Just installed mesa-utils using apt-get and noticed there were packages installed no longer required. I removed the package using autoremove, then used synaptic to re-install. I'm looking for the most efficient method to keep my new conversion to Ubuntu and linux current. Thanks in advance, Pete

Slight Refinement - will synaptic ignore outdated dependent packages?


In Synaptic, click on Settings and then on Preferences. You may want to untick Consider recommended packages as dependencies if you're concerned about installing stuff that isn't essential. I've left that option ticked.

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you may want to have a look at aptitude man pages or at the debian packages documentation http://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/debian-faq/ch-pkg_basics.en.html.

short answer is: aptitude/apt automatically takes care of a package's dependency list by installing everything is required. The version of the packages to be installed is chosen according to your preferences (e.g. pinning rules, etc) and to what a package requires (e.g. a particular version of something). when you remove a package, aptitude/apt usually removes everything which seems not to be needed anymore. Obviously, it can happen that a particular package has a dependency list partially shared with another one, and that's why sometimes aptitude does not remove everything. Sometimes you end up installing something by hand (a *.deb from a random place) and apt can have troubles understanding what to remove.

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