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When I work on a project I often need to install a bunch of packages and libraries/tools.

Often these packages create logs files and other kind of useless files that I will not need when the project will be done. With time my OS becomes messy and "dirty" .

Sometimes I just want to try a new desktop environment and I don't want to waste my configuration.

Is there a way to save the state of my machine (installed packages, configuration and some specified folders) ?

Exactly like git (you can create a branch and go back to an older commit) But for my OS.

Of course I could make backup or snapshot of my system. But it's heavy and it take a while to restore. For example, I don't need to physically save packages, I just need the version number to download them again (I apologize for the debian packages server).

Do you know a tool able to do that ?

PS : I mostly use Debian and Arch Linux.

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Simple explanation

sudo apt autoremove removes packages and program dependancies which were once needed but now are not.

Detailed explanation

Whenever you install an application (using apt-get) the system will also install the software that this application depends on. It is common in Ubuntu/Linux that applications share the same libraries. When you remove the appplication the dependency will stay on your system. Whenever you install an application (usingapt-get) the system will also install the software that this application depends on. It is common in Ubuntu/Linux that applications share the same libraries. When you remove the appplication the dependency will stay on your system.

So apt-get autoremove will remove those dependencies that were installed with applications and that are no longer used by anything else on the system. So apt-get autoremove will remove those dependencies that were installed with applications and that are no longer used by anything else on the system.

How to use it

To use this command simply go to your terminal and type sudo apt-get autoremove. The terminal will then show you a list of all the programs which are no longer being used on the sytem and have no use and it will prompt you to remove them with (Y) and not to remove them with (N)

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On Debian stable with gnome desktop , you can use Resetter

The easiest way to reset your debian or ubuntu based linux back to stock

wget https://github.com/gaining/Resetter/releases/download/v2.2.3-stable/add-apt-key_1.0-0.5_all.deb
wget https://github.com/gaining/Resetter/releases/download/v2.2.3-stable/resetter_2.2.3-stable_all.deb
apt install gdebi
gdebi add-apt-key_1.0-0.5_all.deb
gdebi resetter_2.2.3-stable_all.deb

Debian support is recently added.

Officially supported distros [64-bit]

Debian 9.2 (stable) Gnome edition

Linux Mint 17.3+ {Cinnamon and Mate}

Ubuntu 14.04+, {Unity, Gnome, and Budgie(18.04)}

Elementary OS 0.4+

Linux Deepin 15.4+

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