FEATURE: apt-get could use a dist-upgrade feature for packages

Bug #1437035 reported by Jeff Lane on 2015-03-26
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
apt (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

When you want to update just a specific package, you can do the following:

apt-get install $PACKAGE

and if $PACKAGE is installed, apt will update it to the latest available version in the repos.

If you want to update an entire system, you can do:

upgrade to upgrade all installed packages
dist-upgrade to upgrade all installed packages AND install any new dependencies that may have been added

It would be really cool if apt could do the same on the individual package level, e.g.

apt-get package-upgrade $PACKAGE

which would update $PACKAGE and all it's dependencies to the latest version.

This resolves a couple things:

1: apt install $PACKAGE is not obvious when dealing with packages that are already installed... why am I installing again, instead of upgrading?

2: Some packages don't specify required VERSIONS of their dependencies, so you can encounter a situation where you do this:

apt-get install $PACKAGE

and find that $PACKAGE no longer works because a dependency was not also updated due the $PACKAGE's maintainer not specifying a certain version for the dependencies.

Having a dist-upgrade like feature at the package level would ensure that when you update an individual package, you also update all it's dependencies as well, helping to ensure no more broken packages or tools and making user experience better.

Changed in apt (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
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