I am having a hard time understand who depends on who using apt-cache depends and apt-cache rdepends. I am keeping a long list of packages that I installed to solve a number of dependency problems.

I would like to know which packages set to manually installed could be set to automatically installed (they are in the dependency tree of another package that is manually installed)?


aptitude markauto marks packages as automatically installed. By default aptitude asks for removal of automatically installed packages that have no dependent package installed. So if you run:

sudo aptitude markauto <your long list of packages>

It will ask for confirmation to mark the packages as automatically installed and if some of those packages have no dependent package installed it will ask for confirmation to remove them. Basically the packages aptitude says will be marked as automatically installed have dependent packages installed and should not be removed, and the packages aptitude says will be removed have no dependent packages installed and may be safely removed. Obviously you can cancel the command before any change be made by typing Ctrl+C at the confirmation prompt.

  • But I don't want any one package to be removed, I want to know which ones can not be removed, and therefore safely be marked as auto and removed from my list, since they will be already be installed. – michelpm Jan 27 '13 at 18:45
  • Answer updated. Hope I made myself clear. – Eric Carvalho Jan 27 '13 at 19:28

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