I recently uninstalled the libopencv/python-opencv packages using apt in order to install a more recent version manually. But for some odd reason when removing python-opencv it uninstalled cinnamon and mint-meta-cinnamon. Now, I can't seem to find a way to reinstall cinnamon without reinstalling python-opencv.

tdos@thinkpad:~$ sudo apt-get install cinnamon
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
The following extra packages will be installed:
The following NEW packages will be installed:
  cinnamon python-opencv
0 upgraded, 2 newly installed, 0 to remove and 92 not upgraded.
Need to get 327 kB/795 kB of archives.
After this operation, 3,742 kB of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n] 

What the heck happened?


OpenCV is a computer vision library which seems completely unrelated to the cinnamon desktop environment (python-opencv package is a way to install the python bindings for the libopencv library). I have no idea why a dependency between the two was created on my system, but I doubt there cinnamon depends on opencv.

  • I'm going to guess that python-opencv is a dependency of cinnamon – TheWanderer Aug 25 '15 at 15:49

The package for cinnamon includes information about which other packages must be installed for it to work, these are dependencies. The python-opencv package is required for cinnamon, but not the other way around (obviously).

The "correct" solution would be to find a later version of python-opencv which is packaged as a .deb file so that the package manager is aware that it is present, and can check if it meets the requirement for the cinnamon package.

You cannot simply leave the existing python-opencv package installed, and install your new version over it, because at some later time there may be a patch released which would overwrite your new version, but if you are absolutely confident that you know what you are doing, you could leave the existing python-opencv package installed, and "hold" that package so that it is not updated, and then overwrite it with your own version.... so long as your version is compiled to install in the same location.... this is definitely not for the uninitiated tho....

You would use:-

sudo apt-mark hold package_name
sudo apt-mark unhold package_name

To hold the python-opencv package at the current version, and then when compiling your new version, ensure that the PREFIX is set to /usr, not /usr/local for example.

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It seems that cinnamon does in fact use the opencv library for webcam access. Found the related github issue here:

krasnoglaz commented on 12 Oct 2013

I've found out that opencv is used for webcam access in /files/usr/lib/cinnamon-settings/modules/cs_user.py script. Isn't that a bit excessive to include giant complex library solely for webcam access?

clefebvre commented on 16 Oct 2013

It's the best way of detecting a working webcam and taking pictures we know of.

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