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I'm running Peppermint OS Two and it uses natty packages. I want to introduce some oneiric packages. As I go along I backup my list of packages and /var/cache/apt/archives. The plan is if I install something that breaks I can diff the lists and get a list of offending packages. Is there a way through dpkg/apt/aptitude to remove packages by list?

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This is off-topic for this forum since you are not using vanilla ubuntu. Please flag this and ask for your question to be moved to the Unix & Linux forum. –  fossfreedom Jan 14 '12 at 7:42
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closed as off topic by fossfreedom, htorque, Takkat, Jorge Castro, RolandiXor Jan 19 '12 at 22:11

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3 Answers

My advice is for you to first look for updated packages in backports.

See Ubuntu wiki backports for details.

If the package is not available in backports, my advice is to then use what is called "pinning"

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/PinningHowto

As long as it is only a few packages it might work, but if you install too much you might have breakage.

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I don't really know that particular distro you have mentioned, and I also don't really know how you plan to install oneiric packages.

If I consider you can deal with that, this could work. Let's say your list look like this (items separated by a space):

python-pip eclipse

you can simply do

sudo apt-get remove $(cat /path/to/list.txt)

and the packages will be removed.

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You can easily dump your current package selection with this command.

dpkg --get-selections > installed-programs.txt

Then you could do your installs and export the file again and do a diff. This would leave you with only the newly installed packages.

Simple to uninstall them at that point.

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