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Even though I'm currently trying to install an AMD Catalyst driver this is more of an universal problem with Linux that I don't get. It's about how some packages which are totally mainstream and used all the time get tagged as "no longer required" by the system. For example as my AMD driver installation begins I get the following message:

   Generating package: Ubuntu/precise
   Resolving build dependencies...
   Unable to resolve  can't parse dependency libobasis36-en_us-writer
   can't parse dependency libobasis36-en_us
   can't parse dependency libobasis36-en_us-res
   can't parse dependency libobasis36-en_us-math
   can't parse dependency libobasis36-en_us-calc
   can't parse dependency libobasis36-en_us-base.  Please manually install and try again.

Nonsense. These as you can see are LibreOffice modules. Nothing to do with AMD Driver. However I decided to run "apt-get install -f" to see what's wrong and apparently most of my software is "no longer required".

    apt-get install -f
    Reading package lists... Done
    Building dependency tree
    Reading state information... Done
    The following packages were automatically installed and are no longer required:
    gir1.2-appindicator3-0.1 melt 9menu thunderbird-globalmenu libpurple0           liblaunchpad-integration1 libpeas-common libpanel-applet-4-0 libcogl9
    python-pygoocanvas libyelp0 gir1.2-json-1.0 openshot libobasis3.6-draw       libreoffice3.6-impress python-notify libtelepathy-glib0 python-mako
    libgtksourceview-3.0-0 libreoffice-base gir1.2-javascriptcoregtk-3.0 ratpoison xchat-common libraw5 gir1.2-gst-plugins-base-0.10 gir1.2-timezonemap-1.0
    libxfce4util-bin libreoffice-calc libclutter-gst-1.0-0 gnome-video-effects   libreoffice3.6-math libdiscid0 libmlt++3 libobasis3.6-impress
    gir1.2-gstreamer-0.10 libunique-3.0-0 qalc libobasis3.6-gnome-integration xchat thunderbird rhythmbox python-mlt3 system-config-printer-gnome gedit
    libgexiv2-1 libindicate-gtk3 gir1.2-soup-2.4 libgoocanvas-common libnotify-bin libminiupnpc8 librest-0.7-0 system-config-printer-udev indicator-applet
    libclutter-gtk-1.0-0 libevent-2.0-5 libcln6 libgpod4 gir1.2-gtksource-3.0 rhythmbox-data bodhi-openshot libreoffice-writer libobasis3.6-en-us-math
    avahi-utils libreoffice-draw libreoffice3.6-en-us libobasis3.6-core01 libobasis3.6-core02 libobasis3.6-core03 libobasis3.6-core04 libobasis3.6-core05
    libobasis3.6-core06 libobasis3.6-core07 libxfce4util4 shotwell libcogl-common xfce-keyboard-shortcuts libdmapsharing-3.0-2 libsexy2 gedit-common
    rhythmbox-mozilla handbrake-cli libnice10 rhythmbox-plugin-zeitgeist libgssdp-1.0-3 libobasis3.6-en-us libobasis3.6-math simple-scan gir1.2-webkit-3.0
    libpeas-1.0-0 libxfce4util-common indicator-messages python-markupsafe libmp3lame0 libreoffice3.6-base rhythmbox-plugin-cdrecorder libqalculate5
    python-imaging librhythmbox-core5 handbrake-gtk gnuplot-x11 bodhi-vlc libreoffice3.6-calc bodhi-rhythmbox libclutter-1.0-0 python-smbc gnuplot-nox
    libcogl-pango0 bodhi-handbrake libcluttergesture-0.0.2-0 bodhi-printing indicator-status-provider-mc5 libpython2.7 system-config-printer-common
    libreoffice3.6-writer libgtksourceview-3.0-common libtimezonemap1 media-player-info gnome-user-guide libjson-glib-1.0-0 libxfce4ui-1-0 libreoffice-impress
    libmx-1.0-2 gir1.2-xkl-1.0 libsox-fmt-base libgpod-common python-gnomekeyring rhythmbox-plugins libclutter-1.0-common libido3-0.1-0 tcl8.5
    gstreamer0.10-nice libobasis3.6-en-us-base yelp gir1.2-rb-3.0 python-cups libgupnp-1.0-4 libsox-fmt-alsa libexo-1-0 libreoffice-math libpurple-bin
    libobasis3.6-en-us-calc libreoffice3.6-draw libxklavier16 libreoffice libmeanwhile1 indicator-sound libobasis3.6-base libindicate5 filelight libzephyr4
    qalculate-gtk libobasis3.6-calc libreoffice3.6-ure libgtkspell0 libopencore-amrnb0 yelp-xsl libobasis3.6-en-us-res xfconf libsox1b libquicktime2
    libmlt-data libreoffice3.6 xfburn openshot-doc libxfconf-0-2 python-cupshelpers libclutter-imcontext-0.1-0 libobasis3.6-writer libobasis3.6-en-us-writer
    libobasis3.6-images libexo-common libfarstream-0.1-0 libgoocanvas3 libobasis3.6-ooolinguistic libgupnp-igd-1.0-4 libopencore-amrwb0 python-httplib2
    gir1.2-peas-1.0 libmlt4 libneon27-gnutls libindicator-messages-status-provider1    libexo-helpers libmusicbrainz3-6 libavdevice53
    Use 'apt-get autoremove' to remove them.
    0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 117 not upgraded.

