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Re: What is /var/apt/cache good for ? (and other Sid dist-upgrade riddles)

On Fri, Sep 15, 2017 at 03:02:50PM +0200, Thomas Schmitt wrote:
Before i run apt-get commands from the web like "clean" or "autoclean",
i'd like to know for what use case Debian keeps this wealth of .deb files.
The internet mainly has the story that it grows a lot, for the purpose
of re-installing installed packages. Is that a valid use case ?

In the early days of debian, if a package upgrade broke something it was very useful to be able to go into the cache and reinstall an older working version. In 2017, it's probably more a historical artifact than a useful feature, especially since the appearance of snapshot.debian.org (which allows someone to find any previous version of a package). If you use aptitude there's an option in the settings menu to delete package files after installation. If you use apt, the default is now to delete packages after installing. So this is mainly an issue with people using apt-get directly, or who used to (apt does not automatically delete files already in the cache). For those situations, just run "apt-get clean" and enjoy the extra space.

Mike Stone

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