I have just successfully upgraded from Fedora 16 to Fedora 17 using the Preupgrade tool. One of the post-upgrade steps suggested here is to "remove unsupported packages".

The guide says to run package-cleanup --orphans to obtain a list of said packages and then yum remove each one.

Rather than blindly do this I thought I'd check to make sure that this wouldn't unintentionally remove any needed dependencies. For example, ModemManager- is the first package in the list. When I run:

yum remove ModemManager-

I see that it also wants to remove a number of dependencies that look like valid Fedora 17 packages:

 Package                     Arch     Version                       Repository    Size
 ModemManager                x86_64               @updates/16  952 k
Removing for dependencies:
 NetworkManager              x86_64   1:  @anaconda-0  6.7 M
 NetworkManager-gnome        x86_64   1:  @anaconda-0  1.3 M
 NetworkManager-openconnect  x86_64    @updates/16  274 k
 NetworkManager-openvpn      x86_64   1:            @anaconda-0  679 k
 NetworkManager-pptp         x86_64   1:            @anaconda-0  467 k
 NetworkManager-vpnc         x86_64   1:            @anaconda-0  474 k
 anaconda                    x86_64   17.29-1.fc17                  @anaconda-0   12 M
 evolution-NetworkManager    x86_64   3.4.1-2.fc17                  @anaconda-0   14 k

Transaction Summary
Remove  1 Package (+8 Dependent packages)

If I do yum list NetworkManager I see:

Installed Packages
NetworkManager.x86_64         1:        @anaconda-0
Available Packages
NetworkManager.x86_64         1:                    updates

I also notice that none of the dependencies listed by yum remove are in the orphaned package list.

  • Is it safe for me to go ahead and remove these "orphaned" packages?
  • Do I have to remove these orphaned packages (I'm not short on disk space)?

1 Answer 1


In this case it would be acceptable to use rpm to uninstall those packages

#rpm -e ModemManager- --nodeps

After you have removed all of the unwanted packages, clean up the rpm database with the following commands

#rm -f /var/lib/rpm/__db*
#rpm –rebuilddb
#yum clean all
#rm -rf /var/cache/yum 
#yum makecache 
  • Thanks. After adjusting my google-fu I found this: fedoraproject.org/wiki/How_to_use_PreUpgrade and this: fedorasolved.org/Members/fenris02/post_upgrade_cleanup which helped. I also discover that doing yum update right after the upgrade cleared out virtually all of the packages reported by package-cleanup --orphans.
    – Kev
    Commented Nov 20, 2012 at 23:31
  • 1
    @midnightsteel, yum erase package deletes the package and everything that depends on it, as it should. The --nodeps option to rpm tells it not to check for it, and recommending it to newbies is irresponsible. The steps to clean up the RPM database are completely unneeded.
    – vonbrand
    Commented Jan 24, 2013 at 23:51

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