Recently, I un-installed some packages and now in my command line I get a message like this when I tried to update and upgrade my system. The message is the following:

X@Y-LT:~$ sudo apt-get upgrade
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
Calculating upgrade... Done
The following packages were automatically installed and are no longer required:
  ca-certificates-java dkms dvgrab fonts-dejavu-extra gstreamer-tools
  gstreamer0.10-gnonlin gstreamer1.0-alsa gstreamer1.0-gnonlin java-common
  java-wrappers libapache-pom-java libappframework-java libatk-wrapper-java
  libatk-wrapper-java-jni libav-tools libavdevice53 libavfilter3
  libavformat-extra-54 libavresample1 libbonobo2-0 libbonobo2-common
  libcommons-cli-java libcommons-codec-java libcommons-httpclient-java
  libcommons-lang-java libcommons-lang3-java libcommons-logging-java
  libcommons-parent-java libgconf2-4 libgif4 libgnome2-0 libgnome2-bin
  libgnome2-common libgnomevfs2-0 libgnomevfs2-common libidl-common libidl0
  libjsr305-java liblog4j1.2-java libnb-absolutelayout-java libnetty-java
  liborbit-2-0 liborbit2 libquicktime2 libservlet2.5-java libslf4j-java
  libswingworker-java openjdk-7-jre openjdk-7-jre-headless python-apport
  python-keyring python-launchpadlib python-lazr.restfulclient python-lazr.uri
  python-oauth python-problem-report python-secretstorage python-wadllib
  tzdata-java webcamstudio-dkms wmctrl
Use 'apt-get autoremove' to remove them.
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.

So my question is if it okay to use sudo apt-get autoremove to remove them....because last time i used this command was a catastrophe to me... So i would really appreciate the effort to answer my query.



In my opinion it should be safe. The way that apt-get works is as follows:

  1. when you do apt-get install , it will automatically resolves all dependencies and install all extra packages that are necessary to install .

  2. however, when you remove , all of the automatically installed dependent packages are left on the system, which is what you see above. apt-get "knows" that these were installed due to autoresolve, which is why it tells you that you can free up space. But it does not do it automatically, because if you are a software developer you might have used some of them in your development. Or if you installed something manually (e.g., from a tarball or something) not using apt-get, some of these might still be necessary, but apt-get does not know about it.

  3. if you have not done any of the above, then apt-get autoremove should be safe. Of course, as with any software, things might go south, but at least I have not had problems with autoremove in my experience. It would be interesting to know what was the "catastrophe" that you experienced the previous time.

BTW, in the future you might want to use "apt-get autoremove " instead of "apt-get remove " as it should automatically remove the package and its dependencies.

  • Well see my previous question for the catastrophe and i am still apprehensive about using that command. – bluesquare Nov 14 '14 at 8:41
  • I looked at your previous question and, as a matter of fact, I think that it was the purge command that was the reason for the mayhem to happen. But, honestly, I do not think that anyone can guarantee that nothing bad will happen, as I do not really know what is the state of your system - what has been installed, uninstalled, how, and so on. So, you can either not run autoremove and let these extra packages be or you run it and face the consequences. – BostonHiker Nov 14 '14 at 17:40

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