[svlug] Debian upgrade (was Debian Upgrade 7.8)

Akkana Peck akkana at shallowsky.com
Mon Jan 19 07:56:16 PST 2015

> Scott DuBois wrote:
> > Ah, but the problem with using the 'purge' switch is that it populates
> > 'autoremove' which throws warnings and doesn't seem to have a really
> > functional algorithm.

Rick Moen writes:
> I really have no idea what that sentence means. 
> in English (or Francais, or Norsk - pick any n).

I think I know. You install package foo at some point, which
requires package bar without your noticing it. Time passes, and you
find a need for bar (which conveniently is already installed -- how
handy!) and start using it. You find that foo isn't actually all
that useful, and you apt-get purge foo. But now, apt-get autoremove
wants to remove bar -- what's up with that? I'm using bar, I don't
want to remove it!

The cure is to apt-get install bar explicitly. Since it's already
installed you might need a --force or --reinstall or something (I
forget) ... or even uninstall/reinstall it (like if you accidentally
say yes to that autoremove and only notice later that you removed
bar). But one way or another, if you explicitly apt-get install bar
it will no longer remind you.

I don't think I've ever seen apt-get autoremove remove something in
error; certainly not recently. I have often seen it want to remove
packages that I actually use, which initially makes me *think* it's
in error -- but it always turns out to be either a dependency like
I just described, or a version-specific issue (for instance,
virtualbox cleaning up old kernel modules because they've been
renamed for a newer kernel).


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