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Cleanly Removing Linux Packages With Debfoster

I recently found a nice tool to help me manage my linux applications. It's called debfoster.

Should I ever want to uninstall software from my linux system, debfoster is really good at helping me clean up all those extra libraries and utilities installed with the average linux software package.

It's especially nice if I'm not familiar with a package and just want to try it out to see if I like it. Using debfoster, I don't worry about leaving a bunch of supporting packages on my system from installing a package and then removing it right away.

apt-get autoremove is supposed to do be able to remove unneeded/orphaned packages, but doesn't actually deliver as well as debfoster.

debfoster keeps track of the packages installed on your system in the "keepers" file and compares it to new packages that have been installed since the last time it was run.

Handy files to know about:

/var/lib/debfoster/keepers - A list of all software packages to keep installed on your system. /etc/debfoster.conf - Configuration file for debfoster.

-There is one very IMPORTANT thing. ALWAYS MAKE SURE THAT THE PACKAGE ubuntu-base IS MENTIONED IN YOUR KEEPERS FILE! Never choose to purge it when running debfoster from the commandline! This will render your system unusable.

Here's a nice debfoster HOWTO on ubuntu forums.

You can also check out other ways to keep a clean ubuntu machine.