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I'm using Debian mainly for its excellent package management system. And
whenever you I something excellent, I think about ways to make it
even more excellent.

I have looked through the archives of this list but couldn't find anything
about this topic. So I'd like to know if anything like this exists, and,
if not, what you think about it.

I'm running Linux on a somewhat capacity-challenged harddisk, so I don't
like useless stuff floating around (and anyway we would't be using Debian
if we were not suckers for neat and tidy, small systems).

What I'd like to have is the possibility to automatically detect (and
optionally remove) packages that are not needed because nothing depends on
them any more. But after starting to think about actually writing such a
tool, I realized that any system is full of such packages, namely the ones
which were deliberately installed and shouldn't therefore be removed. An
"autoclean" program would have to know if a package on which no other
package depends was installed only because something else at some point
depended on it, or because the administrator installed it deliberately.
This information would have to be included by dpkg for each installed
package in the 'status' list.

What do you think?


"The obvious mathematical breakthrough would be development of an easy
 way to factor large prime numbers."   -- Bill Gates, "The Road Ahead"

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