The sys admin’s daily grind: Deborphan


Article from Issue 78/2007

Debian fans appreciate the ability to update their systems to a new release without having to reinstall. The Deborphan tool takes care of the victims of the upgrade by searching for orphaned packages on which no other packages depend.

I must admit, my conscience is troubling me slightly. As far as I can remember, I’ve never actually reviewed a distribution-specific software tool before today. However, a quick survey of my local LUG revealed that Deborphan is unknown even among long-standing Debian users, so here we go. Debian systems go through various release changes in the course of their lives. If you check out the directories with the libraries in particular, you can’t help noticing that many of them are long overdue for retirement. For some reason, Debian just keeps them – you never know when you might need them.

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