Section: User Commands (1)
Updated: February 2009Index
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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
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 option --show-deps 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 --all-packages).
- -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 implies --show-section.
- -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
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 (important).
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
- -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
The following options are to be prefixed by --guess- or (except only) by --no-guess-:
This option tries to find common packages, i.e. packages with names ending in
This option tries to find data packages, i.e. packages with names ending in
This option tries to find debugging libraries, i.e. packages with names ending
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 ^libmono.
This option tries to find perl modules. It tries to match ^lib.*-perl$.
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 anything.
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
That 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 <email@example.com>
- OUTPUT MODIFIERS
- SEARCH MODIFIERS
- KEEP FILE MANAGEMENT
- SEE ALSO