First, a piece of advice: in Xubuntu 18.04, there is a pre-installed application called Web Browser. It is NOT a Web Browser. I uninstalled it via Software Center thinking it was redundant with Firefox around, but it deleted a bunch of things, among them exo something (no idea what those are but they look important), File Manager, Terminal and who knows what else.

This is exactly what happened to me:

https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=1216218

When I looked to my installed apps in GNOME Software, I saw a "Web browser" with very little info, so I removed it. GNOME Software issued no warning and I removed exo and half of Xfce (I was running on Xfce). After restart, everything stopped working (no xfdesktop, na panel, etc...).

I consider this dangerous.

Now, desktop is gone, with Super key + R I get the list of installed apps, most of them are still there and launching. Opened Software Center, but when I try to re-install Web Browser, Terminal or File Manager, I have an error mentioning unset dependencies.

My question is: how can I get back what I deleted with no Terminal? Of course no back-up, it is my father's PC, I am managing it for him (and not doing a very good job it seems).

Much appreciated. And for the love of God, DO NOT delete that ill-named Web Browser app.

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    can you get to a command line with ctrl+alt+F3 ? – Joshua Besneatte Nov 27 at 22:29
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    Can you access a terminal interface? (ctrl+alt+f4 or whatever fn key you prefer) When it deletes If it was me, I'd look at your logs, and just re-install what you removed; or at worst you could sudo apt install xubuntu-desktop – guiverc Nov 27 at 22:30
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    The Web Browser shortcut you see opens what the default web browser is set to. You can run a command from a terminal window like exo-open www.google.com that will launch your default web browser to Google. From the exo-open man page: exo-open - Open URLs and launch preferred applications When in doubt, try looking in the man pages for what applications are used for. – Terrance Nov 27 at 22:36
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    See askubuntu.com/a/50624/231142 for the possibility of recovering accidentally removed apps from a terminal window like using Ctrl+Alt+f3 – Terrance Nov 27 at 22:38
  • Thank you guys, I di not have daily access to my dad's PC, I will try all of the above when there and report back. I feel such an idiot, like I had deleted System32 back in the Windows days. – Travis Nov 28 at 9:15

You should be able to drop to a command shell with CTRL+ALT+F3.

From there you can log in and run some fixit commands:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade --fix-missing

Then you can try to install/reinstall xubuntu-core/desktop

sudo apt install --reinstall xubuntu-core xubuntu-desktop
  • 1
    Thank you, will try that as soon as I am at my dad's. Will report back and mark it as resolved if so. – Travis Nov 28 at 9:16

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