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I recently switched from Lubuntu to Xubuntu but I prefer Lubuntu's file manager, PCManFM, to Thunar, which is the default file manager in Xubuntu. So I installed PCManFM instead. Then I tried to uninstall Thunar via Synaptic but this process wants to uninstall other software as well, including "xubuntu-desktop".

synaptic

Any suggestions greatly appreciated.

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Maybe because of your bias. I think Thunar is awesome. PCManFM lacks a lot of features –  functionptr Jan 4 '13 at 3:06
    
hmm ok @function but it seems a bit pot kettle. Besides, I think it's fair to say thunar incorrectly labeling my filesizes as 4.1kb is a flaw. The files were not 4.1kb. –  Magpie Jan 4 '13 at 5:42
    
That said, I do take your point. I am sure thunar has some appeal to those who have different requirements to mine and in fairness PCManFM cannot display file sizes either. –  Magpie Jan 4 '13 at 20:19
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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Removing xubuntu-desktop will actually do little.

xubuntu-desktop is only a metapackage.

This means that it has no files or code whatsoever, except for a control file that says it depends on thunar and other stuff, and possibly a bit of filler code. [Citation needed]. You can safely remove this package without losing anything, since all its installation did was pull in a ton of other packages, which actually make the Xubuntu interface work, that aren;t on the list of removals.

The reason it gets removed, is it "depends" on Thunar in order to get Thunar installed in a Xubuntu installation, so when Thunar is removed, xubuntu-desktop is als oremoved(without ill effect).

With that said, updates that add Xubuntu packages(uncommon) will go unnoticed, but updates on existing Xubuntu packages(common) will be performed.

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Here goes nothing then! Aside from that I thought xubuntu-desktop was the environment therefore looked after panel etc. Can you please elaborate on this a bit, I am quite interested in learning something more about it. –  Magpie Jan 4 '13 at 1:39
    
and what about xfdesktop4. Will that eat into my panel and icons or am I safe to get rid of the rest of the thunar remains? –  Magpie Jan 4 '13 at 1:48
    
As already said xubuntu-desktopis nothing more than a meta package. If you remove Thunar only those packages named thunarshould be removed, xfdesktop4 provides the Desktop (read, the Desktop itself not the whole Environment) and xfce4-panel provides, well... the panel. –  Uri Herrera Jan 4 '13 at 1:51
    
Also I asked this askubuntu.com/questions/177752/… a while ago and never got a true answer. Different situation but I am wondering if this a similar deal to the one you just described here? –  Magpie Jan 4 '13 at 1:52
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xubuntu-desktop is a "place holder" if you will, that makes the installation and upgrading of many packages easier, you tell the computer to install it and it installs hundreds of other packages, you un-install xubuntu-desktop and all it un-installs is xubuntu-desktop help.ubuntu.com/community/MetaPackages –  Mateo Jan 4 '13 at 2:09
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