I am on Ubuntu 11.10. I hope to be able to replace gnome-screensaver with xscreensaver. I have read instructions on many sites that one simply uninstalls gnome-screensaver and then installs xscreensaver.

However, when I request removing gnome-screensaver, the system wants to remove much more than just the gnome-screensaver.

TheGeeko61> sudo apt-get remove gnome-screensaver
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
The following packages will be REMOVED:
  gnome gnome-core gnome-screensaver
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 3 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
After this operation, 483 kB disk space will be freed.
Do you want to continue [Y/n]? n

(Surely they cannot collectively add up to only 483 kB.) Must I really remove gnome and gnome-core?

1 Answer 1


You do not really need to remove gnome-screensaver , disable gnome-screensaver (and enable xscreensaver) in gnome-session-properties

enter image description here

If you really wish to remove it you may as gnome and gnome-core are meta packages, similar to ubuntu-desktop. meta packages are a list of packages to be installed.

See Ubuntu Wiki Metapackages for details

  • Yes, I have done that (disabled gnome-screensaver and enabled xscreensaver). However, after rebooting and logging in, gnome-screensaver has been started! Although gnome-session-properties reports that it is disabled.
    – TheGeeko61
    Dec 21, 2011 at 7:06
  • I will continue with the 2nd approach... don't seem to have a choice. It's comforting to know that those metapackages are not the real deal.
    – TheGeeko61
    Dec 21, 2011 at 7:08
  • 1
    Beautiful. The 2nd approach did work without a flaw. Thank you for steering me towards the article on meta packages.
    – TheGeeko61
    Dec 21, 2011 at 7:23
  • you are most welcome, glad it worked for you
    – Panther
    Dec 21, 2011 at 7:36

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