I don’t see the point in using
-Rcnssu. It’s unnecessary long, complicated and is redundant. Don’t complicate simple things. And
-Rnssu is simply dangerous!
-cuss is the same as
-ss. So there is no need to use both. Either use one or, better yet, use none! See next.
-Rnssu is dangerous! It will also uninstall explicitly installed packages. You almost never want to do this.
-ss you still get informed of broken dependencies. The big and important difference is that you don’t get offered to still uninstall. Pacman will simply stop and not leave you hanging on a Yes/No prompt that can lead to accidental hitting of a wrong key.
$ sudo pacman -Rns shadow
error: failed to prepare transaction (could not satisfy dependencies)
:: util-linux: removing shadow breaks dependency 'shadow'
-cu (and especially
-Rnssu!) will remove explicitly installed packages if they happen to be a dependency of the target package or one of its dependencies. This is almost never what you want to do. There is no reason for me to be forced to go through an uninstallation list looking for those, in order to know if I need to cancel the operation, when I can just avoid the whole problem entirely by issuing
Take a look for instance when I use this command on my systemt o remove firefox:
$ sudo pacman -Rnssu firefox
Package (10) Old Version Net Change
mime-types 9-1 -0.06 MiB
mozilla-common 1.4-4 0.00 MiB
noto-fonts 20170920-2 -59.81 MiB
noto-fonts-extra 20170920-2 -232.49 MiB
ttf-bitstream-vera 1.10-11 -0.56 MiB
ttf-droid 20121017-5 -15.31 MiB
ttf-freefont 20120503-4 -10.30 MiB
ttf-liberation 2.00.1-7 -3.89 MiB
ttf-ubuntu-font-family 0.83-3 -4.00 MiB
firefox 56.0-1 -155.82 MiB
Total Removed Size: 482.24 MiB
Suddenly it wants to also remove many important fonts of my system that I installed myself and need for other applications. No way!
-cu have a greater potential for generating complicated output that is harder to understand, especially by newcomers. They are never a good advice to give a newcomer to Arch. Compare the command on 2nd argument above with the output of:
sudo pacman -Rnsscu shadow. You’ll go insane.
-cu are good tools to have in our arsenal. But they are “special case” tools and problem fixing tools. They are also advanced tools. They are not generic tools for daily Arch maintenance.
It is important to look at Arch wiki, search the Arch forums for advise given over the years on this very matter. It’s been repeated through exhaustion. And I tend to follow what time proved right.
So my final advice is: Use
-Rs and leave the other options for advanced pacman usage and under the very specific cases they were designed for. This is how you use a computer. Keep It Simple.