A much easier solution: after you remove one piece of a meta-package like that, enter this command
It clears the "automatically-installed, now no-longer-wanted" flag from all the packages that apt-get is bugging you about.
Yet a different way around on it is not to depend on the meta-packages in the first place. Remove all of the overstuffed packages from gnome
, and then explicitly install just gnome-core
(for the base system libraries) and the applications that you really want. After that, whenever you realize you are missing something that you had and want again, install it explicitly. That way you have a more minimal set of Gnome packages.