Don't uninstall mintinstall -or- What's the use of mint-meta packages

Chat about anything related to Linux Mint
User avatar
Sir Charles
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1832
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:00 pm

Don't uninstall mintinstall -or- What's the use of mint-meta packages

Post by Sir Charles » Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:27 pm

Moderator wrote:This thread has been split off from that thread: [SOLVED] How big is the Software Manager.
Reason for splitting off:
Starting with the questionable advice to uninstall mintinstall (Software Manager), the thread quickly marched off into an off-topic discussion about the relevance of the software meta-packages.
If you so really, truly dislike mintstall, why not get yourself rid of the whole thing:

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get purge mintinstall
and put it behind you once and for all :wink:

Moderator wrote: This is a dangerous command and it's NOT advisable to execute it.
Added:
Selected mintinstall for removal in Synaptic. In fact, Synaptic wanted to remove mintinstall and 2 mint-meta-* packages.
At first glance this appears to be more harmless than it really is.
Later invocations of "sudo apt-get autoremove" might feel like suggesting to remove all those packages which had been pulled in as dependencies of these meta-packages.
The discussion below reveals the potential future trouble which you are asking for by uninstalling mintinstall.
I suppose that's one of the ironies of life, doing the wrong thing at the right moment -C.C.

gm10
Level 11
Level 11
Posts: 3531
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:11 pm

Re: [SOLVED] How big is the Software Manager

Post by gm10 » Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:29 pm

Marziano wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:27 pm
If you so really, truly dislike mintstall, why not get yourself rid of the whole thing:

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get purge mintinstall
and put it behind you once and for all :wink:
You are an evil person. I approve. :lol:

don't try this at home, kids

User avatar
Sir Charles
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1832
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:00 pm

Re: [SOLVED] How big is the Software Manager

Post by Sir Charles » Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:39 pm

gm10 wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:29 pm
You are an evil person. I approve. :lol:
don't try this at home, kids
:lol:
Indeed, sometimes I just let it out.
Most of the time though, I keep it in chains and shackles.
:twisted:
I suppose that's one of the ironies of life, doing the wrong thing at the right moment -C.C.

User avatar
Sir Charles
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1832
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:00 pm

Re: [SOLVED] How big is the Software Manager

Post by Sir Charles » Mon Jul 09, 2018 3:46 pm

Marziano wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:27 pm
If you so really, truly dislike mintstall, why not get yourself rid of the whole thing:

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get purge mintinstall
and put it behind you once and for all :wink:

Moderator wrote: This is a dangerous command and it's NOT advisable to execute it.
Added:
Selected mintinstall for removal in Synaptic. In fact, Synaptic wanted to remove mintinstall and 2 mint-meta-* packages.
At first glance this appears to be more harmless than it really is.
Later invocations of "sudo apt-get autoremove" might feel like suggesting to remove all those packages which had been pulled in as dependencies of these meta-packages.
The discussion below reveals the potential future trouble which you are asking for by uninstalling mintinstall.

Now that is interesting! I checked both in a terminal and Synaptic before I posted. No other packages but "mintintall" would be removed, had I gone through the process of removal. Here below is the result:

Code: Select all

sudo apt remove --purge mintinstall --simulate
[sudo] password for marziano: 
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
The following packages will be REMOVED:
  mintinstall*
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 1 to remove and 19 not upgraded.
Purg mintinstall [7.9.4]
mintinstall2.png
But I do admit that my apt-cache might be a bit messy due to the fact that I upgraded from 18.3 to 19 by way of a "home-made" upgrade path not long after the beta was released and long before the official path was announced. I don't know if that can explain this discrepancy.
I suppose that's one of the ironies of life, doing the wrong thing at the right moment -C.C.

gm10
Level 11
Level 11
Posts: 3531
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:11 pm

Re: [SOLVED] How big is the Software Manager

Post by gm10 » Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:21 pm

Marziano wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 3:46 pm
Now that is interesting! I checked both in a terminal and Synaptic before I posted. No other packages but "mintintall" would be removed, had I gone through the process of removal. Here below is the result:
Oh, so I called you an evil mastermind for nothing? Something like this would happen:

Code: Select all

$ apt purge mintinstall -s
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
The following packages were automatically installed and are no longer required:
  gir1.2-gdesktopenums-3.0 gir1.2-gnomedesktop-3.0 libgnome-desktop-3-17
Use 'sudo apt autoremove' to remove them.
The following packages will be REMOVED:
  mint-meta-cinnamon* mint-meta-core* mint-meta-mate* mintinstall*
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 4 to remove and 8 not upgraded.
Purg mint-meta-cinnamon [2018.06.08]
Purg mint-meta-mate [2018.06.08]
Purg mint-meta-core [2018.06.08]
Purg mintinstall [7.9.4]
In other words, it removes your desktop environment. :twisted: Hence my "don't try this at home"... :lol:

User avatar
Sir Charles
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1832
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:00 pm

Re: [SOLVED] How big is the Software Manager

Post by Sir Charles » Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:37 pm

gm10 wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:21 pm
Oh, so I called you an evil mastermind for nothing? Something like this would happen:
No I realize that now! Not that I am an evil mastermind but the fact that I myself must have been victim of a greater evil.
I wouldn't for the life of me have posted that command before making sure that it wouldn't do any harm (see my post above).

