[Solved] Uninstalling GNOME Desktop

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[Solved] Uninstalling GNOME Desktop

Postby user2635 » 2017-08-26 22:45

Hi Debian friends! On my laptop, I've installed Debian 9 with default GNOME then I decided to install KDE which I've now done.

As each desktop environment comes with it's own preferred packages, should I delete GNOME along with it's related packages? (I don't intend to go back to GNOME)

What are the pros and cons of doing this? If I want to remove GNOME after installing KDE, how do I do this cleanly? (without accidentally removing any important system packages etc.)
Last edited by user2635 on 2017-08-27 15:17, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Uninstalling GNOME Desktop

Postby GarryRicketson » 2017-08-27 00:46

I wouldn't install Gnome on any system to start with, it is a real mess to get rid of.
How ever, what I did to get rid of most of it was first I did this:
A quick search :
( I am sure you all ready did that, but still just wanted to double check,.. :D )
Uninstalling GNOME Desktop on Debian 9
The first hit talks about using :
Code: Select all
aptitude purge dpkg --get-selections | grep gnome | cut -f 1

But it is for Debian 7 wheezy, in any event ,
Code: Select all
man aptitude

and
Code: Select all
 man apt

Have plenty of details on using the package management utilities, to remove packages as well as install them.

https://superuser.com/questions/603392/how-to-remove-gnome-3-and-all-its-dependencies-from-a-debian-wheezy-netinst

You do not have to delete and remove Gnome, Debian does support having multiple desktops, you can have as many as you want.

by user2635 » What are the pros and cons of doing this? If I want to remove GNOME after installing KDE, how do I do this cleanly? (without accidentally removing any important system packages etc.)


In the first hit, above link I posted on the search , they do go into that:
Be aware that this can leave you with a broken system. Use caution.

Making a good backup before you do this, makes that a non -issue.

There are some Gnome packages that are used by KDE,
from : https://wiki.debian.org/KDE#Installationbelow
Debian's selection of applications for a KDE desktop
This is what is installed on a freshly installed KDE system.
It includes a few non KDE applications: firefox, gimp, gnome-orca
KDE (Full release of workspace, applications and framework)
kde-full package
The standard/upstream release
KDE (Debian selected common stuff for workspace, applications and framework)
kde-standard package
A debian selection of common things


After all said and done, what I ended up doing is a fresh install Debian, with out any of the DE's, I found that a good window manager is much better.
If you are really sure you want to use KDE, it probably is best to do the same, just re-install, with KDE only.
Even better, just install KDE, along with Gnome, you do need to install KDE before you start removing the Gnome packages any way, other wise you will find your self with no DE, and unless you know how to use the CLI, installing another one will be difficult.
"What we expect you have already Done"

Before doing anything, read the Debian documentation:
Debian Documentation
How to ask the smart way
Debian Foro Español
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Postby tedrogers » 2017-08-27 06:52

I performed a rescue boot to install a driver I'd removed by accident. It then proceeded to install a load of gnome stuff. I went into synaptic history and manually removed every gnome package it has installed. Pain, but it worked.

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Re: Uninstalling GNOME Desktop

Postby kopper » 2017-08-27 07:07

I uninstalled GNOME a while ago when I installed i3. It tooks some time and preparation, but I managed to do it with clean result. I'd assume there are less hassle with KDE, since both GNOME and KDE are full blown desktop environments. I took some extra steps compared to guide Garry's link, but I performed the removal according to those guidelines. Some pitfalls and things to consider from my own experience are listed below.

1) Have the backups ready. No kidding.
2) Configure new environment prior to removal of GNOME. This shouldn't be as big of an issue with KDE, since it's full blown DE like GNOME. With i3, e.g. missing network manager and Xserver input drivers caused initially a couple of deeper breaths. NOthing which cannot be solved afterwards though.
3) Inspect packages before removal, use e.g. aptitude -s. Try to understand what is removed. There may be surprises if you have relied on some tools previously, which have Gnome dependencies. Both apt and aptitude can provide some suggestions how to circumvent these kind of dependency problems but in some cases you get more packages installed than you were trying to remove in a first place. Be careful and take your time.

Edited for better readability..
Last edited by kopper on 2017-08-27 09:02, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Uninstalling GNOME Desktop

Postby deborah-and-ian » 2017-08-27 07:25

GarryRicketson wrote:I wouldn't install Gnome on any system to start with, it is a real mess to get rid of.

Opinions differ. I'd install Gnome on every desktop. :) Anyway, Garry is a bit dramatic here. It's a mess to uninstall because Gnome pulls in lots of dependencies that you have to manually remove, but other than that, there is no harm done there in the sense of a hosed system etc.

But if you've got a fresh install, maybe reinstalling with the KDE Desktop Task is faster.
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Re: Uninstalling GNOME Desktop

Postby user2635 » 2017-08-27 15:17

Thank you all, that gives me enough to work on!
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