apt-get remove (why does that remove dependencies as well?)

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apt-get remove (why does that remove dependencies as well?)

Postby miahfost » 2005-12-18 00:17


I run debian on a server. This server is headless, that is to say there is no screen connected to the server and therefor no need for X windows. When removing a package called xlibs, apt-get remove also told me that it would remove emacs21 as well.

Is there any way to tell apt not to remove other packages? I found nothing in the man pages other than "apt-get remove is just like install, only it removes packages."

Thank you.
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Postby simen » 2005-12-18 06:07

Emacs depends on either xlibs or a bunch of other packages, so as long as you're using emacs, you probably want to keep xlibs installed. You can force an uninstall -- see
Code: Select all
dpkg --force-help
but that might be a really bad idea. Is there a particular reason why you want to uninstall xlibs? Do
Code: Select all
apt-cache show emacs21
to see emacs' dependencies.

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Postby Jeroen » 2005-12-18 13:29

xlibs is a library for programs with X support, it can also be meaningful for headless servers. For example, if you'd login with ssh with X forwarding to your server, you would be able to start emacs in X mode. Because of that support, emacs requires xlibs. Those are just libraries, if unused, they just eat a little bit disk, they don't hurt at all.
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getting rid of xlibs

Postby miahfost » 2005-12-19 21:26

Thanks very much for the answers, I appreciate the help.

The reason why I wanted to get rid of xlibs is that my debian machine is in a virtual colo which means I can only administer it via ssh. To increase security I want the least amount of software possible on the machine, that means X has to go.

I found out that there is a emacs21-nox package which I installed on my machine, this allowed me to remove xlibs.


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