Package Manager

We’ve spoken of the Software Manager for adding new programs to your computer. Today we’ll look at the Synaptic Package Manager.

synapticSynaptic has some features that you may find useful. Not only can you you use it to search for and install new software, but you can also use it to find broken packages, and update features like the Linux Kernel.

A broken package can happen when a a hard drive has a bad sector, or if, while installing a new piece of software, you get corrupt data in the download.  After you open Synaptic, at the bottom of the left side menu you will find a Custom Filters button. Click on it, then above that, select Broken. Any package found in the right hand side, can be reinstalled or deleted.

If you are feeling adventurous, you can click on the Upgradable menu selection, and upgrade the Kernel itself, or or upgrade the Linux Firmware as shown here:

synaptic2A word of caution though, upgrading the kernel to a new version might break your system, as can upgrading firmware. The available upgrade in the example above, broke on one of my machines, requiring me to reinstall the previous version. Before you ever make those kinds of changes to your system, always back up your data first!