I've no idea why this is happening. It happened to me before while installing other applications such as wine. Please explain. I'm new to Linux unfortunately.

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1 Answer 1

It just means that there are library packages (that are usually installed to satisfy dependencies of other packages) that were installed that the manager has picked up that are no longer needed or used by any "actual" programs. This generally happens in one of three cases:

  1. You uninstalled a package.
  2. A package updated and no longer needs certain dependencies.
  3. You've upgraded your version of Ubuntu, rendering some packages obsolete.

It's also going to keep happening until you do something about it, but it shouldn't stop you from installing other things (the only time it would stop you is if one of those packages is somehow interfering with the package being installed).

Generally speaking, it's okay to run apt-get autoremove, though without other information, the packages listed seems somewhat odd. Have you uninstalled anything, or done anything else with your system recently (just before you started getting these messages)?

On a side note, why are you running 12.04, instead of 12.10?

Edit Since you're using Bodhi Linux, you're probably safe to run apt-get autoremove. I'm not totally familiar with Bodhi, but if I had to guess, I'd say it still uses the Ubuntu repositories for its base for things. That means when you installed the software pack that had Thunderbird, Firefox, etc., it probably installed the defaults from the Ubuntu repositories (or a similar "Ubuntu" based PPA). Since Ubuntu PPAs/repositories assume you're running vanilla, they also assume you're using the Gnome stack and Unity. Since you're not, then you have no use for libraries like libindicator, gir, appindicator, and thunderbird-globalmenu. Apt picks up on the fact that you're not actually using the things that depend on these libraries, and therefore deem them safe to remove.

That doesn't entirely explain the presence of things like libreoffice-3.6 and bodhi-vlc, unless you installed a more recent version of LibreOffice or VLC, either on your own or through another package bundle.

However, even when I've seen things that I thought were necessary, it has turned out that removing them actually had no effect (this can happen when versions change, and it's trying to remove the older version). From the looks of it, I doubt anything system-breaking would be removed if you ran apt-get autoremove, so worst case scenario, you might have to reinstall a couple of applications. If that does happen, it might be worth filing a bug with the maintainers of Bodhi, if you can demonstrate that this sort of "autoremove loop" is due to something in their install scripts.

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I do understand the general idea behind obsolete packages, however it appears to me that ubuntu is tagging "very needed" packages as "no longer needed" for a defective reason. I don't know what to tell you it's a fresh installation so I definitely installed and uninstalled a lot of stuff. libreoffice3.6-draw Would you consider this to be "no longer needed" ? It might be related to using Synaptic, for I remember that the last time this happened I marked a few things for uninstall with Synaptic again. –  harrypotter9999 Nov 14 '12 at 20:59
I would consider it no longer needed if you uninstalled Libreoffice (or, perhaps, only have a version that doesn't include Draw bundled), but without knowing what you uninstalled, I can't begin to guess what the system "should" see as necessary vs unnecessary. If you've installed and uninstalled a bunch of stuff, it's not really a "fresh install" anymore. The question here is what did you uninstall (and, to a lesser extent, why did you uninstall it)? –  Shauna Nov 14 '12 at 21:12
Well I do have libreoffice3.6-draw installed, that much I can tell you. I just ran the program and it works fine and it is version 3.6, so it's not uninstalled. I started by installing a software pack including firefox, thunderbird, gpic etc. (basic programs), then I installed skype, terminator, vlc, vuze, wine1.5. Maybe it has something to do with wine1.5, last time I installed wine same thing happened. –  harrypotter9999 Nov 14 '12 at 21:23
What software pack? Ubuntu comes with Firefox and Thunderbird by default. Given that stock Ubuntu 12.04 comes with LibreOffice 3.5, not 3.6, it's very likely that your software pack is pulling in cutting edge repos for these applications. If it didn't keep the PPAs for them, or if you removed the PPA entry from the Software Sources, then that could explain why you're seeing this. That said, are you using the stock Ubuntu, or a different flavor of it (such as Mint or Kubuntu)? –  Shauna Nov 14 '12 at 21:49
I'm not using stock Ubuntu. I'm using Bodhi, which is based on 12.04. –  harrypotter9999 Nov 14 '12 at 22:19
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