Apt-Get Dependency Problems: How Do I Make VLC Just Go Away?

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Apt-Get Dependency Problems: How Do I Make VLC Just Go Away?

Postby Caitlin » 2017-03-11 07:28

When I installed Jessie, it installed VLC with it, even though I didn't ask for it. I don't use VLC, I will never use VLC, I just want it GONE.

Trouble is, if I try to purge VLC it wants to remove KWrite with it, which is the probably the one app I use most often. I want KWrite, but without VLC.

Apparently, there is some dependency set up between the two. I can't imagine why a text editor needs a media player, unless it's for some utterly trivial reason like issuing a beep when you do something wrong.

I always install with no-install-recommends.

I suppose I could take a meat-axe approach and use DPKG with ignore-depends but I'm hoping for a cleaner solution. And I'd really like to address the greater question of how do I override stupid and unnecessary dependencies? APT is famous for automatically managing and resolving dependencies, until some dweeb makes an unnecessary link between two things that have little or nothing to do with each other, just because HE likes a certain package to go with his own package. This sort of abuse is ruining APT.

Is there some way to edit a package and take this **** out before you install it? Preferably, without having to dismantle it and build a whole new custom package, of course.

I've run into a number of dependency problems like this, but this particular instance is probably the most irritating.

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Re: Apt-Get Dependency Problems: How Do I Make VLC Just Go A

Postby dilberts_left_nut » 2017-03-11 07:56

AdrianTM wrote:There's no hacker in my grandma...
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Re: Apt-Get Dependency Problems: How Do I Make VLC Just Go A

Postby debiman » 2017-03-11 09:13

^ in other words: there's probably some metapackage tying the 2 (and much more?) together.
my guess is kde-desktop or some such.
remove the metapackage (and the metapackage only), and after that vlc should be "decoupled".
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Re: Apt-Get Dependency Problems: How Do I Make VLC Just Go A

Postby stevepusser » 2017-03-11 17:28

This "sounds" like the good old phonon-backend problem. KDE requires at least one phonon backend be installed to allow for sound playback, and the default one is the vlc backend. This is probably because VLC is Qt based like KDE, and only requires a few additional packages. You can install the more complex gstreamer backend and get rid of the VLC one if that's really what you want, though.
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Re: Apt-Get Dependency Problems: How Do I Make VLC Just Go A

Postby Caitlin » 2017-03-11 18:26

DLN, I read the link. I installed apt-rdepends, and this is what I found:

kwrite depends on kde-runtime
kde-runtime depends on phonon
phonon depends on phonon-backend-vlc
phonon-backend-vlc depends on vlc-plugin-pulse
and vlc-plugin-pulse depends on vlc

This is in addition to the many (over 1000) other dependencies not "in the line of sight" of kwrite to vlc.

Debiman, I didn't see anything that looked like a metapackage there. (And I wouldn't know how to find "a smaller metapackage" anyway.)

Steve, I looked up phonon in Wikipedia and this is what I found:

"Phonon is the multimedia API provided by KDE and is the standard abstraction for handling multimedia streams within KDE software and also used by several Qt applications.

Phonon was originally created to allow KDE and Qt software to be independent of any single multimedia framework such as GStreamer or xine and to provide a stable API for a major version's lifetime. It was done for various reasons: to create a simple KDE/Qt style multimedia API, to better support native multimedia frameworks on Windows and Mac OS X, and to fix problems of frameworks becoming unmaintained or having API or ABI instability."

So it appears that if I wanted to redirect the multimedia output of kwrite elsewhere, phonon is the place to do so. Apparently what you're saying is that installing phonon will install phonon-backend-vlc UNLESS another phonon-backend- is already installed (or if I install another phonon-backend- later, I could then easily purge vlc). Is that what you're saying? A search of Synaptic turned up the following packages:

phonon-backend-gstreamer
phonon-backend-null
phonon-backend-vlc

So apparently my choices are limited. Kde-runtime wants a phonon interface, and the only available phonon interfaces are gstreamer, null, and vlc. (What about xine? Xine is listed as using the phonon interface, but there's no backend package for it. Apparently binaries for it are not available through Synaptic but it can be compiled from source downloaded from http://www.xine-project.org/home . Are there any other options that you, or anyone else, knows about?)

Thank you all, I understand this a whole lot better now.

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Re: Apt-Get Dependency Problems: How Do I Make VLC Just Go A

Postby debiman » 2017-03-11 19:39

ok sorry about that.
how about just uninstalling vlc and everything that goes with it, then reinstall kwrite and whatever else you need?
that should solve the problems, albeit without understanding the deeper intricacies of desktop environment dependencies...
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Re: Apt-Get Dependency Problems: How Do I Make VLC Just Go A

Postby stevepusser » 2017-03-11 20:41

I repeat--KDE must have at least one phonon-backend package. You have a choice between the VLC and the gstreamer backends--the xine one is a dummy to allow for the upgrade of the real one from Wheezy.

If you don't want the VLC backend, I think that makes your remaining choice rather obvious. Both backends have worked well for me in KDE in the past. I think I have both installed in my own KDE respin of MX 16 (available for the low, low price of zero! :) Edit: Hey, the dolphin already made a Youtube video for it!) Since I do lots of backports, I have found that the VLC one introduced some tricky complications when I have backported a newer VLC in the past, but we seem to have not have had any newer VLC releases recently. Back in the Wheezy days, this caused lots of trouble when KDE users would try an "upgrade" of VLC from deb-multimedia, which is why I know just what's going on. If you dig far back in these forums, you'll find Wheezy threads about that--"Upgrading VLC removed my KDE! OMG, WTF! Why, Lord, why?"
The MX Linux repositories: Backports galore! If we don't have something, just ask and we'll try--we like challenges. New packages: Krita 3.3.2.1, Pale Moon 27.6.0, Audacity 2.2.0, mpv 0.27.0, Corebird 1.7.1, Firefox 57.0, SMPlayer 17.11.2
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Re: Apt-Get Dependency Problems: How Do I Make VLC Just Go A

Postby tynman » 2017-03-13 17:42

stevepusser mentions
KDE must have at least one phonon-backend package
, and caitlin mentions
Synaptic turned up the following packages:

phonon-backend-gstreamer
phonon-backend-null
phonon-backend-vlc
it would seem to me a reasonable guess that the phonon-backend-null backend might satisfy KDE's requirement to have a phonon backend available, but not actually do anything. Maybe give it a try and see if that allows VLC to be removed.
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Re: Apt-Get Dependency Problems: How Do I Make VLC Just Go A

Postby stevepusser » 2017-03-13 18:11

tynman wrote:stevepusser mentions
KDE must have at least one phonon-backend package
, and caitlin mentions
Synaptic turned up the following packages:

phonon-backend-gstreamer
phonon-backend-null
phonon-backend-vlc
it would seem to me a reasonable guess that the phonon-backend-null backend might satisfy KDE's requirement to have a phonon backend available, but not actually do anything. Maybe give it a try and see if that allows VLC to be removed.


Well, I made an assumption that most desktop users would want their audio to actually work. Call me reckless, but I thought that was justified :)
The MX Linux repositories: Backports galore! If we don't have something, just ask and we'll try--we like challenges. New packages: Krita 3.3.2.1, Pale Moon 27.6.0, Audacity 2.2.0, mpv 0.27.0, Corebird 1.7.1, Firefox 57.0, SMPlayer 17.11.2
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