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I want to remove the 0.9.8o versions. Does anyone know how without breaking and destroy it's dependents.

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Figure 2.9. Values of the “current state” flag

i   -    the package is installed and all its dependencies are satisfied.
p   -    the package and all its configuration files were removed, or the package was never installed.

For more information, check out the documentation relating to accessing package information in aptitude.

Basically, those old versions are just available options from your package database. They don't exist on your system, and possibly never were there.

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Oh I see. I asked, because my phpinfo says I am using 0.9.8o, so I am quite dazzled on what's going on with my system – Doug Jul 6 '12 at 3:43
@Doug: The openssl package is not the package that PHP uses. You probably are looking for libssl0.9.8, which you can't remove as long as something's linked to it, which PHP probably is. Rebuild/upgrade PHP and it'll automatically link against -- and depend on -- the correct version of libssl. – womble Jul 6 '12 at 5:19
I rebuilt PHP dozens of times today trying different options. Couldn't figure it out. Could you please give me a hand? (I also have libssl1.0.0 installed already) – Doug Jul 6 '12 at 5:47
@Doug That's way too much to go over in comments and a strong change from the current topic. You should open a new question asking that. – Jeff Ferland Jul 6 '12 at 12:06

Aptitude will automatically remove old versions when you install a new version. Dependencies are also automatically handled.

The screen shot you are showing indicates the versions you are asking about are fully removed, or have never been installed. The versions show up on the list because they are available. Likely the oldest version was likely included in the initial distribution. The other two versions likely come from update and/or backports repositories.

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