I will ask this with an example -

I have installed gnash-plugin on fedora 64 bit with Yum. It pulled in following packages -

  Installing     : agg-2.5-9.fc13.x86_64                                                                                                             1/6 
  Installing     : gtkglext-libs-1.2.0-10.fc12.x86_64                                                                                                2/6 
  Installing     : boost-thread-1.44.0-7.fc14.x86_64                                                                                                 3/6 
  Installing     : boost-date-time-1.44.0-7.fc14.x86_64                                                                                              4/6 
  Installing     : 1:gnash-0.8.8-4.fc14.x86_64                                                                                                       5/6 
  Installing     : 1:gnash-plugin-0.8.8-4.fc14.x86_64                                                                                                6/6 

Now, I tested the plugin and I didn't like it. I want to remove all these above packages which got installed with the plugin as I don't longer going to need them. How can I do this?

I checked remove-with-plugin for yum but it pulls in all the packages which are currently depending on the packages.

I understand the thought process behind showing what packages are getting affected - but I am wondering if there is any way of looking at the history with what package got installed when I installed a certain package.

When gnash-plugin wasn't there firefox was running fine with but after I installation firefox is now depends on this new plugin.

Has any one worked on differentiating hard-dependencies(hard means the program will break if that package is not there) and soft-dependencies ( soft means the program may not get affected fatally) ?


If you are on supported version of Fedora, you can just do:

yum history list gnash

...and then:

yum history undo <transaction id>

...if you get the very latest yum (Eg. from the yum-rawhide rebuild repo. on repos.fedorapeople.org) then you can also do:

yum remove gnash --setopt=clean_requirements_on_remove=true

In Ubuntu/Debian land we implement "hard/soft" dependencies by having actual Depends but also Recommends. We also have Suggests which are even softer soft dependencies.


Debian and derivatives have hard/medium/soft dependencies, but that doesn't solve your problem.

APT, the Debian equivalent of Yum, distinguishes between manually installed and automatically installed packages, which solves your problem (automatically installed packages are removed if no manually installed package depends on them). I don't know if this feature has been ported to Yum.

  • Unless you are using aptitude, this doesn't happen by default. Your removal/purging command will look like apt-get --auto-remove remove/purge – tshepang Feb 11 '11 at 8:16

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