[Aptitude-devel] Bug#776785: Bug#776785: aptitude: Fails to mark dependencies as automatically installed in Curses UI

Axel Beckert abe at debian.org
Sun Feb 1 19:13:19 UTC 2015

Control: tag -1 + moreinfo


Zane Peralta wrote:
> Aptitude fails to mark *some* dependencies as automatically
> installed when selecting a package in the Curses UI and pressing +
> (to install).
> I selected "kde-full" for installation and it marked other packages,
> such as kde-standard, for manual installation as well. The expected
> outcome is, of course, that the dependencies be marked as
> automatically installed.

Yes and no. You may expect that, but at least in the case of kde-full,
this is actually a wanted feature enabled by default:

Dependecies of packages in the sections metapackages and oldlibs are
configured to not automatically become marked as "automatically

See https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=756816#27 for
the reasoning behind that behaviour.

You should be able to change this behaviour in
/etc/apt/apt.conf.d/01autoremove in the APT::Never-MarkAuto-Sections
section. APT::Never-MarkAuto-Sections so far is only documented in

I've filed a bug report about documenting APT::Never-MarkAuto-Sections
properly in the man page apt.conf(5) at https://bugs.debian.org/776790

> It *appears* to me that it's the "hard" dependencies that are
> correctly marked as automatically installed, and the recommendations
> that are marked as manual (but this may be a red herring).

I doubt that. I suspect APT::Never-MarkAuto-Sections to be reason.

> I couldn't attach my state bundle because at 37MB it exceeds the
> attachment size accepted by reportbug.

No need to do that at the moment.

Please check if all packages whose dependencies were not marked as
"automatically installed" are in the sections "metapackages" or

If that's the case, I'd just close that bug report.

Alternatively, if you're not happy with that, I can imagine two other

* Reassign the bug report to apt to show that there are more users
  than just me unhappy with that default setting. I though doubt that
  this will help much.

* Keep it open as wishlist bug to make Aptitude ignore (in a sane and
  configurable way) APT::Never-MarkAuto-Sections, maybe by just
  honouring Aptitude::Never-MarkAuto-Sections or by creating a new
  setting named Aptitude::Ignore-Never-MarkAuto-Sections and
  defaulting to yes.

  Reasoning behind this slightly subversive approach: It seems that
  primarily aptitude users are unhappy with that setting because of
  the completely different approach between aptitude and apt-get usage
  patterns (interactively fine-tune vs one-shot).

If there were also packages from other sections than those listed in
APT::Never-MarkAuto-Sections, then we should keep that bug report as
is and just remove the "moreinfo" tag again. Then it's a real bug and
not just a matter of preferences and expectations.

		Regards, Axel
 ,''`.  |  Axel Beckert <abe at debian.org>, http://people.debian.org/~abe/
: :' :  |  Debian Developer, ftp.ch.debian.org Admin
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