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Adding and Updating Packages

You use the Advanced Packaging Tool (APT) to manage additional applications (in the form of packages) and to install the latest updates.


  • apt-get

  • apt-cache

  • dpkg

Updating the Package Cache

To work properly, APT relies on a local cache of the available packages. You must populate the cache initially, and then periodically update it with apt-get update:

cumulus@switch:~$ sudo apt-get update
Ign CumulusRMP-2.5.3 Release.gpg
Get:1 CumulusRMP-2.5.3 Release [9027 B]
Get:2 CumulusRMP-2.5.3/main powerpc Packages [105 kB]
Get:3 CumulusRMP-2.5.3/extras powerpc Packages [20 B]
Get:4 CumulusRMP-2.5.3/updates powerpc Packages [20 B]
Get:5 CumulusRMP-2.5.3/security-updates powerpc Packages [20 B]
Ign CumulusRMP-2.5.3/extras Translation-en
Ign CumulusRMP-2.5.3/main Translation-en
Ign CumulusRMP-2.5.3/security-updates Translation-en
Ign CumulusRMP-2.5.3/updates Translation-en
Fetched 115 kB in 2s (56.3 kB/s)
Reading package lists... Done

Listing Available Packages

Once the cache is populated, use apt-cache to search the cache to find the packages you are interested in or to get information about an available package. Here are examples of the search and show sub-commands:

cumulus@switch:~$ apt-cache search tcp
fakeroot - tool for simulating superuser privileges
libwrap0 - Wietse Venema's TCP wrappers library
libwrap0-dev - Wietse Venema's TCP wrappers library, development files
netbase - Basic TCP/IP networking system
nmap - The Network Mapper
openbsd-inetd - OpenBSD Internet Superserver
openssh-client - secure shell (SSH) client, for secure access to remote machines
openssh-server - secure shell (SSH) server, for secure access from remote machines
rsyslog - reliable system and kernel logging daemon
socat - multipurpose relay for bidirectional data transfer
tcpd - Wietse Venema's TCP wrapper utilities
tcpdump - command-line network traffic analyzer
tcpreplay - Tool to replay saved tcpdump files at arbitrary speeds
tcpstat - network interface statistics reporting tool
tcptrace - Tool for analyzing tcpdump output
tcpxtract - extracts files from network traffic based on file signatures
quagga - BGP/OSPF/RIP routing daemon
jdoo - utility for monitoring and managing daemons or similar programs

cumulus@switch:~$ apt-cache show tcpreplay
Package: tcpreplay
Version: 3.4.3-2+wheezy1
Architecture: powerpc
Maintainer: Noël Köthe <>
Installed-Size: 984
Depends: libc6 (>= 2.7), libpcap0.8 (>= 0.9.8)
Priority: optional
Section: net
Filename: pool/main/t/tcpreplay/tcpreplay_3.4.3-2+wheezy1_powerpc.deb
Size: 435904
SHA256: 03dc29057cb608d2ddf08207aedf18d47988ed6c23db0af69d30746768a639ae
SHA1: 8ee1b9b02dacd0c48a474844f4466eb54c7e1568
MD5sum: cf20bec7282ef77a091e79372a29fe1e
Description: Tool to replay saved tcpdump files at arbitrary speeds
Tcpreplay is aimed at testing the performance of a NIDS by
replaying real background network traffic in which to hide
attacks. Tcpreplay allows you to control the speed at which the
traffic is replayed, and can replay arbitrary tcpdump traces. Unlike
programmatically-generated artificial traffic which doesn't
exercise the application/protocol inspection that a NIDS performs,
and doesn't reproduce the real-world anomalies that appear on
production networks (asymmetric routes, traffic bursts/lulls,
fragmentation, retransmissions, etc.), tcpreplay allows for exact
replication of real traffic seen on real networks.

The search commands look for the search terms not only in the package name but in other parts of the package information. Consequently, it will match on more packages than you would expect.

Adding a Package

In order to add a new package, first ensure the package is not already installed in the system:

cumulus@switch:~$ dpkg -l | grep {name of package}

If the package is installed already, ensure it’s the version you need. If it’s an older version, then update the package from the Cumulus RMP repository:

cumulus@switch:~$ sudo apt-get update

If the package is not already on the system, add it by running apt-get install. This retrieves the package from the Cumulus RMP repository and installs it on your system together with any other packages that this package might depend on.

