First thing to do after fresh installation

It’s only me that is being annoyed by downloading all recommended packages?
How many of you have such file?

someserver:~# cat /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/02recommends 
APT::Install-Recommends "0";
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17 thoughts on “First thing to do after fresh installation

  1. Josh Triplett

    ~$ git grep Recommends | cat
    .aptitude/config:aptitude::Recommends-Important “false”;
    .aptitude/config:aptitude::Ignore-Recommends-Important “true”;
    .aptitude/config:APT::AutoRemove::RecommendsImportant “false”;
    .aptitude/config:APT::Install-Recommends “false”;

    You might want to add APT::AutoRemove::RecommendsImportant to your configuration as well, because otherwise apt will consider Recommends when deciding whether to automatically remove packages.

    Interesting idea to have this configuration systemwide, though; that would almost certainly work better on systems with multiple administrators, as well as any time I might find myself running aptitude directly as root rather than via sudo. I already have an apt source that provides various metapackages and configuration packages; perhaps I should add one that installs an apt.conf.d file, too. That suddenly makes me wonder if aptitude re-reads apt.conf.d after installing packages, or if I’d have to close and re-launch aptitude after installing a package that installed an apt.conf.d file.

  2. rozie

    I have:
    APT::Install-Recommends “0″;
    APT::Install-Suggests “0″;
    but not on all machines. And yes, I consider installing all recomended packages as not good. OTOH disc space is cheap. Maybe additional question asked during installation would be wise?

    1. Josh Triplett

      I don’t consider this an issue of disk space; if installed packages only took up disk space I’d have them turned on by default. However, Recommends often pulls in new running daemons, or packages which take over the defaults from my preferred packages.

      A small subset of the recommended packages I don’t want: exim4 (or any other MTA), at, uuid-runtime, kbd, console-tools.

      1. rozie

        This is true, of course. I didn’t notice additional daemons, but I use rcconf to disable some of them (even installed manually for test) anyway. Exim is (was?) requiered dependency of at package, so I got use that I have to disable it…

        Anyway, question during installation and some dpkg-reconfigure option to change installation settings seems to be good solution to me.

  3. Jonathan

    I used to disable Install-Recommends, but nowadays I don’t. I prefer to make sure the Recommends are accurate (meaning I should almost never need to override them), filing bugs when they aren’t.

    1. Josh Triplett

      I file bugs as well, but until all of them get fixed I still disable recommends by default. I do, however, look over the list of recommended packages shown in aptitude’s installation screen, both to determine which bugs to file and to find out which recommended packages I might want to add to my metapackages.

  4. arwa

    I am using aptosid that configures this correct automatically:

    # grep Recomm -r /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/
    /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/80aptosid:// Recommends are as of now still abused in many packages
    /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/80aptosid:APT::Install-Recommends “0″;

  5. Iñigo

    I’ve that setting, and the APT::Install-Suggests “0″; as someone said.

    Both, for home servers and desktops. Sometimes I just add some package more to my packages lists because of this, but it’s not a issue for me, I like to control what and why gets in.

    And I’ve more settings (i.e. for remount some filesystems like /tmp in some machines). But I’ve them all in: /etc/apt/apt.conf (maybe not the best approach, but it’s how I’m used to do it time ago)

  6. Matt Palmer

    You can add me to the list of people who do that immediately after installation. Most pathological recent case was on a server, which I’m not the usual admin for, trying to install smem — due to a recommends on python-matplotlib, it wanted to install X. Ouch.

  7. DP

    This is especially true if you don’t want X. I miss the days when the requirements were more stringent for a package to be recommended.

  8. Bob Proulx

    It is one of the first things I do on a machine. Typically followed by fixing other annoyances such as installing debsums and then reinstalling anything that doesn’t have checksums so that they will be recomputed. apt-get install –reinstall $(debsums –list-missing)


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