On Ubuntu Gnome 17.04 using gdm3 display manager, I installed Budgie desktop environment using:

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-budgie-desktop

It pulled in a lot of dependencies, etc. But I did not find it too useful so I:

sudo apt-get remove ubuntu-budgie-desktop
sudo apt-get autoremove

However, even after that, when I login, I do see Budgie as an option alongside usual Gnome, Wayland, etc. And I am able to log into Budgie as if I had never removed it!

How do I completely remove Budgie?

  • You can try sudo apt-get purge ubuntu-budgie-desktop. – Michal Przybylowicz Oct 3 '17 at 10:24
  • @MichalPrzybylowicz Supposedly the OP did that and no, it won't uninstall anything but the meta-package itself. – user692175 Oct 3 '17 at 10:30

ubuntu-budgie-desktop is a meta package.

A desktop meta package is a master package that installs all related packages for a particular desktop environment.

In this case - all the packages related to Ubuntu Budgie.

So in addition to ubuntu-budgie-desktop you must also purge budgie-desktop. This is the graphical environment itself and it will also remove the login session for budgie.

sudo apt purge ubuntu-budgie-desktop budgie-desktop

There are a few recommended packages also that are installed with ubuntu-budgie-desktop that will not be removed with the above command - but you can deal with those separately if you so wish.

  • 1
    it is counter-intutive. If apt-get install x does something, apt-get remove x should do the reverse. Without asking here, how could one ever know that it is budgie-desktop that needs to be removed? Also, how do I get rid of other 'recommended' packages I do not need anymore? – deshmukh Oct 3 '17 at 15:24
  • It has to work that way. If un-installing a package also un-installed everything it depends on....chaos would ensue. – Organic Marble Oct 4 '17 at 12:24
  • @organicmarble In Fedora and co. they have history undo command that does roughly what I was expecting and it doesn't result in any chaos. :) – deshmukh Oct 11 '17 at 8:30
  • @deshmukh you could try filing a bug against apt (ubuntu-bug apt), ask for it to be marked 'Wishlist' and describe the missing feature in good detail (and gently). Ideally, don't just say 'dnf history undo in apt please' but say what dnf history undo does and how it could work/be implemented in apt :) Obviously, though, it's up to the developers to develop the feature, many are working in their free time etc so if they don't develop it then oh well, we'll just have to keep doing things the old way :) – Ads20000 Jan 3 '18 at 1:40
  • Actually the sudo apt-get autoremove meets this requirement I believe - have a look at man apt-get. It can also be used for removing old kernels which are no longer depended on by the kernel metapackages – cleary Mar 23 '18 at 5:32
  • Uninstall packages:
    sudo apt remove budgie-desktop-environment budgie-desktop && sudo apt autoremove
  • Remove PPA from 'System Settings' -> 'Software & Updates' -> 'Other Software'
  • Revert to default login screen:
    sudo apt remove lightdm-gtk-greeter && sudo apt autoremove
  • Restore default splash screen (choose 'ubuntu-logo'):
    sudo update-alternatives --config default.plymouth
  • Finalize plymouth with:
    sudo update-initramfs -u

My limited experience with testing alternative desktop environments is that, after installing one, it's impractical to remove it short of reinstalling Ubuntu. For the future, what I'd recommend if you want to try an environment is to either try it from the Live media (USB or DVD), with the understanding that everything will be much faster once installed, or make a new partition from free space and install there, so you can get rid of the test environment cleanly when you're done testing.

The same is true of your old DE when you settle on a new one -- there's no good way to get rid of, for instance, KDE if you switch to MATE or xfce. Because of the amount of space required for a DE install, I'd recommend installing new, clean, and then if needed using the "list packages" feature of a package manager to quickly and efficiently install your tools (if you feel you must have the same tools in a new DE).

  • You're right on this, reinstalling is the way to go. The problem is that all desktop environments require some effort on tweaking them to your liking, and solving every little perk requires time. No one would take an alternative desktop environment seriously if it was a 30-minute thing. – DanyAlejandro Nov 14 '18 at 17:15
  • This has not been my experience. I was using bugdie desktop for about 5 months, then I switched to KDE for about a week. I didn't like the "KDE experience" because for some reason my external monitor stopped working and also kwallet did not work as well gnome keyring, so I uninstalled plasma-desktop as well as some KDE related apps and purged the PPA and now I have reverted back to plain Ubuntu Gnome desktop. In addition I have also removed budgie desktop and nothing so far has deleted Ubuntu or corrupted the system packages – smac89 Mar 14 '19 at 16:38
  • indeed, there is absolutely no reason to reinstall, the package manager nicely takes care of it when you install and uninstall plus purge. Take a look at the synaptic package manager, if you prefer a visual but detailed interface. – Vincent Gerris Mar 20 '19 at 11:00

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