I am using Ubuntu 14.04.1 which is a fresh install of about one month old.

I was trying to get 5.1 surround audio to work so I followed the instructions here which suggested the following commands:

sudo apt-get remove –purge alsa-base pulseaudio
sudo apt-get install alsa-base pulseaudio
sudo alsa force-reload

At the time I wasn't paying much attention and there was a message saying the following packages would be removed:

alsa-base* indicator-sound* libcanberra-pulse* pulseaudio* pulseaudio-module-bluetooth* pulseaudio-module-x11* ubuntu-desktop* unity-control-center* unity-control-center-signon* webaccounts-extension-common* xul-ext-webaccounts*

...which I went ahead with because I had no reason to think anything would go wrong. Afterwards, however, I noticed that the Systems Settings dialog looked different (kind of gnome-y) and had only a few icons listed.

I tried to reverse the process by using apt-get install copying and pasting after all the above packages that I was told would be removed. However, this resulted in seemingly quite a large number of additional packages being installed which process took about 5-10 minutes to complete.

Now, when I restart my system, the shut down screen says "Shutting down Lubuntu", the grub screen is black instead of the old orange-brown, the system log in screen is totally different, and the dash bar has changed colour and appearance to brown with a different style Ubuntu logo than the one I had before (I think it is the Edubuntu logo). Besides that, everything else still seems to work.

Somewhere among all the packages that were installed it seems Lubuntu and/or Edubuntu and related packages have been installed.

I don't want Lubuntu, Edubuntu or any unnecessary additional packages associated with the above installation process. How can I remove Lubuntu / Edubuntu and revert to the Ubuntu system I had before?

An explanation of how these other packages got installed from the above commands would also be a bonus.


To put 'ubuntu' back on...

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop
  • This was the first thing I tried and I was just informed that it was already installed because it was never uninstalled. The other flavours were installed and the system configured to use the last one that was installed. By removing the packages, it defaulted to ubuntu-desktop. – authentictech Feb 22 '15 at 22:13
  • This, of course, does not remove any of the extra installed packages which was one of the things I asked for. Thanks. – authentictech Feb 23 '15 at 16:30
  • Since you don't know what you installed and were thus unable to list anything, I told you how to get back to a known state. – Scott Goodgame Feb 23 '15 at 17:25
  • I mentioned this in the paragraph that starts with "I tried to reverse the process by using apt-get install and copying and pasting all the above packages that I was told would be removed." So I had already run sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop* (from which I surmised I installed the additional Ubuntu flavours). Doing the command you gave would not have done anything as ubuntu-desktop was installed. What may have worked is sudo apt-get install --reinstall ubuntu-desktop which may have reinstalled and reconfigured Ubuntu as the active system (though leaving the other packages). – authentictech Feb 23 '15 at 17:54

The command apt-get install ubuntu-desktop* uses a regex expression that matches and causes all flavours of Ubuntu (Kubuntu, Edubuntu, Xubuntu, and Lubuntu) to be installed. Lubuntu was configured to be the active one which explains the appearance of Lubuntu artwork, packages & text.

The following commands removes the Ubuntu flavour packages and configuration files:

sudo apt-get remove --purge kubuntu*
sudo apt-get remove --purge edubuntu*
sudo apt-get remove --purge xubuntu*
sudo apt-get remove --purge lubuntu*

(This should be followed by sudo apt-get autoremove to remove any other packages that are no longer needed.)

Then to return the original unity greeter and lock screen (which had been changed) I used the command sudo apt-get install --reinstall unity

After this, the system reverted to the original Ubuntu and Unity.

Finally, I used the Unity Tweak Tool package (unity-tweak-tool) to tweak some of the Dash appearance settings to get it back to exactly how it was before.


Test this:

Open a terminal,

Press Ctrl+Alt+T

Run it:

sudo -i
apt-get update
apt-get install --reinstall aptitude deborphan
aptitude remove '?and(?reverse-depends(lubuntu),?not(?reverse-depends(?exact-name(ubuntu-desktop))))'
aptitude remove '?and(?reverse-depends(edubuntu),?not(?reverse-depends(?exact-name(ubuntu-desktop))))'
apt-get install --reinstall ubuntu-desktop
apt-get --purge remove $(deborphan)
deborphan --libdevel
apt-get --purge remove $(deborphan --libdevel)
deborphan --find-config
dpkg --purge $(deborphan --find-config)
apt-get autoremove
apt-get clean

This removes the installed packages that reverse-depend on lubuntu and edubuntu and not those for ubuntu-desktop.

  • Looks interesting... adding in apt-get update & apt-get install --reinstall ubuntu-desktop before the reboot command may help in case everything was deleted by the last few commands. An dyou don't need to pass the ` --reinstall` flag every time :) – Wilf Feb 22 '15 at 21:54
  • ubuntu-desktop was already installed but it seems just overridden by installing the other Ubuntu flavours. I'd need some more explanation of what the code you gave meant though if I was to accept this answer. I don't like entering code that I don't know what it does (which is what got me into trouble in the first place :) ) – authentictech Feb 22 '15 at 22:11
  • What did it do? Well, exactly what is written: remove as installed the packages that reverse-depend lubuntu and edubuntu and not the packages ubuntu-desktop, man aptitude, man deborphan, man apt-get for more. – kyodake Feb 23 '15 at 2:19
  • @kyodake I edited in part of your last comment into your answer since it is helpful for newbies and other readers (not just me). A lot of newbies don't understand complex command line instruction & find man pages difficult to follow so a little explanation helps. Explanations are encouraged here anyway askubuntu.com/help/how-to-answer. Unless the meaning is very obvious to beginners (like simple "apt-get install" commands) I generally don't like answers with stand-alone code. I will vote up the answer once the edit gets approved. Thanks for the help. – authentictech Feb 23 '15 at 18:20
  • @kyodake The output from the fourth line concerns me. I first "The following packages will be REMOVED:" and a list of packages some of which I don't want or don't recognize but some that I definitely want. I then get "The following packages have unmet dependencies" with a long list of packages again many I want to keep which are vital to the system operation. This is followed by "The following actions will resolve these dependencies: Remove the following packages" and a long list of packages many I want to keep. (contd) – authentictech Feb 23 '15 at 20:00

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