But I cannot at the moment explain the why of this discrepancy. Considering that how I upgraded to 19 beta the way I explained above can be part of an explanation. The strange thing (and the nice thing) is that my system works flawlessly.

By the way, I thought you were making a joke. I would have withdrawn the post, were I aware of the consequences of it.

Edit:
Just a thought. Could it be that mintinstall is integrated differently in Xfce and Cinnamon?
I suppose that's one of the ironies of life, doing the wrong thing at the right moment -C.C.

gm10
Level 11
Level 11
Posts: 3531
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:11 pm

Re: [SOLVED] How big is the Software Manager

Post by gm10 » Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:52 pm

Marziano wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:37 pm
But I cannot at the moment explain the why of this discrepancy. Considering that how I upgraded to 19 beta the way I explained above can be part of an explanation. The strange thing (and the nice thing) is that my system works flawlessly.
Depending on how you upgraded my guess is that packages lost their "automatic" flag. Thus when you remove them they won't automatically remove the parent(s) as well.

User avatar
Pjotr
Level 20
Level 20
Posts: 10901
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:18 am
Location: The Netherlands (Holland)
Contact:

Re: [SOLVED] How big is the Software Manager

Post by Pjotr » Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:53 pm

gm10 wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:21 pm
In other words, it removes your desktop environment.
No it doesn't... It only removes the meta package for the desktop environment and some other meta packages, which are all just shopping lists for groceries you already have.

Like you do with shopping lists after the shopping, you can simply throw meta packages away without any consequence whatsoever. :mrgreen:
Tip: 10 things to do after installing Linux Mint 19 Tara
Keep your Linux Mint healthy: Avoid these 10 fatal mistakes
Twitter: twitter.com/easylinuxtips
All in all, horse sense simply makes sense.

gm10
Level 11
Level 11
Posts: 3531
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:11 pm

Re: [SOLVED] How big is the Software Manager

Post by gm10 » Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:01 pm

Pjotr wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:53 pm
gm10 wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:21 pm
In other words, it removes your desktop environment.
No it doesn't... It only removes the meta package for the desktop environment and some other meta packages, which are all just shopping lists for groceries you already have.

Like you do with shopping lists after the shopping, you can simply throw meta packages away without any consequence whatsoever. :mrgreen:
Might have to try one of these days but my (possibly flawed) understanding was that since the meta packages pull the rest in as dependencies, when you remove the meta that orphans the dependencies and the next apt autoremove would get rid of those packages.

User avatar
Pjotr
Level 20
Level 20
Posts: 10901
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:18 am
Location: The Netherlands (Holland)
Contact:

Re: [SOLVED] How big is the Software Manager

Post by Pjotr » Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:07 pm

gm10 wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:01 pm
Might have to try one of these days but my understanding was that since the meta packages pull the rest in as dependencies, when you remove the meta that orphans the dependencies and the next apt autoremove would get rid of them.
No, it's really quite harmless and without consequence to remove them.... Developers use meta packages as an easy means to get all the packages they want for a DE in an iso, and users like us utilize them for example to install another DE. Once the install job is done, the meta package is about as useful as a tailbone in a whale. :mrgreen:

It's a common misunderstanding that removing the DE meta package will remove the DE as well; it looks scary, of course. :)

You can test it yourself in a Virtual Machine, if you like....
Tip: 10 things to do after installing Linux Mint 19 Tara
Keep your Linux Mint healthy: Avoid these 10 fatal mistakes
Twitter: twitter.com/easylinuxtips
All in all, horse sense simply makes sense.

gm10
Level 11
Level 11
Posts: 3531
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:11 pm

Re: [SOLVED] How big is the Software Manager

Post by gm10 » Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:25 pm

Pjotr wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:07 pm
No, it's really quite harmless and without consequence to remove them.... Developers use meta packages as an easy means to get all the packages they want for a DE in an iso, and users like us utilize them for example to install another DE. Once the install job is done, the meta package is about as useful as a tailbone in a whale. :mrgreen:

