I want to install a bunch of packages, but I don't want to install the documentation of them. How can I do this?

2 Answers 2


Exclude documentation from .deb installation (DPKG)

  • Onetime option: --path-exclude could be used to filter out unwanted files when installing a package:

    dpkg -i --path-exclude=/usr/share/doc/* ...
  • Permanent solution: Create a file /etc/dpkg/dpkg.cfg.d/01_nodoc which specifies the desired filters. Example:

    path-exclude /usr/share/doc/*
    # we need to keep copyright files for legal reasons
    path-include /usr/share/doc/*/copyright
    path-exclude /usr/share/man/*
    path-exclude /usr/share/groff/*
    path-exclude /usr/share/info/*
    # lintian stuff is small, but really unnecessary
    path-exclude /usr/share/lintian/*
    path-exclude /usr/share/linda/*

Skip recommended dependencies (APT)

Then change /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/99synaptics or create new file containing:

APT::Install-Recommends "false";

By the way, this is the permanent option of muru's answer for this question.


  • Is there a way to do this with apt? I am using the apt-get command to install my packages
    – Robert
    Commented Oct 24, 2014 at 15:54
  • @Rob3 yes, i've update answer. setup conf files then use the command/tools you want.
    – user.dz
    Commented Oct 24, 2014 at 16:23

Usually, the doc packages are recommended by the main package, but aren't hard dependencies. If they were hard dependencies (for example, texlive-full), I don't think there's a safe or simple way. For recommended packages, the answer is simple:

sudo apt-get install --no-install-recommends <package-name>

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