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Re: Return a Debian system to a pristine state

On 01.06.20 04:41, emetib wrote:
this has been an interesting topic, so what the hell, here's my two cents.

for my vm's, i have a list off packages that i install as soon as the minimum/base install and reboot is done.  4 vm's, testing, stable, centos7, opensuse.  i have no gui's on these only cli, just need to know how to configure things for other os's than debian and it becomes a simple cut and paste to get a system to be at what i need.

have a home partition, not just a home dir, and back it up often with a timestamp on it, and do a --get-selections and dump it to a file that you back up also. also doing that is an easy way to compare what was installed and what is now installed.

keep sensitive config files in a spot that you know is going to be backed up or on your home partition so they aren't overwritten with a new install.

there was a suggestion about using a live distro to make a back up right away, never done it before, yet this is a great idea.

i believe that someone (smarter than me) could write a simple script to put all user installed programs into a file and then reinstall them after a full-reinstall.
check if su
add package to list
continue with the install

This is almost exactly what I am also doing.

The problem remains to simply remove a couple of packages without having to go for a full blown system reinstall and all the necessary requirements for organizing it well. As there is a package manager, it is obviously a straight forward logic to expect it to do this job, because this is exactly what a package manager is expected to manage. All other suggestions which have been brought up in the thread are workarounds for filling the gap where the package manager is not full featured. The short answer to this thread is that unfortunately Debian is not prepared with a simple solution for this simple task, but sophisticated workarounds are needed.

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