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What exactly does the .kodi/addons/packages folder do?
I notice it's mostly random updated zip files of things I already have installed. If I delete it, it doesn't seem to do anything.

Does it auto-purge itself at some point?
It contains old versions of add-ons for the rollback feature. It should automatically prune itself so it only contains 200MB of old versions.
Nice. I mess with my system way too much, as I'm sure everyone does. There's nothing wrong with it being there...but.......it's.....there....

I couldn't seem to find the info anywhere.

Good to know. Thanks, buddy!
Well, if you want to mess with it some more, you can also change the default amount of packages saved via advancedsettings.xml (wiki). I've been meaning to document it better, since it's basically a part of the rollback feature, which also gets changed slightly in v16 :D
Thanks. Found it.

Then, 0 it is. I don't seem much of a need to rollback. I don't have many addons. If I need a rollback, I'll just dig through the forums. I just don't want unneeded junk hanging out. Chromebox has such little space. :\
I need it for my cache.

**For anybody looking for this info**

<packagefoldersize>200</packagefoldersize> <!-- this example would keep up to 200MB of add-on packages. -->
Setting to 0 still puts updates in the folder. No big deal. I'll let it ride.
An initial zip is needed when an add-on is installed or updated, so maybe Kodi prunes the files periodically or upon startup?
it will always leave 1 zip for all addons, so 0 means nothing in addition to those. it prunes after each installation.