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By mistake I forgot to add --no-install-recommends flag to my apt-get install command, is there a way to purge those recommended packages after they've been installed?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

In addition to enzotibs answer, if you wish to avoid adding --no-install-recommends each time, you can also disable automatic installation of recommended package by setting the APT::Install-Recommends setting to 0:

umask 0022;echo 'APT::Install-Recommends "0";' | \
    sudo tee /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/00DisableInstallRecommends

The umask 0022 causes the file to be created with permissions 644, restrictive permissions breaks operations like apt-get -s ... (simulate).

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I think the sequence

sudo apt-get purge $packages
sudo apt-get autoremove
sudo apt-get --no-install-recommends install $packages

is the way to go.

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No reason to purge first. sudo apt-get --no-install-recommends reinstall $packages && sudo apt-get autoremove – Barafu Albino May 3 '11 at 8:09
Barafu, that's the way to go, I think. Post an answer so I may accept. – Oxwivi May 3 '11 at 8:12
@Barafu Albino: apart from the fact that reinstall is wrong, maybe you mean --reinstall install, but even when corrected, it don't seem to work, from my tests. – enzotib May 3 '11 at 8:13
Ok, I should add that my test are on 10.10, cannot test at the moment on 11.04. – enzotib May 3 '11 at 8:16

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