The following table shows a comparison of the most important and most used commands for package/software management in SuSE and Debian/Ubuntu systems.
The zypper command is available on SuSE systems.
The apt and related commands are available on Debian and Debian-based systems including Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Knoppix, and a lot more.
|| apt command
|Search package||zypper se "pkgname"|| apt-cache search "pkgname"
|Install package||zypper in "pkgname"
||apt-get install "pkgname"
apt install "pkgname" (newer)
|Update package list from repository||zypper refresh
apt update (newer)
|Update all packages||zypper update||
|Upgrade all packages to new major version*||zypper dist-upgrade
apt dist-upgrade (newer)
|Update a single package||zypper update "pkgname"
||apt-get upgrade "pkgname"
apt upgrade "pkgname"
or "install" should also update the package
|Uninstall/remove a package||zypper remove "pkgname"
||apt-get remove "pkgname"
apt remove "pkgname"
|Show all packages found in repo(s)||zypper packages
|Show updateable packages||zypper list-updates
|Show dependencies of a package||N/A
||apt-cache depends "pkgname"
|Show description of a package||zypper info "pkgname"
||apt-cache show "pkgname"
|| rpm command
|List installed packages||rpm -qa||dpkg -l|
|List content of installed package||rpm -ql "pkgname"
||dpkg -L "pkgname"
|List content of package file||rpm -qlp "pkgname".rpm
||dpkg --contents "pkgname".deb
|Install package||rpm -i "pkgname".rpm
||dpkg -i "pkgname".deb
|Show to which package a file belongs
||rpm -qf /path/to/file
||dpkg -S /path/to/file
|Simulate installation of package||rpm -i --test "pkgname".rpm
||dpkg -i --simulate "pkgname"
|Update a package||rpm -U "pkgname".rpm
||N/A (use dpkg -i)
|Uninstall/remove a package||rpm -e "pkgname"
||dpkg -r "pkgname"
If you know additional zypper/apt/rpm/dpkg commands which are worth to be compared and mentioned here, please drop a comment.
Update June 14th, 2013: Added apt-get dist-upgrade to the table. This command allows to upgrade to a newer major software version (e.g. MySQL 5.0 -> 5.1). However it should be mentioned, that although this command exists in Debian, it is unlikely that it's going be used (except for a distribution upgrade, e.g. lenny -> squeeze). The reason for this is the "stable software version" mind of Debian. Ubuntu handles this approach differently and frequently adds newer major versions to their repositories.
Update July 10th, 2015: Added "list content" rpm and dpkg commands.
Update September 16th, 2015: Added "Simulate installation of package" rpm and dpkg commands.
Update March 13th, 2019: Added "apt" short commands.
Update May 31st, 2019: Added "Show to which package a file belongs".
anon from wrote on Jan 11th, 2014:
The zypper equivalent for a distribution upgrade (apt-get dist-upgrade) is "zypper dup". See https://en.opensuse.org/SDB:System_upgrade
The Arch wiki has a similar comparison of more tools:
Alexander from Zürich wrote on Jun 12th, 2013:
Might be worth mentioning, that for Debian the "Update all packages" would rather be:
Because of the "all packages" there. Don't know how that compares to zypper.
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