[Aptitude-devel] Bug#559194: Unused automatically installed packages don't get removed on upgrade

Manuel A. Fernandez Montecelo manuel.montezelo at gmail.com
Thu Oct 1 20:13:09 UTC 2015

Control: retitle -1 Should remove obsolete packages even if Priority: Required
Control: severity -1 wishlist
Control: tags -1 + wontfix
Control: close -1

Hi all,

2011-03-30 19:03 David Kalnischkies:
>On Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 18:22, Uwe Storbeck <uwe at ibr.ch> wrote:
>> On Mar 30, David Kalnischkies wrote:
>>> As far as i know its just voluntary, but after all, IANAD{D,M},
>>> so take everything i say with a bit of salt.
>> I agree with you that it's probably not the best idea to fix this
>> problem by changing the behaviour of package managers. But I also
>> think this bug can not be solved by a voluntary common practice
>> which may be not so common. ;)
>The audience behind bugreports against APT is relatively small, given
>that the (active part of the) team is small, so if you want to discuss
>that more in-depth you want to raise it on d-mentors or d-devel mailinglist.
>But after rereading developers-reference [0], its sort of documented in
>§6.7.7 [1], but the obvious special case of a renamed package in §5.9.3
>doesn't refer to it, and it says something about the description only.
>But dev-ref isn't the most authoritative "policy" in existence anyway…
>Looking at its bugs, it has #323066, #486368 and #486754 talking more
>or less about the same as we had here.
>As merging doesn't add much value to them, i would either reassign it
>to the specific package following at least not the tiny bit of policy which
>is already there or close it (and open new ones for the specific packages).
>I will leave it up to you to decide. Its at least nothing we (as in APT team)
>could fix so keeping it around here just adds another non-active bug…

So, after almost 6 years and 4.5 years since the last message, it took
me half an hour to digest this bug report in which the tl;dr is to close
it or reassign it elsewhere :-)

As said above, this is not something that will be fixed in package
managers, and it is not worth risking to break the system by removing
Required packages vs having a bit of cruft after upgrading the whole OS.
In practice, even the installed pacakges contain vastly more cruft that
a system will in practice never use that a few packages left behind.
And perhaps it is not so obvious for users of apt or aptitude CLI, but
in interactive mode users can easily see those obsolete packages and
decide for themselves.

So closing it now.  If still concerned about this, please bring it with
Policy to implement those ideas about downgrading priority, etc if not
implemented already in these years -- they are much better solutions for
this case.

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

More information about the Aptitude-devel mailing list