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On debian systems I can use 'aptitude markauto' and 'aptitude unmarkauto' to mark packages as manually or automatically installed. I use this to remove unneeded packages by marking the packages I know I want. Then 'apt-get autoremove' will remove all packages that are not needed.

I'm now on a fedora system and would like a similar feature in either rpm or yum or other program. Does rpm/yum even have a concept of manual/auto installed packages like debian systems?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

At least newer yum versions (tested on Fedora 20 with yum 3.4.3) are able to distinguish between manually-installed packages and packages installed as dependencies. This information is stored in yumdb using the key "reason" which can be either set to "user" or "dep".

# yumdb set reason dep [package name or wildcard]

should be the equivalent to "aptitude markauto". If you do not provide a package name, the change is applied to all packages. I wouldn't do that, the less radical way is to use

# yumdb search reason user

and manually remove the packages you don't want.

If you run

# yum autoremove

all packages marked as "dep" are removed if they are no longer referenced by other packages. Should be equivalent to "aptitude autoremove".

Packages installed not using yum (e.g rpm -i) might not have the "reason" key, I assume the default behavior of autoremove is to treat them as "user" packages, but they are not listed using the "yumdb search" command.

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For future reference on newer systems, the dnf equivalents of the above commands are: dnf mark install [package names] to mark packages as user-installed; dnf mark remove [package names] to mark packages as installed for dependencies; and dnf autoremove to remove dependency-installed packages that are no longer needed. – Ben Liblit Oct 7 '15 at 15:06

No, but there's no reason one couldn't write a yum plugin to provide this ability.

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So yum/rpm has no concept of manual/auto package states? Just installed/not installed? – Justin Mar 14 '12 at 5:20
Correct. There's a plugin for removing leaves, but that's not quite the same thing. – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Mar 14 '12 at 5:22

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