Any way to know what the package has been obsoleted by?

Emmet Hikory persia at
Mon Jun 16 22:56:31 UTC 2008

shirish wrote::
> Now my query is, is there a way to know by what has a package been
> obsoleted. From what little I have understood of obsolete packages in
> Ubuntu/debian obsolete packages mean either those packages which have
> nobody to maintain or something or whose functionality has been
> superseded by some other packageAny way to know what the package has
> been obsoleted by?.

Stefan Potyra wrote:
> in 9 out of 10 cases, it's a library that's superseeded by a new version. So
> as a user, you aren't really interested in that information (imho noone is
> interested in library packages themselves, as they are just there to make
> applications work (not to confuse with development header packages though)).
> In the rest of the cases, it's most probably because a binary package was
> renamed, so that one should depend on the non-obsoleted version, which might
> give some clue.

    An additional possible cause is package removal, as when a package
is removed in either Debian or Ubuntu (packages removed from Debian
are semi-automatically removed from Ubuntu), it appears in the
obsolete list.  Such removals can be because a package was
unacceptably buggy (and nobody wanted to fix it), because the package
failed to serve a clear need when better alternatives existed, or
because someone thought it was useless (one amusing example is a game
where consensus was achieved that it wasn't any fun (mostly by being

    In these cases, there often isn't an obvious replacement package:
something has become obsolete by being on the local system, but no
longer present in the archives, meaning that there may be no correct
answer to your question in these cases.  Even where a path can be
traced (e.g. freecraft -> strategus -> boswars), it may not be
accurate to say that the final element is a true replacement for the


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