Suggestions for maintaining Debian

Since many people ask me about these, here's a quick post about some Debian stuff:

apt-get vs. aptitude - aptitude is, IMHO, more flexible, even if you don't want to use the interective client (aptitude update && aptitude upgrade also work). If you use apt-get and aptitude now tells you that you have some unused packages, you can fix that by making an aptitude install to those packages.

apt.conf - you can configure your debian box behaviour in a really flexible way. For instance, in this box I have this:

# cat /etc/apt/apt.conf
APT::Default-Release "stable";
APT::Cache-Limit 20000000;
Aptitude::Recommends-Important "true";
Aptitude::Suggests-Important "true";

The first line says that I prefer stable packages. That means that if I have stable and testing repositories, he tryis stable first. To force testing, for instance, do a {apt-get|aptitude} -t testing install package .
The two last lines tell you that I want aptitude to install recommended and suggested packages by default.

wajig - This tool is most commonly used for:

Common JIG commands:

update Update the list of down-loadable packages

new List packages that became available since last update
newupgrades List packages newly available for upgrading

install Install (or upgrade) one or more packages or .deb files
remove Remove one or more packages (see also purge)

toupgrade List packages with newer versions available for upgrading
upgrade Upgrade all of the installed packages or just those listed

listfiles List the files that are supplied by the named package
listnames List all known packages or those containing supplied string
whatis For each package named obtain a one line description
whichpkg Find the package that supplies the given command or file

But what I think it's most important in wajig is:
$ wajig installrs package - Install package, including recommended and suggested others
$ wajig list-orphans - List installed libs not required by any installed package
$ wajig purge-depend package - Purge package and libs that would get orphan with the removal
$ wajig purge-orphans - Purge orphaned libraries