[Aptitude-devel] Bug#234516: Aptitude seemingly cannot handle an "undo" of the "Install Recommended packages automatically" option

Manuel A. Fernandez Montecelo manuel.montezelo at gmail.com
Sun Nov 8 17:10:07 UTC 2015

Control: tags -1 + moreinfo

Hi all,

2004-02-24 17:53 Daniel Burrows:
>  There are really two problems here.

I think that the problems described has been fixed at some point through
changes in the resolver or similar that happened during the last decade.

For example, if recommended packages are installed and marked as
automatically installed, aptitude will not uninstall them at the next

2005-09-26 20:46 Daniel Burrows:
>  The question I see is whether switching 'preserve recommends' on and off
>should have an effect on the set of packages to be removed.  I said
>previously that it's hard to fix this the "right" way, but I'm not actually
>sure now that I know what the "correct" behavior is.  Unless there's a simple
>rule to decide what should stay on the system, I'm inclined to just leave
>things as they are, or maybe add a popup dialog warning the user that a bunch
>of stuff just got flagged for removal.

That's the other thing, I am not very convinced that there's a clear way
to do this that feels the "right way" for everybody.

2006-05-05 11:02 Joachim Durchholz:
>... because
>  aptitude --without-recommends some_package
>will (surprisingly) deinstall any recommendations installed by other 
>The base problem is that aptitude tries to stick with a general policy 
>about whether to install recommended packages or not. It should have a 
>per-package policy.
>On my root server, I wish to install kernel-sources and udev.
>kernel-sources recommends gcc. That's a recommendation I wish to 
>accept. If I ever uninstall kernel-sources, I also wish to have gcc 
>removed, since I'm not compiling anything beyond the kernel sources, 
>so gcc should remain an automatic dependency.
>udev depends on hotfix, which in turn recommends usbutils. This is a 
>recommendation I wish to decline, because the server doesn't have a 
>USB port (and if it had, I wouldn't be able or want to use it - the 
>server is miles away from where I'm living).
>The command line is a bit too weak anyway. I can foresee the day when 
>I want to install a package with two recommends, one of them I wish 
>installed, the other I don't. In the GUI I can handle that case 
>without a problem (simply deselect the second recommend), on the 
>command line, I'd have to install and uninstall, which runs the risk 
>of having a not-so-perfect uninstall script muck up the system.
>(I'm not sure whether this should have gone into a separate bug 
>report. Feel free to split issues as you wish.)

I don't think that the issue is related.

But in general, installations of Debian without "Recommended" is not
supported / recommended, so I don't think that it's a very good idea to
implement this.

Some people who like to tweak under the hood, simply disable recommends
and install recommends on demand (as in your case with GCC below), and
they seem to have their systems working fine, so you might try this if
you are not doing it already.

Manuel A. Fernandez Montecelo <manuel.montezelo at gmail.com>

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