1

From time to time I update my Debian by running:

aptitude update && aptitude full-upgrade

but before running it I often forget or deliberately skip running aptitude clean which removes old packages from /var/cache/apt/archives.

Recently I forgot to run aptitude clean and aptitude downloaded over 3.5GB of updates out of 4GB total and stopped downloading rest of packages because / partition ran out of free space.

user@host:~# aptitude clean && df -h /var/cache/apt/archives/
Filesystem      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda8       7.3G  2.5G  4.4G  36% /
  • Is there any way I can install 3.5GB of downloaded packages without need to run aptitude clean and redownloading them? How?

    I guess that some of the downloaded packages may depend on the packages that were not downloaded, so I would like to install only those that were downloaded with all of their dependencies.
  • What is recommended size of the partition holding /var/cache/apt/archives/? Consider two variants of partitioning scheme: with and without separate /var partition*.

* As a side note: estimating size of the partitions was always troublesome for me – see this thread to learn why 1GB or even 3GB for /tmp partition may be not enough.

3

Is there any way I can install 3.5GB of downloaded packages without need to run aptitude clean and redownloading them? How?

Not without a fair amount of effort, potentially, and perhaps some loss of information depending on how it’s done (I’m thinking of the “manually installed” status).

I would recommend running aptitude autoclean instead, and then re-running the upgrade: autoclean deletes packages which can no longer be downloaded. That way, you’ll keep all the packages that are needed for the upgrade.

What is recommended size of the partition holding /var/cache/apt/archives/? Consider two variants of partitioning scheme: with and without separate /var partition.

In both cases, it depends on the amount of packages installed on the system being managed, and how frequently it’s upgraded. My main system has 12GiB of files in /var/cache/apt/archives/, after aptitude autoclean...

For users who don’t care about the package cache at all, using apt might be interesting since it cleans up after itself by default.

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