I once advised someone to remove a package that depends on ubuntu-desktop meta-package, if she didn't need it (EG: if one uses a different editor than gedit). Someone else said that doing so (removing gedit which will in turn remove ubuntu-desktop) could break things. Is this true? Are there any other potential problems?

2 Answers 2


Removing the meta-package usually will not be a problem until you try to upgrade your system, but I would advise against it. Removing gedit and some of the other standard applications can also be problematic - if other programs depend on them. It is best that you leave them in place unless you know what you are doing. If you want to build your own minimal custom system, try using ubuntu-minimal.

  • When I remove something, I always get a display of what is going to get removed, so I think you are stressing u must know what u r doing a bit too much. I also prefer pruning down instead of building up, so I can see exactly what functionality I'll be losing.
    – tshepang
    Commented Jan 14, 2011 at 17:07
  • lawl - did you read my full answer?
    – RolandiXor
    Commented Jan 14, 2011 at 17:44
  • huh? I did? wsup?
    – tshepang
    Commented Jan 14, 2011 at 18:31
  • I specifically mentioned using ubuntu minimal and building something more minimal, and I only mentioned "u must know what r doing" as a precaution.
    – RolandiXor
    Commented Jan 14, 2011 at 18:34

During updates new dependencies of ubuntu-desktop will not be installed.

  • 5
    There aren't new dependencies during normal updates. When upgrading to a new version the update-manager checks for ubuntu-desktop (and x/kubuntu-desktop if you use that) and ensures it's installed. Commented Jan 14, 2011 at 15:02

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