9 release to Debian unstable via the v2.9 announcement.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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