Back to Linux Mint for this one. If you’re not using something Debian-ish, it probably won’t work for you … let alone appeal to you.
I haven’t been shy in the past, in critiquing Debian’s rather scattered approach to package handling. Between dpkg, apt-get, aptitude and apt-cache, with the added complications of things like debsums, deborphan and host of other tools, things get a little frazzled.
I understand most of the fragmented structure and the reasons for it, but I can also tell you that comparing those dozen programs to pacman is night-and-day.
If I had to pick a single tool to unify them, wajig would be my weapon of choice. wajig — look here if you have to know about the name right now — consolidates most of the tools I’ve already mentioned, and collates their individual commands into a master list.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to relearn new commands; most are grandfathered into wajig. So
apt-get install appears as
wajig install, and
apt-cache search appears as
wajig search. Convenient.
wajig also liases with some ancillary programs like deborphans and debsums, as I mentioned above. Remember if you want to take advantage of those features in wajig, you’ll need to install the programs that actually do those chores. wajig doesn’t doesn’t reinvent the wheel, it just makes it easier to spin it.
wajig does a few other things right — like an onboard tutorial, or a full list of commands and their descriptions. No color, but you can’t have everything.
If you’re serious about Debian and you frown on things that tamper with the delicate default ecosystem, then perhaps wajig isn’t for you. On the other hand, if you’ve stepped outside that walled garden and seen, for example, how Arch does things, wajig might be a much more appealing way to do business.
Just for my own part, I expect I’ll be installing it on the next Debian-based machine I build. I’m not so much a purist as to turn my nose up at convenience. … 😉