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Suppose I have a meta-package "m" that installs a, b, and c. After doing an apt-get install m, I encounter an error during the install of b. In our example b does some compilation stuff. Now I want to clean out m, a, b, and c and re-install. What I want is for b to do its compilation stuff as well. What I am seeing, though, is it just goes through the apt-get install routine very quickly, almost like working from a cache.

What is the best method to start from scratch after a meta-package uninstall?

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If I understand well, you want to know how to rollback to the initial status after a failing installation of a metapackage.

Metapackages have the characteristic that the packages their bring in as recommended dependencies are not marked as automatic, so that do not get removed with an autoremove command when the metapackage itself is removed.

You could try to change this behaviour playing with the APT::Never-MarkAuto-Sections option. Probably something like this should work

sudo apt-get -o APT::Never-MarkAuto-Sections="" my-metapackage 

If this worked, removing the metapackage and a following autoremove will bring to the initial situation.

Unfortunately, I cannot get this to work:, despite the option, all dependencies are not marked as automatic.

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Is the only real option to run a command to see what is actually getting installed, e.g., a,b, and c in my example, and do a reset/reinstall from there? – HanSooloo Aug 7 '11 at 23:32

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