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Re: cleaning up lib*-dev packages?

Eric Cooper <ecc@cmu.edu> writes:

> I use deborphan to get rid of unneeded packages on my system.
> But I have various lib*-dev packages installed to satisfy the
> build-dependencies of packages that I maintain or otherwise build from
> source.  Deborphan reports these as orphaned, but I (usually) still need
> them.  (When the build-dependencies change, some of these might
> really be orphans, but I can't easily tell.)
> Is there a way to tell deborphan to follow the build-dependencies
> of a set of source packages?  I know about deborphan's keep file,
> but that's too tedious to keep up-to-date by hand.
> Is there another tool I should be using?

I have a quite hackish solution for this that I've been testing for a
few days now.

I've been working on apt-get-multiarch, a wraper for apt/dpkg to allow
installing 32/64bit packages on 64/32bit systems. The wrapper mangles
the Packages file between downloading it and apt parsing it.

Then I had the idea that I could just as well convert Sources files to
create pseudo packages for sources that depend on all the
Build-Depends. So I create a dummy deb without contents and converted
the Sources file to have src-foobar as package name for foobar, the
Build-Depends as Depends and the empty dummy deb as Filename
entry. After that I could just do

apt-get install src-foobar

and it pulls in all the Build-Depends for foobar. The best thing is
that, if the Build-Depends of a package change, the next apt-get
update/dist-upgrade will pull in the new Build-Depends since the
Sources file gets converted on each fresh donwload and the src-foobar
package then gets updated.


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