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Old 03-13-2011, 10:39 AM   #1
Gavin Harper
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Debian without all the bundled extras?


Hello,

I am setting up a Debian machine but am somewhat troubled with the inability to remove a lot of the software that is added the the default install (Open Office, Ice Weasel, etc etc).

What would be the best steps to install a Gnome desktop with none of the added software (where possible).

Thanks.
 
Old 03-13-2011, 10:42 AM   #2
druuna
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Hi,

Would this help: HOWTO: Minimal Debian Install (w/ Minimal GNOME)
 
Old 03-13-2011, 10:55 AM   #3
snowpine
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Please describe your "inability" to remove unwanted packages. What steps have you taken to remove them, and what error messages are generated? You might consider using the Synaptic Package Manager if you are uncomfortable with command-line package management.

As far as installing a minimalistic Debian from scratch, I recommend using the Netinstall images available from http://www.debian.org/distrib/ ("Download a small installation image..."). Do not choose "Desktop Environment" during the install. This will give you a minimal, command-line only install. Then you can install only the packages you need/want. For example the package "gnome-core" will give you a basic Gnome environment without Iceweasel or OpenOffice.

Also keep in mind that Debian is not a "keep it simple, stupid!" distribution like Arch. Debian packages are generous and inclusive in their "depends" and "recommends". You might choose to install packages using the "--no-install-recommends" flag if you are an extreme minimalist.
 
Old 03-13-2011, 11:17 AM   #4
Gavin Harper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowpine View Post
Please describe your "inability" to remove unwanted packages. What steps have you taken to remove them, and what error messages are generated? You might consider using the Synaptic Package Manager if you are uncomfortable with command-line package management.

As far as installing a minimalistic Debian from scratch, I recommend using the Netinstall images available from http://www.debian.org/distrib/ ("Download a small installation image..."). Do not choose "Desktop Environment" during the install. This will give you a minimal, command-line only install. Then you can install only the packages you need/want. For example the package "gnome-core" will give you a basic Gnome environment without Iceweasel or OpenOffice.

Also keep in mind that Debian is not a "keep it simple, stupid!" distribution like Arch. Debian packages are generous and inclusive in their "depends" and "recommends". You might choose to install packages using the "--no-install-recommends" flag if you are an extreme minimalist.
Largely, when I try to purge certain packages synaptic tends to try and take the entire Gnome Desktop with it which is somewhat strange.

Thanks for the heads up on the --no-install-recommends (I am a Slackware user for my other systems except this one, so I am unfamilar with apt-get beyond regular "install" / "remove" / "update" / "upgrade"

I will try the entirely minimal install then build up what I need!

Thank you very much!
 
Old 03-13-2011, 11:44 AM   #5
druuna
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Hi,
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gavin Harper View Post
Largely, when I try to purge certain packages synaptic tends to try and take the entire Gnome Desktop with it which is somewhat strange.
To my knowledge a standard install uses a lot of meta packages, trying to delete one specific package has as side effect the deletion of most (all?) of the dependencies of the meta package.

Building it from the ground up (base/minimal install then add what you want/need) should circumvent that problem (do avoid the meta packages).

Hope this helps.
 
Old 03-13-2011, 11:45 AM   #6
snowpine
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gnome-desktop-environment is what's called a "metapackage." If you try to remove one of its dependencies, then Synaptic will remove the metapackage as well. This is safe since a metapackage is nothing more than a list of other packages.

I can understand the confusion coming from Slackware because as I understand it Slackware does not handle dependencies in the same way.
 
Old 03-13-2011, 12:52 PM   #7
k3lt01
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If you are going to do a minimal install may I suggest you do NOT install gnome-core and gnome-desktop-environment.
 
Old 03-13-2011, 03:33 PM   #8
craigevil
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As already mentioned use the netinstall and Do Not choose desktop, then install gnome-core and the apps you prefer.

You may also want to create an apt.conf so Suggests and Recommends never get installed.
Code:
// auto-remove breaks on meta packages
APT::Get::AutomaticRemove "0";
APT::Get::HideAutoRemove "1";

// Recommends are as of now still abused in many packages
APT::Install-Recommends "0";
APT::Install-Suggests "0";
Debug::pkgAutoRemove "0";

// PDiffs reduce the required download for apt-get update, but increase the
// CPU requirements and quite often fail.
// Acquire::PDiffs "0";
http://wiki.debian.org/Gnome
Quote:
There are four options to install Gnome in Debian:


How to install


Description

GNOME desktop task


tasksel see below


Debian's selection of applications
(This is what is installed on a freshly installed system. It includes some applications that do not really integrate with GNOME, like OpenOffice.org and iceweasel)

GNOME (Debian)


gnome package


The full GNOME environment, including applications that are not officially part of the Upstream GNOME releases.
It provides the recommended GNOME environment for Debian.

GNOME (Upstream)


gnome-desktop-environment package


The official upstream GNOME environment, minus a few packages.
It is the closest to upstream recommendations.

GNOME accessibility


gnome-accessibility package


The accessibility components of the GNOME desktop:
screen reader, mouse utilities, magnifierů

GNOME (core only)


gnome-core package


This is a minimalist gnome installation
(You have to install all end-user applications later). Above packages depend on this one.
 
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Old 03-13-2011, 11:21 PM   #9
Gavin Harper
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Thank you!

Everyone here has been really helpful!
 
  


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