Which programs installed by default in Ubuntu are generally regarded as safe to uninstall?

I'm mostly thinking of things like social networking, E-mail, you know. Bonus stuff.

  • The last time I had a clean install of ubuntu i made a list by trial and error: restarting after uninstalling each default program and then reinstalling the entire OS when this caused it to break. I lost the list since then, all I remember is it's okay to uninstall Rythmbox! – Rabbit Nov 18 '15 at 14:17

You can uninstall anything you want. At work we even delete gdm and anything GUI related but that is because we have a command line fetish.

Open up Ubuntu Software Center and have a look at the list that shows installed.

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Anything in here, except for uncategorized and themes and tweaks since these might contain some software you do want to keep, should be safe for removal and should be standalone packages. This includes firefox, thunderbird, totem, libreoffice. The list goes on and on so you will not get a perfect answer to your question.


If what you mean is "safe to uninstall and still keep the default desktop functionality" I think you need to be very careful about this, as it is entirely possible to do some real damage when you start uninstalling programs from the standard install.

I am not as familiar with the software center, so I am not as sure that all the entries in there are safe to uninstall. If that is the case of course, then it is a commendable feature of the software center.

What I would recommend (possibly in addition to some of the other recommendations) is to install the synaptic package manager as it gives you more direct information about what will happen. Search for the package that you want to uninstall. When you mark it for un-installation it will tell you which other programs will also be uninstalled. Have a close look at this list and make very sure that it only contains items related to the software you want to remove and make sure that it does not contain anything system related (e.g. stuff with gnome in the name and a bunch of other stuff). In general especially the last part can be difficult to determine, so be careful.


I would have to say any program on the Ubuntu Software Center (USC) is safe to uninstall. Of course you must use your judgment as well. If this is not what you are looking for, then please expand your question, explaining your idea of safe.

  • He wants to UNinstall, not install :) – ish May 20 '12 at 8:44
  • sorry too many things going at the same time!!!! – Mitch May 20 '12 at 8:46
  • fixed it by adding un :+ – Rinzwind May 20 '12 at 9:07

Anything in the software center is safe to uninstall. but the synaptic is the better way to do it. just look through your menu for items you don’t want then type it in synaptic and remove.

Wattos is already very light I know this for sure but if you are trying to uninstall drivers for scanners printers etc. it can be a lot lighter. My wattos is under 1000 packages and it started at about 1800, but mine is very very minimal I had to be careful.

My suggestion is to keep a live CD handy to reinstall again if you mess up.
Learning is the best part.

  • It sounds like you're saying that anything that appears as installed in the Software Center can safely be uninstalled. That is definitely not the case. Any package, including packages without which Ubuntu cannot boot or run, can be seen and uninstalled in the Software Center. If that is not what you mean, you may want to edit your answer ("yeah anything in the software center is good to uninstall") to clarify this. – Eliah Kagan Jul 3 '12 at 1:03

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