Orphans (which to remove)

Just switched over from Windows after dabbling with Ubuntu in the past. Got my system and apps up and running and have checked orphans and not sure which are needed or can be deleted.

Apologies if its a silly question but still learning!

autoconf 2.71-1 core 2.3 MB
automake 1.16.4-1 core 1.6 MB
bison 3.7.6-1 core 2.5 MB
cups-pdf 3.0.1-6 extra 197.8 kB
fakeroot 1.25.3-2 core 141.6 kB
flex 2.6.4-3 core 994.3 kB
folks 0.14-5 extra 11.3 MB
gfbgraph 0.2.4-1 extra 497.9 kB
gst-python 1.18.4-1 extra 132.9 kB
gutenprint 5.3.4-1 extra 33.6 MB
libytnef 1:1.9.3-1 extra 206.1 kB
mailcap 2.1.53-1 extra 111.3 kB
make 4.3-3 core 1.6 MB
patch 2.7.6-8 core 202.5 kB
pkgconf 1.7.3-1 core 160.1 kB
python-pysmbc 1.0.23-2 extra 61.9 kB
python-reportlab 3.5.68-2 community 9.0 MB
splix 2.0.0-15 community 171.6 kB

Welcome here, @stu1978 :tada:

Nobody knows your system and the other packages so only you can decide.

In your case I would use

pacman -Qi {package-name}

to find out if there are optional dependencies which could be a reason to keep a package.

Usually, it’s not really worth to de-install all orphans as they don’t take much space.

1 Like

You can remove all of them if you want to, they don’t do anything for now. I always remove them.

Some of them (and more) will be needed and will get re-installed as soon as some AUR package is wanted and therefore the base-devel package group is required.
splix and gutenprint are printer drivers - only @stu1978 knows whether he will need them - similar for cups-pdf, which can be good to have.

If all of those are removed, some programs functionality as intended and pre-configured for that edition might break - for example
folks and gfbgraph
It’s not worth the effort IMO to remove those unless one specifically knows that they are not needed or wanted.


If you frequently use AUR build scripts you can install the base-devel metapackage and some the packages you see will not be shown as orphans - which is - not required by any package.

sudo pacman -Syu base-devel --needed

So unless - though unlikely - a package has a dependency not in the PKGBUILD you can safely remove all orphans.


I would suggest keeping the core packages, especially fakeroot because it’s used in compiling AUR packages.

I have xcursor-chameleon- (three colours) are now marked as an orphan. I took steps to download the zips some time ago - but I will continue using them, my favourite cursors…

So really you need to know before you just decide to delete them all. I didn’t bother and it doesn’t hurt.

It is not a silly question, this is silly:

$ pacman -Qdt
software-center-web-jak 1.0.2-1 ← orphaned?

$ pacman -Qi software-center-web-jak
Optional Deps : None ← oh yeah can be removed?

Info pamac(Add/Remove Software)
Installed: software-center-web-jak 1.0.2.-1 Really?

Starting Menu → Others → Discover Web Software
$ ps ax | grep software
python /usr/share/webapps/software-center-web-jak/software-center-jak

Discover Web Software has been installed by Manjaro(as a goodie I guess).
Obviously files of the installed (but identified as orphaned) package are in use.
Am I wrong? Please let me know.

The handling of so-called orphaned packages is not very sophisticated
and not only unexperienced users have difficulties to decide here what to do.
(true for any distribution, just GoboLinux tries to go in a different direction)

That’s true, therefore the recommendation:
:arrow_right: Only remove orphans if you are 100% they are not needed.

Keeping them is not an issue as they don’t consume much disk space.

Thats ok but generates a lot confusion by the time.

The question is why the system thinks software-center-web-jak is orphaned?
and Im talking about software installed via standard manjaro installation process.

Why? If you are not 100% sure, keep it, that’s a very simple approach.

I have so far always kept it so that I have researched the indicated orphans in the net and if I was not sure whether that would be needed somehow, I have set them to expressly installed. Silence …

Well, in this case because software-center-web-jak is an installed program.
I’ve never heard that programs can be orphaned unless they get deprecated(and no longer supported by libraries for example) but this is another story.

Before I switched to Manjaro, I had similar problems and after some years there were hundreds of orphaned packages simply because nobody cares.

So an orphaned package should be really orphaned and thrown away if not wanted (without deep thinking).

No, de-installation of whatever requires to use the brain, otherwise you delete packages which still have a function.

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This reminds me somehow of the permanent bug with brain.exe under Windows.

never mind, to me “orphaned” is(should be) a stand-alone something in the system.

Maybe this is a bug.
Documentation says pacman -Qdt identifies orphans.

$ pacman -Qdt | grep software
software-center-web-jak 1.0.2-1

Pamac says: This has been installed as a dependency …

Main menu Discover Web Software says:
Command: /usr/share/webapps/software-center-web-jak/software-center-jak

Process listing shows:
python /usr/share/webapps/software-center-web-jak/software-center-jak

software-center-jak has been installed as a dependency of itself? Confused?

looks like it has been installed because there is an menu entry? Confused?

Package name is base-devel-meta and it’s in the AUR.

There maybe such a package - and changes happen over time - just to clarify

➜  ~ sudo pacman -Syu base-devel             
:: Synchronizing package databases...
 core                  169,2 KiB   272 KiB/s 00:01 [######################] 100%
 extra                1909,2 KiB  2,80 MiB/s 00:01 [######################] 100%
 community               6,7 MiB  9,51 MiB/s 00:01 [######################] 100%
 multilib is up to date
 sublime-text is up to date
:: There are 24 members in group base-devel:
:: Repository core
   1) autoconf  2) automake  3) binutils  4) bison  5) fakeroot  6) file
   7) findutils  8) flex  9) gawk  10) gcc  11) gettext  12) grep  13) groff
   14) gzip  15) libtool  16) m4  17) make  18) pacman  19) patch  20) pkgconf
   21) sed  22) sudo  23) texinfo  24) which

Enter a selection (default=all): 

… some package that required this one as a dependency may no longer exist (on your system) - whatever package that was

and thus it is now an orphan

The answer, or some info leading to it, could be in this thread here.