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I have messed something up with packages. Trying to fix an X11 problem in Ubuntu 11.10, I've done several package additions and removals, that each pulled some combination of dependencies with them. I don't know what's supposed to be on my system, but as I keep trying to troubleshoot errors from screenshots not working, to 3d problems, to limitations of the number of desktops I have, to touch screen problems, I keep finding that important packages are still missing from my system, despite the fact apt-get says everything is fine.

Where can I find a comprehensive list of what ought to be installed on my system for ubuntu 11.10, so I can just sudo apt-get the whole darn thing?

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Make sure that the linux-generic, linux-image-generic, ubuntu-desktop, ubuntu-minimal, and ubuntu-standard metapackages are all installed. –  Anonymous Oct 27 '11 at 18:18
    
Thanks, that does sound like a good list. Whatever I'm missing, it seems to be something that big in the xorg department, but haven't put my finger on what, yet. I think I had accidentally enabled the xorg-edgers repo and something got dpkg'd in order to get virtualbox working? Then for some reason, I think related to xorg-inputs-mutouch or -multitouch, the update manager asked me to partial upgrade...then the fun started. ;) –  Mittenchops Oct 27 '11 at 20:32
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While this is not a very elegant solution, you can determine the list of default packages by doing a fresh install in a virtual environment e.g. Virtualbox.

Then run:

dpkg --get-selections

It will display all installed packages.

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This is basically what I ended up doing. The culprit packages in my case were bizarro future versions of xorg and xserver-xorg that had to be downgraded and re-apt-gotten. –  Mittenchops Oct 28 '11 at 7:40
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