How to clean up unnecessary dependencies?

Simon Rönnqvist simon at
Thu Dec 1 00:02:51 UTC 2005

On Thursday 01 December 2005 01:27, Scott wrote:
> Simon Rönnqvist wrote:
> >   Hi!
> >
> > Thanks for the answer...
> > I also happened to find another solution, which should de about exactly
> > what I was asking for. Aptitude seems to have this kind of
> > functionality... aptitude seems really cool... I need to see if it'll
> > replace my use of synaptic, adept and apt-get alltogether... ;-)
> >
> > Does anybody have any experiances and opinions to share about aptitude?
> >
> >   cheers, Simon
> I tried using it in place of apt-get and often found about a bajillion
> packages started being held back and it only got worse.
> I went back to using apt-get and the problem went away.
> However, I'm sure I wasn't using aptitude correctly or wasn't taking
> advantage of other features that would have solved my problem.


Aptitude has a feature called "resolver" which suggests certain combinations 
of packages, sometimes it suggests downgrades (I think usually to resolve 
possible conflicts with obsolete configurations, but I'm not sure). If one 
agrees to let it perform a downgrade the package becomes held back.

When it comes to my question about unnecessary dependencies I found out a 
little more from my research. ;-) It seems like the functionality to mark 
which packages were manually added and which were automatically added as 
dependencies only works with packages installed by aptitude. One can of 
course change already installed packages' states manually, but that's no fun 
if you've got a couple of hundred dependencies. ;-)

In that case it's probably better to remove orphans (as described before or 
with synaptic's filtering), but I found that it's not as efficient as 
aptitude's marking system. I think also think it only affects libraries, but 
I'm not sure. Knowing this I think it seems like a good idea to stick to 
aptitude only. This shouldn't be too hard since it has both a menu and a 
command-line interface, so it seems to be a good option for anybody who can 
do with an ANSI-GUI instead of Gtk/Qt. ;-)

  cheers, Simon
PS. Well, if you're using a really slow system apt-get might be a better 
option. (Like about Pentium 100MHz... ;-) But then again you're not using 
Kubuntu... ;-) ...and then you're not unpatient anyways...

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