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[vox-tech] Howto: prune unwanted packages from a Debain system
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[vox-tech] Howto: prune unwanted packages from a Debain system

On Fri, Feb 27, 2004 at 12:34:13AM -0800, Bill Kendrick wrote:
> My /home stuff is secure, and I get to install Debian again (yay! practice!)
> and hopefully not end up with THREE versions of Python, and tons of games
> and other apps I never use, like I saw I had when I was backing up my old
> "/" and "/usr/local" :^)

If you ever want to "remove the junk I'm not using" from a Debian

apt-get install debfoster

from the man page:
     If a new package is encountered or if debfoster notices that a package
     that used to be a dependency is now an orphan, it will ask you what to do
     with it.  If you decide to keep it, debfoster will just take note and
     continue.  If you decide that this package is not interesting enough it
     will be removed as soon as debfoster is done asking questions.  If your
     choices cause other packages to become orphaned more questions will

     Whenever debfoster asks you about a package, any of the following
     responses can be given:

       `y'         Yes, keep the package. This is the default response.
       `n'         No, delete the package.
       `p'         Prune the package. This tells debfoster to also delete all
                   packages that are only installed because this package
                   depends on them.  A list of such packages, if any, is shown
                   above the prompt.
       `s'         Skip this question. The next time you run debfoster it will
                   ask you again about this package.
       `h'         Print a help message.
       `i' or `?'  Show information about the package.
       `u'         Undo last response.
       `q'         Exit without removing packages.  All changes will be lost.
       `x'         Save changes to debfoster database, remove unwanted pack­
                   ages, and exit without asking further questions.

Description: Install only wanted Debian packages
 debfoster is a wrapper program for apt and dpkg.  When first run, it
 will ask you which of the installed packages you want to keep
 After that, it maintains a list of packages that you want to have
 installed on your system.  It uses this list to detect packages that
 have been installed only because other packages depended on them.  If
 one of these dependencies changes, debfoster will take notice, and
 ask if you want to remove the old package.
 This helps you to maintain a clean Debian install, without old
 (mainly library) packages lying around that aren't used any more.
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