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Re: [vox-tech] Need some help choosing a linux flavor for an oldlaptop
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Re: [vox-tech] Need some help choosing a linux flavor for an oldlaptop

On Thursday 22 June 2006 17:45, Rick Moen wrote:
> Quoting Ken Bloom (kbloom@gmail.com):
> > No. That won't convert *anything* because all of the ubuntu-desktop
> > dependancies will still be lying around.
> Hmm.  I'm having a difficult time parsing that.  You may well be
> right if you mean that the constituent packages of the ubuntu-desktop
> metapackage would not be removed, only the metapackage itself.  I've
> never tried such conversions:  I'd much rather build up systems from
> a minimal base than create a situation where I must do mass removals.

I'm sure you're familiar with all of these points, but I feel like 
typing them anyway.

When you use *aptitude*, it can keep track of which packages were 
manually installed (i.e. you asked for it explicitly on the 
commandline) and which were automatically installed (i.e. it got pulled 
in as a dependancy, for example libraries and *-data or *-common 
packages) when an automatically installed package has nothing installed 
that depends on it anymore, then aptitude will automatically remove the 
unused package.

apt-get doesn't have that feature.

> Generally, when despite best intentions I need to remove some glob of
> packages, I find I get best results (fewest surprises, leftover junk,
> and unintended side-effects) by gathering target package names from a
> "dpkg -l" inventory, feeding them into an "apt-get remove" command
> line, and then cleaning up using deborphan and debfoster.

debfoster is now deprecated in favor of aptitude. Personally, I think 
they should keep it around, either for people who haven't switched yet 
(using debfoster can now be part of a migration path from apt-get to 
aptitude), or for people who don't want to switch like you. 
Nevertheless, there it is in the package description for debfoster.

I wouldn't trust deborphan to be as accurate as debfoster or aptitude in 
this regard, because a lot of the ways it guesses which orphans are 
important is based on package name heuristics.

> Fortunately, I've avoided the need for that ever since I figured out
> that GNOME and KDE are, among other disadvantages, dependency
> hairballs and not worth the pain.
> > The best way is to let aptitude figure everything out at once:
> > $ sudo aptitude install xubuntu-desktop ubuntu-desktop-
> >
> > (The minus at the end of a package name means to uninstall, even
> > though an install statement was given)
> Neat trick.  I never saw that one before.  Probably because I don't
> trust aptitude (see below).

That's actually a feature originally from apt-get.

> > And aptitude will take care of removing unused dependancies (i.e.
> > unused software packages that were part of ubunutu, but aren't part
> > of xubuntu)
> (I think you mean "were part of the ubuntu-desktop metapackage, but
> aren't part of the xubuntu-desktop one".)

That is what I meant.

> I still don't trust aptitude to make package decisions for me.  I've
> seen it screw up _way_ too often. 

Actually, aptitude seems to make less decisions for me than apt-get 
does. I find aptitude to be *too* questioning when it runs into 
conflicting things, and would prefer if it automatically just chose the 
resolution that apt-get would have chosen, so if I didn't like it I 
could change it myself. *Sigh.*

Also, aptitude keeps a log of what it installs/removes 
in /var/log/aptitude. dpkg keeps logs that can track changes made by 
dpkg, apt-get or aptitude, but those logs are more verbose and don't 
split things into transactions, so they're harder to use.

> And what's this bull*** about 
> either installing all Suggests: packages, or none of them?  Sorry,
> that's just broken.  Fortunately, apt-get isn't.

Aptitude gives you options for the Recommends: field, but not for the 
suggests field. apt-get doesn't give you any, which basically means 
that it corresponds to one of these options. I don't see what your 
problem is with this.


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