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Files which do not belong to installed packages...

I was pretty bored today, so I wrote a C program to analyse the files
installed on my Debian machine, using the data contained in dpkg, 
diversions, and alternatives. I thought it would be a good way to
avoid having to reinstall my system every year so that I get my disks
cleared out of all the trash which sometimes collects in system
directories. However, I was rather surprised by the result... I have
hundreds of files which do not belong to installed packages!

I have the usual [*].dpkg-old and [*].dpkg-dists (or something like that)
files kicking about, plus a strange number of [*].conf files. However, I
also have a huge number of files which from their names you would assume to
belong to a package. I take it that these have all been created dynamically
since the package was installed, but is it not about time that each
package contained a list of files and directories which it could create
during its life, instead of relying on prerm scripts. Incidentally, when
we update a package and the new version does not make use of a .conf file
which it previously did use, are these not good candidates for auto-deletion?

If anyone would like a copy of the code (its nice and fast as it uses
an internal representation of the package file lists) then let me know. I
was hoping that I could use this to clean up my system, but now I am
not so sure...


Gordon Russell
PGP Public Key - http://www.dcs.napier.ac.uk/~gor/pgpkey.txt

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