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I'm having problems with Xorg randomly crashing on Ubuntu 15.10. I checked ~/.xsession-errors and there's some stuff in there about upstart, so I'm trying to delete it from my system. I read that since Ubuntu 15.04 upstart has been replaced with systemd, so not sure why it's still there (upstart processes are running now). A while ago I accidentally deleted some upstart config files so perhaps that's why.

Anyway I ran sudo apt-get remove upstart, and then it said:

The following packages will be REMOVED
  ubuntu-desktop unity unity-greeter upstart

So I didn't continue. Why is ubuntu trying to remove the desktop and unity as well when I just want to remove upstart?

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    unity-greeter depends on upstart, so if you removed only upstart, unity-greeter would have unmet dependencies, that's why your package manager intends to remove this package as well. – Stefan Hamcke Dec 8 '15 at 14:52
  • Ah I see, thank you. How does unity greeter work then for newer versions of ubuntu that use systemd not upstart? Or has upstart been retained in these new versions for certain functions? – Collierre Dec 8 '15 at 15:14
  • Does this mean unity and unity-desktop depend on upstart too? But then how is it that ubuntu's supposedly switched from upstart to systemd? – Collierre Dec 8 '15 at 15:37
  • unity and ubuntu-desktop depend on unity-greeter. A useful application to figure out what package depends on which is aptitude, it has a graphical user interface (in the terminal). I don't know anything about upstart or systemd, so I can't say what was the idea to make these packages depend on upstart. I just know some things about package management and I came across your question, that's why I posted my comment. – Stefan Hamcke Dec 8 '15 at 16:10
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I read that since Ubuntu 15.04 upstart has been replaced with systemd

You read wrong. As explained in the last bullet point of https://askubuntu.com/a/613814/43344 , upstart is still used for so-called "user" init. If you uninstall it, all of the things in your desktop that try to talk to a per-session/per-user service manager (as opposed to the system-wide one) will stop working. Hence the package dependencies.

Further reading

  • Ah thanks. Do you know what would be the best way to reinstall upstart without uninstalling unity desktop? Or should I reinstall them all from command line mode? – Collierre Dec 9 '15 at 18:16

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