I frequently find myself interested in trying out a few different packages to solve a problem, to find out which one I prefer, and compare their benefits. A trivial example might be comparing emacs, vim, atom, nano, sublime, etc. Sometimes I also want to download a large package, but only use it for the day, and have it uninstall later.

When doing this, I sometimes lose track of the several packages I installed. This is annoying, as I eventually end up with clutter that I'm not using, and am not sure if I need any more.

Is there any way to use apt, or another package manager, which will allow me to mark a package I've installed as temporary so that it will either:

  • Be removed when I reboot
  • Be removed when I autoclean/autoremove
  • Be removed after a certain duration

I'm aware that packages can be marked as manually or automatically installed with apt, and this can sometimes allow them to be autoremoved.

Would this work as I expect it to?
Is this recommended?
Do I have any other options?

  • What if you want to keep it?
    – fixer1234
    Jul 1, 2019 at 7:13
  • 1
    @fixer1234 - Then I'll simply undo the steps. Most of the time I don't want to keep new packages - especially on a raspberry pi with very little space left. I often only need a program for a single hour.
    – Addison
    Jul 2, 2019 at 0:11


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