[Aptitude-devel] Bug#787663: aptitude forgets/clears manually set auto-installed-flags in several situations

Christoph Anton Mitterer calestyo at scientia.net
Mon Feb 29 22:28:22 GMT 2016

On Mon, 2016-02-29 at 18:52 +0000, Manuel A. Fernandez Montecelo wrote:
> Because marking a package auto means to tell aptitude "remove it from
> my
> system as soon as it's not needed".
>   http://aptitude.alioth.debian.org/doc/en/ch02s02s06.html
>   It works like this: when you install a package, aptitude will
>   automatically install any other packages on which it depends.

I know how it works, but that system alone is a bit limited, as it
works only for those situations where there is actually a dependency
expressed between the packages in question,... which in turn is however
by far not every case where I install a package because of another

E.g. I install m4-doc, because of m4, yet there is no dependency
relation between them.
So all I can do is either not have m4-doc auto-marked, and I'll
probably forget it once m4 is deleted (in which case I don't need m4-
doc anymore)... or I use the current system a bit less narrow-minded
and set my own manual auto-flag.

It may even go farther to say,... I install gimp and because I export
my images as jpeg, I also install jpegoptim... these have nothing
directly to do with each other and there will never be a dependency
relationship between them.
Still one may want to mark e.g. jpegoptim auto, in order not to forget
about it.

It may not be the primary way auto-installation/removal is intended to
be used, but I see no reason why not to allow that use case.

Actually the current system is even more "limited",...
E.g. I may have a package xyz that recommends some python-gibberish...
and I say, yes I want to use that functionality that python-gibberish
gives to xyz.
So it's marked auto-installed.

Now I install abc further package abc, which e.g. suggest, but here I
don't have any intentions to use that with python-gibberish.
However, when I remove xyz, pyhton-gibberish, will of course not be

> You can mark packages for removal and exit aptitude without removing
> immediately, but this will not fly long and other tools of the system
> might decide to remove it.
But then it's in the scheduled list when I do anything else...

> aptitude doesn't remove the flag now, but the package altogether,
> which
> is what the human requested (and what aptitude failed to do until
> recently).
> If human doesn't want the package removed, human should revisit what
> the
> machine is asked to do.
Well AFAIU, the flag means auto-installed, not do-auto-remove... and if
I have auto-removal turned of I see no reason why one should forbid the
other use case...

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