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Is it possible to get a list of "orphaned" lib packages from apt-get? That is, libs that, for some reason remained after the package(s) that required them were uninstalled.

I realize that, in general those libs are disposed of along with the main package, but I have run into a few examples of orphaned packages so I am curious if apt-get has the ability to tell me about any more.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Install deborphan and check the orphaner(8) utility.

$ apt-cache show deborphan
Package: deborphan
Status: install ok installed
Priority: optional
Section: admin
Installed-Size: 500
Maintainer: deborphan devel team 
Architecture: amd64
Depends: libc6 (>= 2.7)
Recommends: apt, dialog, gettext-base
 /etc/bash_completion.d/deborphan e8190ae92bb2f343c2d87f9eb2cf9f0a
Description: program that can find unused packages, e.g. libraries
 deborphan finds "orphaned" packages on your system. It determines which
 packages have no other packages depending on their installation and shows
 you a list of these packages. It is most useful when finding libraries,
 but it can be used on packages in all sections.
 This package also includes orphaner, a text menu frontend to deborphan.
 Please install the recommended packages dialog, gettext-base and apt when
 you want a working and fully featured orphaner.

If launched without arguments, it will display a curses interface showing orphaned packages. You can dry-run a test or perform a purge of those packages.

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Beautiful. That is exactly what I need. Thank you. – aserwin May 5 '13 at 17:34

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