[Aptitude-devel] Bug#661188: aptitude purge <package> recursively REMOVES BUT DOES NOT PURGE the unneeded dependencies of <package>

Daniel Hartwig mandyke at gmail.com
Sat Feb 25 02:15:30 UTC 2012


On 25 February 2012 05:32, Georgiy Treyvus <georgiytreyvus at gmail.com> wrote:
> package: aptitude
> version: 0.6.3
> The problem is exactly what the subject line suggests. There is a simple
> workaround of passing --purge to aptitude purge but that looks and feels
> ridiculous. Anyway let my terminal do the talking:

TL;DR -- this "simple workaround" is actually a safety measure to
prevent accidental data loss.

Purging packages removes files that contain potentially useful
data--logs, conffiles, etc..  Unless the user explicitly asks for a
package to be purged then it will only be removed.  This is intended
to protect user data from being accidentally destroyed.

On the command-line "aptitude purge byobu" the only explicitly
requested package is byobu, so that is the only one purged.

Note that apt-get behaives similarly, where "apt-get remove foo" does
not even remove unused packages and "apt-get autoremove" also requires

If you *always* desire unused packages to be purged:

-- /etc/apt/apt.conf
Aptitude::Purge-Unused "true";

and this will be the default.  *User beware*.

In your example, perhaps I have customized the configuration of the
auto-installed package python-newt and wish to continue using it in
the future.  If Purge-Unused was the default then when byobu is
purged so too is python-newt, and along with it the customizations
performed to it's configuration (not too mention log data).

A savy user will pick up on this and cancel the operation, mark
python-newt as manually installed, and redo--however, aptitude must be
relatively safe for non-savy users as well.

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