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I recently launched aptitude only to notice that it wanted to install 2GB of packages "to satisfy dependencies". Is is normal for aptitude to want to install this many packages all at the same time?

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This all depends on what Ubuntu flavour you are currently using and what you were trying to install at the time... If it was a KDE application then it will pull in all the KDE libraries so that program will work, although 2gb is a lot for one program...

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