I was offered an upgrade to 16.04. During the upgrade, I saw this:

annotated screenshot

I can kinda see why Expect and w3m are being dropped, but why Gimp?

More importantly, how to do I find pre-built packages that I can install via apt-get or the Ubuntu Software Center (but they are dropping the "Center" part of that).

What does "the community" mean?

  • 5
    They're not just dropping the "Center" part of that, they have replaced it with a different application originally called "GNOME Software" but which was given the alias of "Ubuntu Software" on Ubuntu with Unity in order not to cause too much confusion.
    – user364819
    Apr 23, 2016 at 18:34
  • 5
    They are not dropping support for it. The problem is that what they call support on that page is not what you think it means. For Canonical support means that they not only provide you the package but they themselves take the responsibility of providing patches to that program (for e.g. security issues, bugfixes etc).
    – Bakuriu
    Apr 24, 2016 at 10:49
  • 2
    The reason this shouldn't be tagged 16.04 is that this action will affect any number of future versions, until Canonical adds it back (which is very unlikely).
    – muru
    Apr 24, 2016 at 14:59
  • @Bakuriu: That is exactly the source of my confusion. +1.
    – bgoodr
    Apr 27, 2016 at 15:07

2 Answers 2


That GIMP is no longer supported by Canonical doesn't mean it won't be available in Ubuntu's repositories. It will be, but not in the main section, instead, in the universe section.

From the package index:

Package gimp

  • precise (12.04LTS) (graphics): The GNU Image Manipulation Program
    2.6.12-1ubuntu1.3 [security]: amd64 i386
    2.6.12-1ubuntu1 [ports]: armhf powerpc
  • precise-updates (graphics): The GNU Image Manipulation Program
    2.6.12-1ubuntu1.3: amd64 armhf i386 powerpc
  • trusty (14.04LTS) (graphics): The GNU Image Manipulation Program
    2.8.10-0ubuntu1: amd64 arm64 armhf i386 powerpc ppc64el
  • wily (graphics): The GNU Image Manipulation Program
    2.8.14-1ubuntu2: amd64 arm64 armhf i386 powerpc ppc64el
  • xenial (graphics): The GNU Image Manipulation Program [universe]
    2.8.16-1ubuntu1: amd64 arm64 armhf i386 powerpc ppc64el s390x
  • yakkety (graphics): The GNU Image Manipulation Program [universe]
    2.8.16-1ubuntu1: amd64 arm64 armhf i386 powerpc ppc64el s390x

"The community" is anyone not paid by Canonical to work on Ubuntu: the army of volunteers who work on Ubuntu (basically most people who contribute to the development of Ubuntu).

Software in main is either software that's shipped on Ubuntu's official released ISOs, or crucial software that Canonical developers feel they can or should support for the duration of the release (5 years for LTS). GIMP was dropped from Ubuntu's ISOs in 10.04, and I'm amazed it remained in main for 6 years after that. Probably whoever maintained it in Canonical moved on to other projects.


The ubuntu repositories are split into four parts.

  • main: free software supported by canonical
  • restricted: non-free software supported by canonical (firmware, drivers etc)
  • universe: free software not supported by canonical
  • multiverse: non-free software not supported by canonical

Software not in main is not supported by canonical. The main practical impact of this for those of us who don't buy support contracts is that security updates are much less likely to appear in a timely manner and towards the end of the release lifecycle may not appear at all.

In general stuff gets into main because it's part of one of Ubuntus default installs. Gimp was dropped from the default install some time ago and I guess they just finally got around to removing it from main too.

Does that matter? In general I would say no, an image editor typically has relatively low exposure to security threats. Especially as the image formats themselves are typically handled by external libraries which (at least for the common formats) will probablly still be in main.

So to answer your "how to recover from it" question in the title I would suggest you just don't worry about it.

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