How do you uninstall just one package with Synaptic?
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How do you uninstall just one package with Synaptic?
I picked up an old eeePC with Debian on it. There's a bunch of programs I'm never going to use, so I figured I'd just delete them, using Synaptic. I'm used to Windows, where if you don't want something, you uninstall it, and you're done. On Linux, it seems, I can't uninstall anything without being forced to uninstall other, more important stuff. No use for the CD-burning program? Well, we'll get rid of the file manager, too. Not going to use the development tools? Say goodbye to Firefox!
I'm very, very frustrated. Can someone please tell me how to make it remove just the one program? Or give me a suggestion for how to upgrade to a more customizable form of Linux?
This is a common rookie misconception. You wouldn't pop open the hood of your car and randomly pull out parts that you don't think you need, so don't do the same to your operating system. For example I might say "well, I live in a cold climate, so I obviously don't need an air conditioner," so I tear out the air conditioner. But will doing so actually make my car run faster, safer, more reliable? Of course not, it will just make a big hole in my dash, and possibly much worse depending on my skill-set.
Another example: I recently purchased an HP "4-in-1" that has print/copy/scan/fax capability. Well, I don't have a land line, so the fax function is useless to me. Shall I open it up and remove the chip that governs the fax function? Will this improve the quality of the scans, or the DPI of the printing? Of course not, so I just simply don't press that button.
Likewise in Linux there is no disadvantage to having a few extra apps installed that you don't need. Simply don't use them. Linux is not like Windows where having too many apps installed bloats your registry and causes crashes/instability/slowdown. Linux is very stable and robust, and all the parts of the default install are tested & trusted to work well together.
So 'it's not a bug, it's a feature'? Thanks but no thanks. Maybe I'm too accustomed to Windows, but I have a hard time with the concept of what should be add-on programs being integral parts of the OS. I prefer having options, including the option *not* to have something. I wouldn't take out my own air-conditioning, no, but I would (and did) get a car without power locks and windows, because I find them more trouble than they're worth. I declined seat warmers, because living in Florida makes them of little use. There is a limit to how many bells and whistles I can stand, and this version of Linux has far too many of them for my taste. I've been looking for an alternative, but most of what I find is similarly laden with 'everything you could ever need!!' setups.
If getting rid of what I don't need in this version of Linux is not an option, I'd appreciate some recommendations for more stripped-down versions. Really, all I need or want is open office and a web browser. And maybe solitaire, but that's optional.
Sorry, my comment was meant as an aside to the very excellent link that descendant_command
Member provided, which explains the concept of 'meta-packages' and how you can add/remove them safely to, as you say, decline the seat warmers.
Maybe I'm too accustomed to Windows, but I have a hard time with the concept of what should be add-on programs being integral parts of the OS.
I don't use Microsoft Internet Explorer--well, I do, but only once, so I can install Opera. Nevertheless, I have not found a way to remove it.
If you want a system that has only the programs you want to use, take a look at Arch. It's not usually considered a good distro for persons new to Linux, but it does enable you to build your system piece-by-piece with only the software you want.
They are not part of the OS, rather part of the metapackage that provides a simple way to install a complete desktop environment (including all 'bells and whistles).You do have options. If you don't want the 'whole shebang', you simply have to tell it what you DO want.
OK, so if what I'm dealing with here is a 'metapackage' that includes all the programs most people need on a desktop, where do I find other packages to replace it that might suit my needs better? Or tell this one what I do want, as you put it, and get rid of the other stuff? (No, I really can't just ignore the stuff I'm not going to use. Well, I can, but it's really hard. It's part of having OCD.)
frankbell -- Touche on IE point, although believe me, I've tried to get rid of it! I'll take a look at Arch, thanks.
OK, so if you use the aptitude ncurses interface, remove (purge) what you want, press <g> for go, you get a list of what it is going to do (presumably removing gnome metapackage and all it's children).
Go through that list marking what you want to keep as <m>anually installed.
When satisfied press <g> again.
<gnome-desktop-environment> & <gnome-core> used to be more minimal metapackages than the full <gnome>, possibly excluding the cruft you don't want, while still providing the things you don't know you need, but not sure now as I don't use gnome anymore.
Anyway, toggling things on and off and reading the recomended solutions will give you a good feel for how it all works together.
In general it is easier to build up a system from ground with only the applications you want than trying to remove unwanted parts from a full system.
With Debian this is a very easy and very flexible process, but you have to start with a commandline only system. There are plenty of HowTos out there on the net for this, just do a web-search for Debian minimal install YOUR_FAVORITE_DESKTOP_HERE and you should find enough information to just start with that.
Last edited by TobiSGD; 12-10-2012 at 08:57 PM.
Reason: fixed typo