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identifying unused manually installed packages

Greetings everyone.
As we all know apt-get does a very good job, by identifying which
packages were installed automatically as dependencies and aren't needed
Wile this is very nice, I still fear that, from time to time, there are
manually installed packages gathering on my computer which I don't use
but don't remove because I don't even know I once installed them.
Another problem like this is that build-depends aren't removed either,
because they are marked as manually installed.

I thought a little while about this problem and came up with the idea,
that every manually installed package whose files were not accessed for
more than a specified time (a month, a year, whatever) could be
considered unneeded.

So I started writing a script that identifies just those packages that
are probably not needed anymore. As it seems it works as expected.

This approach also brings some problems. For example some packages that
have files which belong to a frequently scanned database aren't
detected because they are accessed by the scan.

Also I'm not really sure if this is even a good idea, or if there is
maybe another program already present which does already identify
unused, manually installed packages and I just didn't find it.

But if this approach is maybe a good idea. Would it be worth to
consider packaging it? If so, I would be able to maintain it, even
though I would need a sponsor.

What are your thoughts on this approach to take the system clean?

Sven Bartscher

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