It's a common misunderstanding that removing the DE meta package will remove the DE as well; it looks scary, of course. :)
Ok, so I tried removing mint-meta-cinnamon and this leads to autoremoval of gir1.2-gdesktopenums-3.0 gir1.2-gnomedesktop-3.0 libgnome-desktop-3-17 as a result, so I'm not entirely wrong (only mostly). Checking rdepends on gir1.2-gnomedesktop-3.0 lists cinnamon, among others. So you don't lose the entire DE, just parts of it.
Last edited by gm10 on Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Pjotr
Level 20
Level 20
Posts: 10901
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:18 am
Location: The Netherlands (Holland)
Contact:

Re: [SOLVED] How big is the Software Manager

Post by Pjotr » Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:33 pm

gm10 wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:25 pm
Pjotr wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:07 pm
No, it's really quite harmless and without consequence to remove them.... Developers use meta packages as an easy means to get all the packages they want for a DE in an iso, and users like us utilize them for example to install another DE. Once the install job is done, the meta package is about as useful as a tailbone in a whale. :mrgreen:

It's a common misunderstanding that removing the DE meta package will remove the DE as well; it looks scary, of course. :)
Ok, so I tried removing mint-meta-cinnamon and this leads to autoremoval of gir1.2-gdesktopenums-3.0 gir1.2-gnomedesktop-3.0 libgnome-desktop-3-17 as a result, so I'm not entirely wrong (only mostly). Checking rdepends on gir1.2-gnomedesktop-3.0 lists cinnamon, among others, although I didn't see it in the cinnamon depends. Confusing. ;)
That's very strange indeed: on none of my machines has removing a meta package ever lead to any other package being removed. And I generally lose the meta packages, because I usually remove the Flatpak infrastructure and therefore mintinstall.

I suspect a misunderstanding on your end... Are you quite sure that the removal of the meta package is what triggers the removal of those others by means of autoremove?
Tip: 10 things to do after installing Linux Mint 19 Tara
Keep your Linux Mint healthy: Avoid these 10 fatal mistakes
Twitter: twitter.com/easylinuxtips
All in all, horse sense simply makes sense.

gm10
Level 11
Level 11
Posts: 3531
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:11 pm

Re: [SOLVED] How big is the Software Manager

Post by gm10 » Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:35 pm

Pjotr wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:33 pm
I suspect a misunderstanding on your end... Are you quite sure that the removal of the meta package is what triggers the removal of those others?
I am:

Code: Select all

$ apt autoremove
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 18 not 

$ apt remove mint-meta-cinnamon
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
The following packages were automatically installed and are no longer required:
  gir1.2-gdesktopenums-3.0 gir1.2-gnomedesktop-3.0 libgnome-desktop-3-17
autoremove would then get rid of them, apt install mint-meta-cinnamon would pull them back in.

Checked --recurse depends and those packages are depends of quite a few of the packages surrounding cinnamon, so they seem "relevant". Might be a bug with the apt system, not sure.

User avatar
Pjotr
Level 20
Level 20
Posts: 10901
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:18 am
Location: The Netherlands (Holland)
Contact:

Re: [SOLVED] How big is the Software Manager

Post by Pjotr » Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:39 pm

gm10 wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:35 pm
Pjotr wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:33 pm
I suspect a misunderstanding on your end... Are you quite sure that the removal of the meta package is what triggers the removal of those others?
I am:

Code: Select all

$ apt autoremove
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 18 not 

$ apt remove mint-meta-cinnamon
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
The following packages were automatically installed and are no longer required:
  gir1.2-gdesktopenums-3.0 gir1.2-gnomedesktop-3.0 libgnome-desktop-3-17
autoremove would then get rid of them, apt install mint-meta-cinnamon would pull them back in.
But doesn't that output tell you that the cleaning command autoremove only *detects them as removable* in the absence of mint-meta-cinnamon? In other words: removing mint-meta-cinnamon only influences the workings of the autoremove detection, nothing more?
Tip: 10 things to do after installing Linux Mint 19 Tara
Keep your Linux Mint healthy: Avoid these 10 fatal mistakes
Twitter: twitter.com/easylinuxtips
All in all, horse sense simply makes sense.

gm10
Level 11
Level 11
Posts: 3531
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:11 pm

Re: [SOLVED] How big is the Software Manager

Post by gm10 » Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:42 pm

Pjotr wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:39 pm
But doesn't that output tell you that the cleaning command autoremove only *detects them as removable* in the absence of mint-meta-cinnamon? In other words: removing mint-meta-cinnamon only influences the workings of the autoremove detection, nothing more?
Yes? What else have I been saying? My original statement was:
my (possibly flawed) understanding was that since the meta packages pull the rest in as dependencies, when you remove the meta that orphans the dependencies and the next apt autoremove would get rid of those packages.
This doesn't seem quite correct since it only affects a few packages rather than all of them, but yes, this was always just about autoremove.

