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

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all41
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Re: [SOLVED] How big is the Software Manager

Post by all41 » Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:16 pm

Pjotr wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 6:28 pm
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.... :)
What are your thoughts regarding:
apt autoclean
to rid the cache of outdated packages?
I keep an external copy of /var/cache/apt/archives for transfer
to other systems in order to save bandwidth when keeping the other systems updated.
So it makes since to not include packages that are no longer used.
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Re: [SOLVED] How big is the Software Manager

Post by gm10 » Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:25 pm

clean/autoclean are fine, you don't need the archive at all, it serves no real purpose other than save you a bit of bandwidth for when you want to re-install a package.

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Re: [SOLVED] How big is the Software Manager

Post by all41 » Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:51 pm

gm10 wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:25 pm
clean/autoclean are fine, you don't need the archive at all, it serves no real purpose other than save you a bit of bandwidth for when you want to re-install a package.
This is subjective.
If you have a metered internet connection saving the cache before a reinstall results in substantial data usage savings.
If you have a slow internet connection a saved cache will save much time..

I have several systems here plus three relatives and neighbors that I will upgrade.
It is nice to carry the latest packages on a stick and pre-install to /var/cache/apt/archives. This keeps everybody updated without
having to download for each situation.

Update manager will look at the cache first and install the updated packages from there if they are present, without re-downloading.
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Re: [SOLVED] How big is the Software Manager

Post by all41 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:16 am

Ozo wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:45 am
The Software Manager looks huge and 99% of it is useless to me. Could that not be moved off the system similar to how Cinnamon Spices works.

Really, how big is it?
You would absolutely scream if you got the utility bill for the servers and mirrors
involved in supplying you with those Mint Software Manager choices--
There is but one answer to your question--HUGE!
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Re: [SOLVED] How big is the Software Manager

Post by thx-1138 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:55 am

...it's been way long since, but if i recall correctly, removing mint-meta-codecs-core (on 18), resulted in gstreamer*,
vlc & friends ending up in the autoremove list: easy fix, apt-mark manual to the rescue...
karlchen's remark in regards to the kernel metapackage however is 100% spot on...as that could result in drama.

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Re: [SOLVED] How big is the Software Manager

Post by Pjotr » Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:31 am

thx-1138 wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:55 am
...it's been way long since, but if i recall correctly, removing mint-meta-codecs-core (on 18), resulted in gstreamer*,
vlc & friends ending up in the autoremove list: easy fix, apt-mark manual to the rescue...
OK.... autoremove going berserk. :shock:

Well, for me that clearly underlines why cleaning apps / cleaning features cannot be trusted. I only recommend cleaning features that can't damage the system, for instance because all they do and can do, is getting rid of stuff in /var/cache/apt. Automated system cleaners can all too easily turn into software wrecking balls....

As an aside, to the mods: perhaps you can split this topic? It has turned into a very interesting technical discussion, which clearly doesn't fit under the current rather silly topic title. May I suggest a title: "What's the use of mint-meta packages?"
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Re: Don't uninstall mintinstall -or- What's the use of mint-meta packages

Post by thx-1138 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:02 am

"Don't uninstall mintinstall" - epic title, hahahaha! :lol:
Made me think, don't uninstall apt, apt purge apt :)

I tend to think of metapackages more kinda like 'receipts' than just 'shopping lists',
ie. ok, usually no problem if you lose such, but better keep them as you never know later on...

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

Post by Sir Charles » Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:56 am

The following are some excerpts from (for me) a quite illuminating article about "Meta Packages":
A ‘meta-package’ is a convenient way to bulk-install groups of applications, their libraries and documentation. Many Linux distributions use them for a variety of purposes, from seeding disk images that will go on to become new releases, to creating software “bundles” that are easy for a user to install. A meta-package rarely contains anything other than a changelog and perhaps copyright information, it contains no applications or libraries within itself. The way they work is by having a list of “dependencies” that the package manager reads. The package manager then goes to the repositories to find the dependencies and installs them.
Generally a software “bundle” meta-package is a one-time-use thing. Many will say in their description “After installation this package can be safely removed.” Once the software itself is installed, the package manager will take care of updates for the installed applications and libraries, so the meta-package is no longer required. Those can be removed with no penalty.
Others, like ones that install an entire desktop environment, will depend more on the user’s long-term goals. Meta-packages are often used for more than installing the current versions of software. They can also be used for upgrading.
Removing the meta-package does not remove any other currently installed software or cause dependency issues with any other currently installed software. The only thing potentially broken is the ability to do a complete release upgrade.
And there is somewhat more to it. For reading the whole article click here

Needless to say, deconstruct the article! Reading your comments is and has been an enriching experience.

Cheers
(wonder if I should sign with my new "nickname" :wink:)

Edit: another link
I suppose that's one of the ironies of life, doing the wrong thing at the right moment -C.C.

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

Post by thx-1138 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:12 pm

...have a look at: https://administratosphere.wordpress.co ... utoremove/
And also: https://tanguy.ortolo.eu/blog/article8/ ... ta-package

In my case (can't recall the exact steps now, it's been some time), i remember i wanted to remove libhal1-flash.
I was trying to watch a DRM-flash video, and i couldn't get it to work...
After digging a bit around, i saw in it's Github page that newer Flash versions have broken it once & for all.
Thought to myself - ok, since it's obsolete...why not purge it. Less than 2-3 clicks afterwards... :)

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

Post by Sir Charles » Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:43 pm

Great articles! Thank you for the links!

