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I'm using Ubuntu 11.10 with Gnome 3. There are some applications that I don't use or need, for example Totem. When I click remove in the Software Center (or in Synaptic), it says "gnome-core" and/or "The gnome desktop environment - essential components" will be removed as well.

I removed these applications about a month ago by ignoring the prompts and once I restarted, Ubuntu would not load and would simply sit there at the loading screen. I'm not sure if removing gnome-core caused this issue, but I really want to remove some of these applications.

What is gnome-core and how do I know what essential components are going to be removed? Should I go forth with removing them anyways?

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It is not clear whether you've already saw problem after you removed those gnome-core components, or you are asking what could be happened if you do so. – pstar Jan 21 '12 at 22:46
1  
[..]I removed these applications about a month ago by ignoring the prompts and once I restarted, Ubuntu would not load and would simply sit there at the loading screen.[..]. There you go there's your answer. – Uri Herrera Jan 22 '12 at 0:36
    
there are some packages commonly used by both vital and normal applications. Make sure you removal of a package does not cause a chain of other packages to be removed. Always be aware of what you're doing. – vanlong441 Jan 23 '12 at 1:52

i was just testing this to check this out, by un-intalling totem! there should be no problem todo so!

suggestion do a re-install of gnome-common and gnome-session using synaptic by preference (as i don't like the software center)

and reboot the sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade. then open synaptic and remove totem. if you want to remove the games i just remove them one by one or tomboy etc. hope this helps

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Gnome-core is a package. From your description of the events (I can't confirm with this package checker because it doesn't have your Ubuntu version), I suspect that gnome-core is a dependency of totem.

To confirm this, enter the following into a terminal:

apt-cache depends totem

This will get all the dependencies of the the totem package. If 'gnome-core' appears in that list, you will know that totem requires gnome-core to be installed.

To get the details of gnome-core, type into a terminal:

apt-cache show gnome-core

Scroll down to see the description (mine on Ubuntu 14.04):

Description-en_AU: GNOME Desktop Environment -- essential components
These are the core components of the GNOME Desktop environment, an
intuitive and attractive desktop.
.
This meta-package depends on a basic set of programs, including a file
manager, an image viewer, a web browser, a video player and other tools.
.
It contains the official “core” modules of the GNOME desktop.

To know what programs will be removed if you remove gnome-core, you will need to check what its "reverse dependencies" are:

$ apt-cache rdepends gnome-core
gnome-core
Reverse Depends:
  gnome-audio
  gnome
  bluetile
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