I am running Ubuntu 12.04. When I try to remove file-roller (the built-in "Archive Manager" app) from my system as I now use ark (using Synaptic Package Manager), it asks me to also remove ubuntu-desktop (which I assume is the Unity DE).

I don't want to uninstall Unity from my system, so how do I go about removing this, whilst keeping Unity installed?


You can safely remove ubuntu-desktop as it is a meta-package, and does not provide any actual content. It only depends/recommends other packages. Removing it will not remove Unity or other features.

See also: What is the difference between a meta-package and a package?

  • Thanks for this! I've marked as final answer (though haven't got round to booting into Ubuntu yet to do this) – Kieran Oct 9 '13 at 16:22

Since ubuntu-desktop's package dependency on file-roller is hard (it Depends, as opposed to Recommends or Suggests), you cannot uninstall file-roller without uninstalling ubuntu-desktop.

On the other hand, ubuntu-desktop is a meta-package, so you could achieve the equivalent by installing all packages it depends on, except file-roller, though I doubt that this is worth the effort.

Why not keep both installed?

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.