rename system-cleaner-gtk to cruft-remover-gtk

James Westby jw+debian at
Mon Nov 3 10:48:11 UTC 2008

On Mon, 2008-11-03 at 10:34 +0000, Alan Pope wrote:
> 2008/11/3 James Westby <jw+debian at>:
> > Perhaps we need some sort of tool installed by default that removes
> > packages that are no longer needed, and may be considered cruft :-)
> >
> I'd agree the word "cruft" is unsuitable given the fact that it's a geek phrase.
> By way of an unscientific test I just asked two co-workers if they
> could define "cruft". One (who is quite a language enthusiast) said
> he'd never heard it. The other said "something to do with dogs".

Heh :-)

> As well as the ambiguity of the word itself, it doesn't correctly
> describe what the app actually does either. From what I can tell it
> looks for .debs that have been installed via some method other than
> apt - that is to say other than via a currently active repository.
> I have installed a few applications from debs which I (as the
> user/owner of the system) would certainly not class as cruft, and
> wouldn't want this application to make that decision for me. Whilst I
> appreciate that it's possible for me to 'uncheck' packages, I don't
> like the idea that an Ubuntu supplied application is telling me that
> my selection of applications is classed as cruft.
> Of course this may be a bug in the app, or my misinterpretation of its use.

No, it's just a limitation of our packaging system, there is no way
to tell the difference between obsolete packages and locally installed

> I'd go for a name like "Orphaned Package Cleanup" which is somewhat
> less pejorative than "Cruft".

The app has wider scope than just removing packages. It's original 
intent was to allow those who upgrade to get the same features as those
who re-install, where the change was made in the installer or similar.

For instance, the switch was made to mount partitions with relatime,
but this can't be done on upgrade. If you don't have this option set
then the app will offer to add it for you.

It doesn't have many of these features yet though, and your system
obviously didn't require any of the non-package ones.

Yes, this example isn't really removing anything, so the name doesn't
work too well either.

When it became clear that the package had to be renamed Lars asked for
suggestions, and this was the best that was suggested.



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