If you are using an OS based on the Synaptic Package Manager, you must have noticed by now that when trying to install a new package through Synaptic, it draws in miscellaneous packages that are needed for the program to work. These packages are called dependencies .
Yet, you might have not noticed that when removing the first-original package, Synaptic doesn’t automatically remove the dependencies that were installed with it. I don’t have much experience with other Package Managers, so I don’t know if they behave in a similar way. If you do, please post a comment for them below.
There are two options in Synaptic for removing a package:
- Mark for removal – This simply removes the marked package
- Mark for complete removal – Removes the marked package and it’s configuration files
None of the above gives you the choice of removing the dependencies that came with the package.
To do this, I open a terminal and use the command:
$ sudo aptitude purge X
where X is the name of the package I want to completely remove..
If you already removed applications using Synaptic and you want to clear your PC from any unneeded packages, usually called orphaned files, here are two ways of doing it. The first one uses Synaptic and the second one is through the Terminal.
- Search for the package “deborphan” and install it.
- Open Settings>Filters and create a new filter (I usually name it deborphan, or orphaned, but you can put any name that suites you).
- Press Deselect all and then choose only “Orphaned” under the “other” column..Press OK to save it..
- On the main window of Synaptic, select “Custom” from the bottom left, and then click on the filter you created.. This will list all the orphaned packages on your PC.
- Remove the packages you wish.
Using the Terminal
- Type in the command: $ sudo apt-get autoremove
- Press Y (YES) to delete any any packages found.
Make sure you use all the information above with cautious! Check and double-check what you remove..If you don’t understand what you are doing, then you probably better do nothing..No harm done by some extra packages!