localepurge - reclaim disk space removing unneeded localizations
localepurge is a small script to recover disk space wasted for unneeded
locale files and localized man pages. It will be automagically invoked
by dpkg upon completion of any apt installation run. You have to
define the locale directory names you want to keep from removal after
each apt installation run in the /etc/locale.nopurge configuration
file. Unless localepurge has been adequately configured, the system's
localization files won't be touched at all.
The contents of following directories will be affected from removals:
The localization files you actually need and which you want to be
preserved on your system can be easily configured by running the
The configurable options consist of toggling verbose output, reporting
a summary of freed space, and deletion of localized manual pages in
addition to locale files. All actions are specified in the
/etc/locale.nopurge configuration file.
For detailed debugging the commandline switch -debug or just a short -d
instead are available for usage. For verbose output the commandline
switch -verbose or just a short -v can be added.
A Word of CAUTION
Please note, that this tool is a hack which is not integrated with
Debian's package management system and therefore is not meant for the
faint of heart. Responsibility for its usage and possible breakage of
your system therefore lies in the sysadmin's (your) hands.
Please definitely do abstain from reporting any bugs blaming
localepurge if you break your system by using it. If you don't know
what you are doing and can't handle any resulting breakage on your own
then please simply don't use it.
All locale directories containing a subdirectory named LC_MESSAGES
which are either commented out or not even listed at all in
/etc/locale.nopurge will be irreversibly deleted. The only way to
reinstall any lost locales is a complete reinstallation of all the
Debian packages containing them. See
/usr/share/doc/localepurge/reinstall_debs.sh for a recipe.
Alternatively you can reconfigure it with dpkg-reconfigure(8) to
prevent locale files from being purged during subsequent runs of apt.
SOLVING PROBLEMS caused by localepurge
This program does interfere with the Debian package management and does
provoke strange, but usually harmless, behaviour of programs related
with apt/dpkg like dpkg-repack(1), debsums(1), reportbug(1), etc. If
you need to have any package in its full integrity so that e.g. the
formerly mentioned programs work as designed by its author and as
expected by you, simply deinstall localepurge temporarily without
purging its configuration and reinstall the packages you need in their
fully integral state. When you are done with what you needed the
integral packages for simply reinstall localepurge again.
Administrators of systems with short disk space should have a look at
both the deborphan and debfoster packages. Especially debfoster can
work wonders for your scarce disk space!
localepurge and its accompanying manual page was written for the Debian
GNU/Linux system by Paul Seelig <firstname.lastname@example.org> with major
contributions from Gustavo Noronha Silva <email@example.com> who added the
first debconf functionality. The author sincerely hopes that some day
further development of Debian's great package management system will
make localepurge fully obsolete.