So if I have understood it, at least maybe partially , correctly, the removing of the meta-package is not problematic per se. It is as:
Pjotr wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:31 am
.... autoremove going berserk. :shock:
Because
when you install a metapackage, you are really saying that you want all of the dependencies installed, even though all of the dependencies are marked as automatically installed. A metapackage is an easy way of saying that you want all of these packages (listed as dependencies) installed without explicitly saying so. However, the system does not know this.
This problem then manifests itself when you remove one of the dependencies.
https://administratosphere.wordpress.co ... utoremove/
So apparently, there is no way of making the system regard all the dependencies installed, when you install a meta-package, as "manually" installed as opposed to "automatically". That's whenapt-mark manualyou mentioned above, can save the day.
I suppose that's one of the ironies of life, doing the wrong thing at the right moment -C.C.

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

Post by thx-1138 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:10 pm

Yeap :)

Ie. the...moral conclusion of the story more or less is: someone should not mess with the pre-installed packages of his/her distro,
unless he/she understands quite well it's structural complexities, and also furthermore always pays attention to what apt does.

mintinstall hides this complexity for common users pretty well & achieves it's set goal just fine...
(i mean, ok...not everyone cares for nerdy stuff & bad advice, lol - most people probably just want to get their daily job done...)

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

Post by Sir Charles » Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:58 pm

This would, most probably, be my last (apologetic) post on a thread that was split off another one (see the first post above) because of the ensuing discussion following me having given unwittingly a bad advice to the OP of that thread.

As it turned out, the whole thing evolved to an interesting discussion about meta-packages, the workings of APT and the complexity of the inter-dependency relation of the packages.

For me personally, it meant a great learning experience on two levels. First gaining a more profound knowledge of the package management system. Second, I learnt that I have to be prudent in giving advice to others which potentially could harm their systems.

Seemingly, no any two systems are alike and what was shown as a rather harmless operation on mine, could in a long run be harmful on another. I will finish my post by reiterating the words of @thx-1138. I will surely keep them in mind from now on:

thx-1138 wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:10 pm
...the...moral conclusion of the story more or less is: someone should not mess with the pre-installed packages of his/her distro,
unless he/she understands quite well it's structural complexities, and also furthermore always pays attention to what apt does.
Cheers

Evil Mastermind
:wink:
I suppose that's one of the ironies of life, doing the wrong thing at the right moment -C.C.

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

Post by Don Edwards » Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:21 am

I routinely uninstall mintinstall - and then install an old version of it. Version 7.7.8 is better than any of the more recent versions to date, aside from possibly not supporting flatpacks.

I'm pleased that 7.9.4 (Mint19) gives back the ability to search in a single category. For a while I thought I was going to keep it.

But:
  • I can't tell it to show me only installed packages in a single category;
  • or combine showing only installed packages with a search;
  • there's no option to show only not-installed packages;
  • the "show installed packages" option shows only packages installed using MintInstall from Mint18 and Mint19 - not stuff automatically included the the installation or upgrading of Mint, or installed with older versions of MintInstall. It should show all installed packages (within a category or search, or search of a category).
  • there is no "all" category that shows me everything, even the packages not assigned to any category;
  • and what's the point of taking up half the main window with "editor's picks" and also having an "editor's picks" category?
7.7.8 got all those things right.

Therefore:

Code: Select all

        wget -N http://mirrors.kernel.org/ubuntu/pool/universe/f/fonts-freefont/ttf-freefont_20120503-4_all.deb 2>&1
        sudo dpkg -i ttf-freefont* 2>&1
        sudo apt-get -yq remove mintinstall 2>&1 
        wget -N -nv http://packages.linuxmint.com//pool/main/m/mintinstall/mintinstall_7.7.8_all.deb 2>&1
        sudo dpkg --ignore-depends=ttf-freefont -i mintinstall_7.7.8_all.deb 2>&1 
        echo "mintinstall hold" | sudo dpkg --set-selections 2>&1
(Yes, I had that laying around in a script. Aside from the ttf-freefont stuff.)

Edit: and now I find out that having mintinstall on mintupdate's blackout list doesn't mean that it won't be updated every single time I update anything else... what's the blacklist for, again? I thought it was a way of saying "don't update these things" but apparently that isn't correct.

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

Post by Pjotr » Thu Jul 12, 2018 12:05 pm

Don Edwards wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:21 am
Edit: and now I find out that having mintinstall on mintupdate's blackout list doesn't mean that it won't be updated every single time I update anything else... what's the blacklist for, again? I thought it was a way of saying "don't update these things" but apparently that isn't correct.
Try this:

Code: Select all

sudo apt-mark hold mintinstall
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Re: Don't uninstall mintinstall -or- What's the use of mint-meta packages

Post by Flemur » Thu Jul 12, 2018 12:58 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:
Same here. And I'm even worse: I use the un-crippled ubuntu version of synaptic with "mark all upgrades".
Please edit your original post title to include [SOLVED] if/when it is solved!
Your data and OS are backed up....right?
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Re: Don't uninstall mintinstall -or- What's the use of mint-meta packages

Post by Sir Charles » Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:10 pm

Flemur wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 12:58 pm
And I'm even worse: I use the un-crippled ubuntu version of synaptic with "mark all upgrades".
LOL. Me too :!:
Just love that feature!
:twisted:
I suppose that's one of the ironies of life, doing the wrong thing at the right moment -C.C.

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