I prefer using Synaptic to Software Center. So I decide to remove the software-center package, but ubuntu-desktop needs to be removed as well. A warning is shown, saying ubuntu-desktop is needed to ensure proper updates.

To which extent doesubuntu-desktop effect on updates?

Let's say I removed ubuntu-desktop then my Ubuntu would be treated as server mode. So does that means I'll get updates geared toward server i.e. I'll get packages that unnecessary for my desktop?


Ubuntu-Desktop is a meta package. It does nothing by itself. Meta packages exist as containers depending on a number of other packages, which belong to a standard installation. You can safely remove ubuntu-desktop. Nothing bad will happen.

However, if you upgrade to a later version of Ubuntu, the meta packages reflect the new list of standard applications. If Canonical should ever decided to drop software-center and include AptDeluxe instead, the meta package takes care of that during the upgrade. Worst thing that can happen, is that an upgrade takes manual work, or that some packages will not received (automatic) updates (because conflicts cannot be resolved); the latter may be a security issue.

I'd recommend to keep those meta packages installed, which provide a set of applications that you would typically want. If software-center is the only package from ubuntu-desktop that you don't need, I'd keep ubuntu-desktop because Software Center causes no harm (to my knowledge). However, if there's more bloat that you want to get rid of and you don't mind the possible, future issues, removing ubuntu-desktop is the right thing to do.


You can safely remove ubuntu-desktop without affecting upgrades:

According to the source:

A server install has more freedoms, for a desktop install we force a desktop meta package to be install on the upgrade.

We look for a installed desktop meta pkg and for key dependencies, if none of those are installed we assume server mode

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