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Was asked to upgrade Ubuntu to version 11.10 today, and said alright. When it's asking me if I want to start the upgrade it lists some details. It says that 434 new packages are going to be installed. One is for example aisleriot, Solitaire card games. I do not want that on my system. I spent a lot of time uninstalling a lot of applications like that.

Is there a way I can tell Ubuntu to upgrade, without bringing with it a ton of extra packages that I don't want?

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Usually, it will install upgrades of packages already installed and very few new packages. Did you have the solitaires and aisleriot already installed before the upgrade? – Dominik Oct 27 '11 at 16:37
What are you upgrading from? If it's from before 11.04, it needs to upgrade these packages because of the transfer from gnome 2 to 3. If this isn't the case, there really isn't any way around it other than uninstalling all of the packages you don't want upgraded during the upgrade. – Thomas Boxley Oct 27 '11 at 17:03

The Ubuntu installer will try to reinstall all the recommendations of ubuntu-desktop. This will draw in a lot of dependencies.

If you are feeling adventurous, you could:

  1. Bypass the Ubuntu installer and manually rename all occurences of natty to oneiric in /etc/apt/sources.list, comment all ppas, do a apt-get update && apt-get dist-upgrade on the command line. (This used to work on older debian, YMMV)
  2. Dump your current packages as outlined in Best way to backup all settings, list of installed packages, tweaks, etc? and Backup Software Sources, do a basic command line install with debootstrap and play the packages back in.
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