If you want to clean up your Ubuntu or Debian machine and delete unnecessary (orphaned) deb packages you can use utility
deborphan. It 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.
Install deborphan with command
sudo apt-get install deborphan and then let’s proceed with cleaning up. To delete unnecessary libraries just execute:
sudo deborphan | xargs sudo apt-get -y remove --purge
To delete unnecessary data packages use command:
sudo deborphan --guess-data | xargs sudo apt-get -y remove --purge
To see all packages which aren’t required by any others use command
At my Ubuntu laptop I’ve got the following output:
There is another tool to delete orphaned packages, it’s GtkOrphan (
sudo apt-get install gtkorphan) that does the same as deborphan but is built as graphical application. Once it’s installed go to System –> Administration –> Remove Orphaned Packages, enter your password and proceed with cleaning up.
Another nice tip is to clean partial and orphaned packages by commands:
sudo apt-get autoclean
sudo apt-get autoremove