"Remove foreign packages" function ?

Questions about applications and software
Forum rules
Before you post please read how to get help
Post Reply
wpshooter
Level 5
Level 5
Posts: 762
Joined: Sun May 22, 2011 8:06 am

"Remove foreign packages" function ?

Post by wpshooter » Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:01 am

I notice that there is a remove foreign packages function under software sources / maintenance.

Is it really wise to have that function there without a more detailed explanation of the possible
consequences of removing those/any foreign packages. As a for instance, if I setup a Linux Mint
machine for a novice computer user and let's say that they are using a Brother printer and
I configure Linux Mint to work with that printer and then that novice user comes along and
sees this remove foreign packages function and says to themselves well hmmm there are
some packages that are installed which are not part of the Linux Mint server so I will just get
rid of them and immediately thereafter their Brother printer will no longer function. I'm sure that
there are bound to be other examples of things that the novice user may setup themselves and then not
realize the consequences of removing those foreign packages.

Shouldn't there be a warning to the effect of: Be careful, removing these foreign packages could possibly
cause some hardware devices that you have installed on your system to no longer function correctly.

Thanks.

gm10
Level 18
Level 18
Posts: 8748
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:11 pm

Re: "Remove foreign packages" function ?

Post by gm10 » Wed Aug 21, 2019 11:52 am

If you set up the machine for them, isn't it on you to tell them what not to do?
Tune up your LM 19.x: ppa:gm10/linuxmint-tools

wpshooter
Level 5
Level 5
Posts: 762
Joined: Sun May 22, 2011 8:06 am

Re: "Remove foreign packages" function ?

Post by wpshooter » Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:22 pm

gm10 wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 11:52 am
If you set up the machine for them, isn't it on you to tell them what not to do?
Yes, but in every thing I might have to do and tell them, I might forget and also, there are other circumstances in
which I might not be the one setting up the machine, they might do it themselves and as a novice it
might not dawn on them that getting rid of those packages would be detrimental, i.e. they might not
realize the connection of those packages to their hardware functioning.

My point is, why take any chance when it would be a very simple thing for an appropriate warning
to be displayed on the remove foreign packages function.

Thanks.

gm10
Level 18
Level 18
Posts: 8748
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:11 pm

Re: "Remove foreign packages" function ?

Post by gm10 » Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:25 pm

Because it's a very specific case. At most a warning along the lines "make sure you do not remove anything you might still need" would make sense IMHO.
Tune up your LM 19.x: ppa:gm10/linuxmint-tools

wpshooter
Level 5
Level 5
Posts: 762
Joined: Sun May 22, 2011 8:06 am

Re: "Remove foreign packages" function ?

Post by wpshooter » Wed Aug 21, 2019 2:24 pm

gm10 wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:25 pm
Because it's a very specific case. At most a warning along the lines "make sure you do not remove anything you might still need" would make sense IMHO.
That would be better than no warning, however a novice is very unlikely to know what was/is dependent on the listed packages.

If and as they go thru something like installing a Brother printer they are not going to take notice and remember packages specifically related
to that process, however they might just be hesitant to get rid of them if they remembered that they setup a printer or other piece of hardware
that was not automatically configured by the OS.

Thanks.

User avatar
Flemur
Level 17
Level 17
Posts: 7088
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:41 pm
Location: Potemkin Village

Re: "Remove foreign packages" function ?

Post by Flemur » Wed Aug 21, 2019 3:21 pm

wpshooter wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 2:24 pm
If and as they go thru something like installing a Brother printer they are not going to take notice and remember packages specifically relatedto that process, ...
The software tells them what is going to be removed (click to make it not look fuzzy):
forum.jpg
If the Brother packages are not named in such a way that someone would associate them with a Brother printer, then that's on Brother.
Please edit your original post title to include [SOLVED] if/when it is solved!
Your data and OS are backed up....right?
Mint 19.1 Xfce/fluxbox
Manjaro openbox/fluxbox

wpshooter
Level 5
Level 5
Posts: 762
Joined: Sun May 22, 2011 8:06 am

Re: "Remove foreign packages" function ?

Post by wpshooter » Wed Aug 21, 2019 6:34 pm

Do you think that Brother or any other hardware manufacturer is going to pay any heed to that suggestion ?

I have my serious doubts that they have any awareness of Remove foreign packages function found in Linux Mint.
With their and others concentration on MS$ it is probably lucky that they give any thought to Linux period.

Thanks.

gm10
Level 18
Level 18
Posts: 8748
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:11 pm

Re: "Remove foreign packages" function ?

Post by gm10 » Wed Aug 21, 2019 8:01 pm

Be that as it may. That imaginary inexperienced user could also remove that package via Software Manager, Synaptic, or any other way. The Remove foreign packages function is nothing special in this regard, so I still do not think that it really warrants special warnings to be placed on it. It's common sense not to remove things from your system if you neither know what they are about nor understand the implications - you cannot protect people from themselves if they lack common sense.
Tune up your LM 19.x: ppa:gm10/linuxmint-tools

User avatar
Flemur
Level 17
Level 17
Posts: 7088
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:41 pm
Location: Potemkin Village

Re: "Remove foreign packages" function ?

Post by Flemur » Thu Aug 22, 2019 12:40 pm

wpshooter wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 6:34 pm
Do you think that Brother or any other hardware manufacturer is going to pay any heed to that suggestion ?
I didn't make a suggestion, I gave you some information which may or may not be useful.

You're welcome.
Please edit your original post title to include [SOLVED] if/when it is solved!
Your data and OS are backed up....right?
Mint 19.1 Xfce/fluxbox
Manjaro openbox/fluxbox

Post Reply

Return to “Software & Applications”