User avatar
Sir Charles
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1832
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:00 pm

Re: [SOLVED] How big is the Software Manager

Post by Sir Charles » Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:46 pm

Pjotr wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:07 pm
It's a common misunderstanding that removing the DE meta package will remove the DE as well; it looks scary, of course.
That was reassuring. I think I remember having read something to the effect on your site as well.

I just looked into this a bit more:
apt list mint-meta*
Listing... Done
mint-meta-cinnamon/tara,tara 2018.06.08 all
mint-meta-codecs/tara,tara,now 2018.06.08 all [installed]
mint-meta-core/tara,tara 2018.06.08 all
mint-meta-mate/tara,tara 2018.06.08 all
mint-meta-xfce/tara,tara 2018.06.08 all
Of all the five mint-meta* packages listed above, I guess those likely to have been removed bypurge mintstall and of
relevance to Xfce, namely,
mint-meta-xfce andmint-meta-coreare not installed on my system at all.

Interesting thing is that an attempt at installing mint-meta-core and mint-meta-xfce will install the same list of packages as follows:

Code: Select all

 apturl apturl-common mint-artwork mint-backgrounds-tara mint-meta-core
  mintwelcome
Non of which seems to be essential to the well-functioning of the system,which, even though, as said before, being a "dirty", unofficial upgrade 18.3 --> 19 beta --> 19 stable works as expected.
I suppose that's one of the ironies of life, doing the wrong thing at the right moment -C.C.

JeremyB
Level 19
Level 19
Posts: 9182
Joined: Fri Feb 21, 2014 8:17 am

Re: [SOLVED] How big is the Software Manager

Post by JeremyB » Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:47 pm

Topic closed as it is getting way off topic
I agree with moem's decision to leave a warning of caution..better to be careful

User avatar
karlchen
Level 19
Level 19
Posts: 9336
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2011 7:21 am
Location: Germany

Re: [SOLVED] How big is the Software Manager

Post by karlchen » Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:53 pm

Pjotr wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:07 pm
Once the install job is done, the meta package is about as useful as a tailbone in a whale. :mrgreen:
This is not quite true.
Look at the kernel meta packages e.g.
Whenever a kernel update (inside the same series) becomes available, Ubuntu updates the corresponding meta packages as well, thus making sure that all dependencies of the kernel will be updated consistently.
So meta packages are a convenient way to make sure that a list of components which belong together are kept in sync.
Image
Linux Mint 18.1 64-bit Cinnamon Desktop, Total Commander 9.21a 64-bit
Ubuntu 18.04.1 32-bit Mate Desktop, Total Commander 9.21a 32-bit
Windows? - 1 window in every room

User avatar
Pjotr
Level 20
Level 20
Posts: 10901
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:18 am
Location: The Netherlands (Holland)
Contact:

Re: [SOLVED] How big is the Software Manager

Post by Pjotr » Mon Jul 09, 2018 6:28 pm

@gm10:
My assumption is, then: if autoremove detects them as removable in the absence of mint-meta-cinnamon, they're indeed probably safe to remove. Otherwise autoremove itself would be flawed.

I must say that I'm not in the habit of using autoremove, so I'm not sure how reliable that particular cleaning feature is. I'm no big fan of cleaning applications / cleaning features in general; I like to decide myself what can be thrown away and what not.... :)

@karlchen:
Indeed my statement is a bit too broad. But it is valid for the meta packages that we're discussing in this thread: mint-meta-cinnamon and mint-meta-core. :)
Tip: 10 things to do after installing Linux Mint 19 Tara
Keep your Linux Mint healthy: Avoid these 10 fatal mistakes
Twitter: twitter.com/easylinuxtips
All in all, horse sense simply makes sense.

gm10
Level 11
Level 11
Posts: 3531
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:11 pm

Re: [SOLVED] How big is the Software Manager

Post by gm10 » Mon Jul 09, 2018 6:31 pm

@Pjotr: Usually autoremove works just fine, gets rid of all the packages that were automatically pulled in as dependencies.

I'm not sure what the exact problem here is. It's peculiar that mint-meta-cinnamon defines a direct dependency to that one gnomedesktop meta package even though it is a dependency of several of the other packages required by mint-meta-cinnamon. So it's an unnecessary declaration, and I'm wondering if it somehow trips the autoremove logic, although it really shouldn't.

Maybe someone else knows the answer.

Post Reply

Return to “Chat about Linux Mint”