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I do want to uninstall the "popularity-contest" package from my system.

While I know that I can disable it with

$ dpkg-reconfigure popularity-contest

it is still a package I want removed.

Unfortunately, the "ubuntu-standard" package depends on it (instead of just having it recommended). Removing popcon would thus remove ubuntu-standard, and my system would be trashed. See Popularity Contest should be uninstallable for the features request to make it uninstallable.

Until that bug is fixed, I need a way to get it uninstalled.

How can I do that? Is there a trick to convince the package manager that the dependency is not necessary?

share|improve this question
i ran into (minor) problems because CRON wanted to access popularity-contest despite the fact that it was disabled. – tony gil Jun 8 '14 at 17:12
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Given that ubuntu-standard is a metapackage, removing it do not imply the removing of any other package, nor the removing of some functionality:

$ sudo apt-get --simulate purge popularity-contest 
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
The following packages will be REMOVED:
  popularity-contest* ubuntu-standard*
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 2 to remove and 13 not upgraded.
Purg ubuntu-standard [1.245]
Purg popularity-contest [1.53ubuntu1]
share|improve this answer
In fact, the packages that ubuntu-standard, ubuntu-desktop and other metapackages depend on are often marked as manually installed, so that apt-get won't say, "the following packages are no longer needed..." every time you use it. – jpaugh Dec 3 '11 at 15:07
Maybe I fail to see it, but you are not answering the question in my eyes. OP wants to remove popularity-contest without removing ubuntu-standard (which is supposed to be an essential package not to be removed). – arnuschky Oct 12 '15 at 13:21
@arnuschky: removing a dependence of a package without removing the package itself is impossible without leaving the package system in an inconsistent state. In my answer however I say that removing ubuntu-standard does not trash the system, as the OP fears, because ubuntu-standard is a metapackage. – enzotib Oct 13 '15 at 6:25

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