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In order to make some tests I installed a couple of machines as Ubuntu and Kubuntu (lucid aka 10.04). Now the configuration and the tests are completed and I would like to move both of them to Ubuntu server without running the installation media. Those machines are in production now (blame on me!) and a re-installation is both impractical and impossible. I would expect I can do it by purging/removing a number of packages and by (re)installing another number of packages. Thus keeping the machines online. I've found this answer here, but it's not actually saying anything useful to me. The help I need is: which packages I need to purge, remove and install?

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For major changes you might want to use tasksel - a tool that manages the high level functions of your machine. First install it:

sudo apt-get install tasksel

Then you can see what tasks are available, and their current status:

sudo tasksel --list-tasks

To remove the desktop packages you will need to run commands not through the desktop. So if you could ssh in from another computer. Or if you are in front of the computer you could get a non-desktop terminal by pressing Ctrl-Alt-F1. Then you can do:

sudo tasksel remove ubuntu-desktop kubuntu-desktop

If you've already set up your server stuff (web server etc) you're done - and sounds like you are. But for others who might not be, or if you want to add extra stuff you can still add other services using tasksel. So you might choose to do:

sudo tasksel install server openssh-server lamp-server

Which would ensure you can get in via ssh and install the Apache web server, the MySQl database server and PHP.

If you want more information about the exact packages you could do:

tasksel --task-packages server

which would give you a list of packages the server task will install.

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