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Re: Return a Debian system to a pristine state

On 2020-06-06 at 06:29, Brian wrote:

> On Fri 05 Jun 2020 at 12:01:32 -0400, The Wanderer wrote:
> [...]
>> Nowadays, my regular upgrade-against-testing routine - carried out
>> at least weekly, if not daily - consists of the following (with
>> adjustments to account for undesired installations, removals, bugs
>> as reported by apt-listbugs, et cetera):
>> $ apt-get update
>> $ apt-get dist-upgrade
>> $ apt-get autoremove
>> $ apt-get remove $(deborphan)
>> And if the deborphan step finds anything, I go back to the autoremove
>> step, and repeat until neither of them has found anything.
>> When I first started with deborphan, it took me somewhere between
>> three and six repetitions of that pair of commands before I got to
>> that point. Now, I can't even remember the last time deborphan
>> found anything, because the system is already clean in this regard
>> - but I still keep it up, just to make sure that doesn't change.
> An aside regarding deborphan: it finds packages that haven't any
> packages depending on them. This may lead to the removal of a useful
> package. For example, libsane-hpaio (installed without recommended
> packages).

As I have now discovered in response to your raising that:

deborphan also supports two ways of listing packages which should be
kept: the '-e' / '-exclude=' option (see the man page), and

The former accepts a comma-separated list of package names, passed at
launch time.

The latter is a file with a newline-separated list of package names.

If you list all explicitly-installed packages that you want to keep in
the keepfile, then it might even be useful to run deborphan with '-a' /
'--all-packages', which removes the "check only libs, et cetera" section
restrictions. I may have to explore that, myself.

   The Wanderer

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one
persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all
progress depends on the unreasonable man.         -- George Bernard Shaw

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