For example, the following adds the package tcpreplay to the system:

cumulus@switch:~$ sudo apt-get install tcpreplay
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
The following NEW packages will be installed:
0 upgraded, 1 newly installed, 0 to remove and 1 not upgraded.
Need to get 436 kB of archives.
After this operation, 1008 kB of additional disk space will be used.
Get:1 CumulusRMP-2.5.3/main tcpreplay powerpc 3.4.3-2+wheezy1 [436 kB]
Fetched 436 kB in 0s (1501 kB/s)
Selecting previously unselected package tcpreplay.
(Reading database ... 15930 files and directories currently installed.)
Unpacking tcpreplay (from .../tcpreplay_3.4.3-2+wheezy1_powerpc.deb) ...
Processing triggers for man-db ...
Setting up tcpreplay (3.4.3-2+wheezy1) ...

Listing Installed Packages

The APT cache contains information about all the packages available on the repository. To see which packages are actually installed on your system, use dpkg. The following example lists all the packages on the system that have “tcp” in their package names:

cumulus@switch:~$ dpkg -l \*tcp\*
| Status=Not/Inst/Conf-files/Unpacked/halF-conf/Half-inst/trig-aWait/Trig-pend
|/ Err?=(none)/Reinst-required (Status,Err: uppercase=bad)
||/ Name           Version      Architecture Description
ii  tcpd           7.6.q-24     powerpc      Wietse Venema's TCP wrapper utili
ii  tcpdump        4.3.0-1      powerpc      command-line network traffic anal
ii  tcpreplay      3.4.3-2+whee powerpc      Tool to replay saved tcpdump file

Upgrading to Newer Versions of Installed Packages

Upgrading a Single Package

A single package can be upgraded by simply installing that package again with apt-get install. You should perform an update first so that the APT cache is populated with the latest information about the packages.

To see if a package needs to be upgraded, use apt-cache show <pkgname> to show the latest version number of the package. Use dpkg -l <pkgname> to show the version number of the installed package.

Upgrading All Packages

You can update all packages on the system with apt-get update. This upgrades all installed versions with their latest versions but will not install any new packages.

Adding Packages from Another Repository

As shipped, Cumulus RMP searches the Cumulus RMP repository for available packages. You can add additional repositories to search by adding them to the list of sources that apt-get consults. See man sources.list for more information.

For several packages, Cumulus Networks has added features or made bug fixes and these packages must not be replaced with versions from other repositories. Cumulus RMP has been configured to ensure that the packages from the Cumulus RMP repository are always preferred over packages from other repositories.

If you want to install packages that are not in the Cumulus RMP repository, the procedure is the same as above with one additional step.

Packages not part of the Cumulus RMP repository have generally not been tested, and may not be supported by Cumulus RMP support.

Installing packages outside of the Cumulus RMP repository requires the use of apt-get, but, depending on the package, easy-install and other commands can also be used.

To install a new package, please complete the following steps:

  1. First, ensure package is not already installed in the system. Use the dpkg command:

    cumulus@switch:~$ dpkg -l | grep {name of package}
  2. If the package is installed already, ensure it’s the version you need. If it’s an older version, then update the package from the Cumulus RMP repository:

    cumulus@switch:~$ sudo apt-get update
    cumulus@switch:~$ sudo apt-get install {name of package}
  3. If the package is not on the system, then most likely the package source location is also not in the /etc/apt/sources.list file. If the source for the new package is not in sources.list, please edit and add the appropriate source to the file. For example, add the following if you wanted a package from the Debian repository that is not in the Cumulus RMP repository:

    deb wheezy main
    deb wheezy/updates main

    Otherwise, the repository may be listed in /etc/apt/sources.list but is commented out, as can be the case with the testing repository:

                #deb CumulusRMP-VERSION testing

    To uncomment the repository, remove the # at the start of the line, then save the file:

    deb CumulusRMP-VERSION testing
  4. Run apt-get update then install the package:

    cumulus@switch:~$ sudo apt-get update
    cumulus@switch:~$ sudo apt-get install {name of package}

Configuration Files

  • /etc/apt/apt.conf

  • /etc/apt/preferences

  • /etc/apt/sources.list

Useful Links