Synaptic or Aptitude?

Short answer: Aptitude!

Long answer (and the story):
I was evaluating various video editors for Linux today when I noticed various files weren’t being removed after removing "kdenlive" using Synaptic.

Here’s a list of executables beginning with "k" before installation:

kbd_mode    kbdrate     kill        killall     killall5    klogd       koi8rxterm 

And here’s the list I got after specifying complete removal of "kdenlive" and "kdenlive-data":

kab2kabc                kde-config              kdostartupconfig        kinstalltheme           koi8rxterm
kaddprinterwizard       kded                    kfile                   kioexec                 kpac_dhcp_helper
kbd_mode                kdeinit                 kfmexec                 kio_http_cache_cleaner  ksendbugmail
kbdrate                 kdeinit_shutdown        kgrantpty               kioslave                kshell
kbuildsycoca            kdeinit_wrapper         khotnewstuff            kio_uiserver            kstartupconfig
kcmshell                kde-menu                kill                    klauncher               ktelnetservice
kconf_update            kdesu_stub              killall                 klogd                   ktradertest
kcookiejar              kdontchangethehostname  killall5                kmailservice            kwrapper

Turns out Synaptic forgot to remove the "kdelibs4c2a" and "kdelibs-data" package…

Even after installing "deborphan", as well as following this advice to filter for orphaned packages, Synaptic still didn’t present those 2 packages for removal.

Aptitude on the other hand took care of all the dependencies on installation and removes the 2 extra packages upon removal!

So next time when you want to install a package using Synaptic, or see a command like:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install some_package

Make sure you use Aptitude UI or the following command instead, so you can uninstall with Aptitude later:

sudo aptitude update && sudo aptitude install some_package

Note: This was tested on Xubuntu 8.04 so I’m not using an outdated version of Synaptic / apt-get.


Oh, just in case you are interested in my video editor of choice (for now at least…) – it’s Kdenlive!
If you want me to explain my decision, drop me a comment.

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