Pacman tried to delete important packages

Basically I wanted to debloat my system and did these commands (in order)


pacman -Qdtq | pacman -Rns -

I was surprised to see so many “orphans” on the list. I looked at the list and… xorg-xrandr? xorg-xinput? meson? packagekit-qt5? qt5-tools? I was lucky to look at the list. Never let pacman clear your orphans, do it manually…

That’s not luck, that’s normal procedure. It’s your system to manage, not the other way around. If you don’t want them on the orphan list, you need to change them to as explicit for installation reasoning.


There are two key things to understand.

  • Orphans are not packages you no longer need
  • The command you used doesn’t only remove orphans, it also removes the orphans dependencies which can have the side effect of removing the optional dependencies of other packages. That is why I don’t recommend removing orphans that way despite it being a common recommendation in other places.

Some of those look like they probably may be unneeded. meson is a build dependency so it gets pulled in when you build packages. If you are a developed and need meson regularly, you should mark it as explicitly installed.

The qt5 packages are probably not needed anymore because many things have transitioned to qt6.

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Hey I’ve got a few (not many and not system specific) Apps that have been orphaned for a long time. I still use them and they are not going to break anything. Until they are incapable of running I will continue to use them. There is too much paranoia within the human race, just make backups! Duh! :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: