Autoremove: what does it remove? Is my installation broken? Confused

asked 2016-04-18 14:39:18 -0500

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Try to be brief (I struggle ;0))

I can no longer tell if my entire Fedora installation is correct. I've strenuously avoided either compiling locally, or trying to install anything other than apps via the repositories, using either the software manager or terminal, particularly since I've now deleted and reinstalled Fedora four times. There must be a better way than simply wiping it out every time a problem occurs?

Through trying to troubleshoot installation of quodlibet (I have been posting over on their github to the very helpful dev there) and trying to work out why I'm unable to have a library of mixed music file formats correctly managed, I've ended up trying "autoremove" and "updatedb" plus purging temp files, all as a way of trying to ensure that my installation is somehow 'clean' and back at some stable point with all libraries correct. I accept that "autoremove" might not be the best way to go but I'm not aware of anything equivalent to the Windows "sfc" (system file checker) which would scan the installation and check file paths, permissions etc. and replace or rewrite anything corrupt or out of place.

An example of why I feel my installation is now bad:

I can no longer correctly install quodlibet via the software manager. Its close relationship with Ex Falso means that after installation of one (whichever I try first) I then see TWO instances of each program. However, clicking on one of them does nothing - only one of the two instances actually links to the program in question.

Out of curiosity - and suspecting that my problem is related to codecs, I ran

"dnf remove libdvdcss" (after all, I can always reinstall it. Maybe I'll uninstall all the media codecs?).

The above command returns:

"Dependencies resolved. Remove 417 packages. 1.1G"

If I browse the list of packages marked for removal it seems to touch on EVERYTHING in my installation: libreoffice, gnome-extensions, python, libvrt, evolution, anaconda... you name it. It was initially installed via Fedy gui.

I'd love to know the best way to basically care for an installation: housekeeping, cleanup, and keeping everything where it should be. Surely removing one core file shouldn't invoke the removal of what looks like my entire system?

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What you describe is a known problem, or maybe a bug. Part of it is caused by the fact that Gnome Software (packagekit) and dnf do not use the same database. Meaning, one doesn't know what the other is/was doing. Here are a few more similar questions: . There is also a bunch of dnf autoremove related bugs reported on Redhat's Bugtracker.

My advice is not to use Gnome Software at all (if possible) and just stick to dnf.

florian gravatar imageflorian ( 2016-04-18 14:50:07 -0500 )edit

okay thanks - that's a helpful beginning. So umm.. if I were to avoid gnome software, are you saying that would be the "package manager" that is available via software? or are you saying to avoid gnome shell and all extensions etc?

Does this mean I should start again with yet another fresh install? Obviously happy to chalk it all down to experience, but it does get frustrating when one starts to feel a degree in computer science becomes the minimum entry point for using linux ;0)

thingummybob gravatar imagethingummybob ( 2016-04-18 15:43:16 -0500 )edit

@thingummybob : I mean to avoid Software (gnome-software) until it shares the same database with dnf. (It's been worked on - just takes time). Until then use solely dnf. And for now, don't run dnf autoremove. There is also ways to fix your current problem, it could be a bit of work but we can start the process. in regards to quodlibet What happens if you re-install it using dnf? sudo dnf reinstall quodlibet. Don't remove libdvdcss, that package can be quite helpful (although you should be able to remove it without the other 417 packages. You may want to report it as a bug.

florian gravatar imageflorian ( 2016-04-18 15:51:50 -0500 )edit

actually just done exactly that re quodlibet. It's installed okay, but I'm still left with the problem of different music file types being treated differently - most likely by my system rather than the player itself (which player simply reflects those differences).

Even with just the information now provided I'd be prepared to completely reinstall AGAIN, knowing to avoid certain tools. Happy to do that, unless you think it worth trying to troubleshoot the present installation. There's learning something new, and there's tearing my hair out in mild frustration ;0)

thingummybob gravatar imagethingummybob ( 2016-04-18 15:58:37 -0500 )edit

I don't recommend you to use "dnf autoremove"!

If unknow other dependencies affected. Please read about Automatic Dependencies

davidva gravatar imagedavidva ( 2016-04-18 16:06:03 -0500 )edit