deborphan - Orphaned package finder
finds packages that have no packages depending on them. The
default operation is to search only within the libs and oldlibs sections to
hunt down unused libraries.
If it is invoked with an optional list of packages, only the dependencies on
those packages will be checked. The results are printed to stdout as if the
had been given. Searching for specific packages will
show the package, regardless of its priority. It is possible to specify
, to read a list of packages from standard input.
- -f, --status-file=FILE
- Use FILE as the status file.
- -h, --help
- Display a short help message and exit.
- -v, --version
- Display version information and exit.
- -d, --show-deps
- Show a list of all installed packages and name the packages that depend on
- -P, --show-priority
- Show the priority of the packages found.
- -s, --show-section
- Show the sections the packages are in.
- Override showing sections when the default is to show them (see
- -z, --show-size
- Show the installed size of the packages found.
- -a, --all-packages
- Check all the packages, instead of only those in the libs section. Best
used (if at all used) in combination with --priority. This option
- -e, --exclude=LIST
- Excludes the packages named in LIST (a comma separated list) from
the evaluation as if they didn't exist in the status file.
- -H, --force-hold
- Ignore "hold" dpkg-flags on packages and thus display these
packages. Without this option packages with the "hold" flag set
will not be displayed. Please refer to dpkg(1) for more information
about package flags. Due a bug in aptitude (Debian bug #137771) hold flags
created by aptitude are ignored by deborphan.
- Do not check if there is a package `suggesting' (--ignore-suggests)
or `recommending' ( --ignore-recommends) the package. When both
options are used together, deborphan behaves as if the `nice-mode'
mentioned below has been turned off.
- -n, --nice-mode
- Turn off nice-mode. Nice-mode checks if there is a package `suggesting' or
`recommending' the package. If one is found, the package will be marked as
in use, or, when --show-deps is used, print out the package
suggesting the package as if it were depending on it.
- -p, --priority=PRIORITY
- Show only those packages with a priority equal to, or greater than
PRIORITY. PRIORITY may be in the range of 1-5, or one of
required, important, standard, optional,
extra. Default value for PRIORITY is 2
- This option searches for uninstalled packages which still have
configuration files on the system. It implies the -a option.
- Search in section libdevel in addition to libs and oldlibs.
KEEP FILE MANAGEMENT¶
- -A, --add-keep PKG1...PKGn
- Add packages to the list of packages which are never to be reported,
regardless of their state. You may specify ' -' to use standard
input. Note that package names are case-sensitive.
- -k, --keep-file=FILE
- Use FILE to store the list of kept-back packages.
- -L, --list-keep
- Show the list of packages that are being kept back.
- -R, --del-keep PKG1...PKGn
- Remove packages from the list of packages which are never to be reported.
You may specify ' -' to use standard input. If there are no
dependencies for this package next time deborphan is invoked, it
will be reported again.
- -Z, --zero-keep
- Purge the entire list of packages that are being kept back. The only
option possible in combination with this option is -A.
- deborphan can try to guess what packages may not be of much use to you by
examining the package's name and/or description. It will pretend the
package is in the main/libs section, and report it as if it were a
library. This method is in no way perfect or even reliable, so beware when
using this! It is also possible to tell deborphan e.g. to guess all
interpreters but not Perl by using --guess-interpreters
--no-guess-perl or to guess all but not Mono by using
--guess-all --no-guess-mono. Please note that the
--no-guess- option must occur after the --guess- option it
modifies, this makes it possible to declare more complex things like to
guess all, except interpreters but additionally try to guess perl.
The following options are to be prefixed by --guess-
) by --no-guess-
- This option tries to find common packages, i.e. packages with names ending
- This option tries to find data packages, i.e. packages with names ending
- This option tries to find debugging libraries, i.e. packages with names
ending in -dbg.
- This option tries to find development packages, i.e. packages with names
ending in -dev. Also see option --libdevel.
- This option tries to find documentation packages, i.e. packages with names
ending in -doc.
- This option tries to find dummy packages, i.e. packages with dummy
or transitional in their short description.
- This option tries to find kernel-modules. It tries to match
- Try to find all interpreter modules (i.e. imply ruby, pike,
python, perl and mono).
- This option tries to find mono libraries. It tries to match
- This option tries to find perl modules. It tries to match
- This option tries to find pike modules. It tries to match
- This option tries to find python modules. It tries to match
- This option tries to find ruby modules. It tries to match
- This option tries to find libraries that were accidentally placed in the
wrong section. It tries to match ^lib, but not if it ends in one
of: -dbg, -doc, -perl, or -dev.
- Try all of the above.
- Ignore the package's section completely, and just go for the name and/or
description. This option must be used in conjunction with one or more of
the --guess options listed above, or deborphan will not display
- Statuses of available packages. See the section INFORMATION ABOUT
PACKAGES in dpkg's man-page for more information.
- A newline-separated list of packages to keep. Package names are in no
If you report a bug, please include your /var/lib/dpkg/status
would help in reproducing the bugs.
deborphan was written by Cris van Pelt <"Cris van
Pelt"@tribe.eu.org>, then maintained by Peter Palfrader
<firstname.lastname@example.org> but is nowadays maintained Carsten Hey