My laptop doesn't have a printer or a scanner connected and never will, as it doesn't work with my printer because of wrong cables.

Is there a possibility to remove the printing/scanning related processes, services and packages to free up some resources or at least disable them from loading on start up?


Regarding the removing part...

simple-scan is for scanners. <600kb on disc. system-config-printer-gnome is for configuring printers. 1.6Mb on disc. It is part of the gnome desktop though so might not be that easy to get rid of. cups 1.5.0-8ubuntu6 is 8Mb. It might also be a hassle to remove since it is sort of a system wide system all programs that have a print funtion depend on.

All in all you might save 10Mb. I did not try removing them so if you do this be careful for any notice telling you about removing other packages. You would not be the 1st to remove gnome completely.

Follow bodhi.zazen's post for just turning it off. I would advice doing that. If you need more space it is far easier to use an USB stick or external disc: lots of space at low cost.

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  • There' s other reasons than just space. Getting annoying "update your software" messages. Having to download updates wasting bandwidth. And bugs, more processes running means access to more code with more possibilities for getting owned. I'd much rather just uninstall it all – gman Dec 25 '15 at 14:06
  • sorry but if "updates messages" are annoying you ignore them or turn them -off-. But that would negate your 2nd problem: bugs. You'll never get then fixed ignoring updates. And "processes running"? You know you can turn printing off by disabling the service? Sorry ... what you are saying here is like killing an ant by throwing a meteorite to the planet it is on. – Rinzwind Dec 25 '15 at 14:37
  • You're missing the point. I don't need to update software I don't have installed nor do I get update notifications for software I don't have installed. Ignoring the space is not the issue. Getting rid of stuff I'm not using is. – gman Dec 26 '15 at 7:11

My advice would be to simply disable cups.

sudo mv /etc/init/cups.conf /etc/cups.conf.disabled

Or you could edit /etc/init/cups.conf and comment out the start line (s).

#start on (filesystem
#     and (started dbus or runlevel [2345])
#     and stopped udevtrigger)
stop on runlevel [016]

See http://upstart.ubuntu.com/cookbook/#disabling-a-job-from-automatically-starting

Alternately you can remove cups, but probably , at least IMO, more hassle then it is worth.

CUPS is your printing service. The first command stops the service from running.

The link I gave you discusses Upstart. A service is a process that runs in the background, usually waiting for connections. In the case of cups, cups = Common Unix Printing System http://www.cups.org/ and it will share your printer if you configure it to do so. Upstart is the process which monitors, starts, and stops various services.

You could as easily simply remove cups and sane (sane is for scanners), but probably more hassle then it is worth.

It is highly unlikely cups or sane is consuming significant resources or in any way slowing down your performance.

If, as you gain experience with Ubuntu / Linux, you wish a smaller, lighter system, it is IMO far easier to start with a minimal install and build up then start with a standard desktop install and start removing things.

If you are new to Ubuntu and Linux, take care in removing things you do not yet understand.

See also:



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  • can you please explain what this would do? As a noob I want to learn what ever key-stroke does so I can learn – THIRSTY GNOMES Jan 22 '12 at 20:25
  • Thanks for the help.. I wasent really looking for a memory boost persay, but more of a reduced weight on disc since i would never use it. – THIRSTY GNOMES Jan 22 '12 at 20:36

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