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[SOLVED] Software manager disappeared

Posted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 12:51 pm
by damienbourgeonnui
Hello,

I am running Linux Mint 18.3 Sylvia.

And my software manager disappeared one morning.
I am talking about this:

Image

I used to launch it from the Menu (see screenshot, used to be where the red arrow is pointing at) and it is not here anymore:

Image

I didn't do anything special except the regular update from the update manager
Thank you for any help.

Re: Software manager disappeared

Posted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 12:58 pm
by gm10
In a terminal window, try:

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apt install --reinstall mintinstall

Re: Software manager disappeared

Posted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 1:24 pm
by damienbourgeonnui
It's back again, thanks ! :-)

Though the 'launch icon' doesn't appear below 'system' on the left (it used to appear at the place where is pointing the red arrow, in my previous post). So I have to find it typing "software manager" from the start menu...

That's weird, so now I am wondering if it disappeared or if only the icon disappeared...

Re: Software manager disappeared

Posted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 1:31 pm
by gm10
damienbourgeonnui wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 1:24 pm
Though the 'launch icon' doesn't appear below 'system' on the left (it used to appear at the place where is pointing the red arrow, in my previous post). So I have to find it typing "software manager" from the start menu...
Right click the Mint menu icon and select to reload plugins and it should be back. Otherwise log out and back in or press Alt+F2 and run mate-panel --replace, that'll do it for sure.

Re: Software manager disappeared

Posted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:26 pm
by br1anstorm
I am running Mint 19.1 XFCE, and I have (just) suffered the same problem.

My Software Manager has disappeared. It's no longer listed in the Whisker menu.

Typing Software Manager into the search box draws a blank (I still have "Software Sources" and "Synaptic Package Manager").

In the Welcome Screen 'First Steps' window the logo for Software Manager has a "no entry" sign on it, and the Launch button for it doesn't work.

What has happened? And how do I reinstate it? In my case it doesn't seem to be just the menu icon that has disappeared: the entire program seems to have gone. I have shut down and rebooted - makes no difference. And the advice given above in response to the OP presumably doesn't apply, as it refers to Mint 18.3 Mate version and seems to relate only to the menu settings....

Re: Software manager disappeared

Posted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 8:29 pm
by karlchen
Hi, br1anstorm.

gm10's advice to execute

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apt install --reinstall mintinstall
applies irrespective of the desktop environment (Cinnamon, Mate, xfce). Software Manager is the same Software Manager for all Linux Mint editions.
You should try gm10's commandline. It cannot do any harm.

Regards,
Karl

Re: Software manager disappeared

Posted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 5:16 am
by br1anstorm
Thanks Karl

In fact I realised, when thinking about this after posting my help-request, that gm10's advice was valid for me too. I've now executed that command, and I have the Software Manager back again. But there are still aspects of this which bother me:

1) why did Software Manager "disappear" without warning? I had taken no other actions and made no other changes (in fact I'm about a week late with running normal updates). Fortunately Software Manager isn't a critical program. But if that can vanish overnight, what about the risk that Mint might similarly "lose" other, more important programs? Doesn't fill me with confidence about reliability/stability....

2) a simple question as part of my learning process: what's the difference (if any) between using the command line as gm10 suggested, and going to Synaptic and marking 'mintinstall' for installation?

3) when I did use that command, I got messages in the terminal saying that various other packages would be removed and/or added ..... and it invited me to use sudo apt --autoremove which seemed fair enough, so I did so. But I noticed that it "recommended" also the installation of some other Flatpak package ("giri" or some such label). I am not a fan of Flatpaks and did not understand why this was recommended or what functions it offered.
Anyway, I hit "y" to proceed, and it looked as if various packages were being removed, and then mintinstall was reinstated. I don't think any Flatpak packages were installed. But I'd be interested to know what that Flatpak stuff was all about. Regrettably I didn't take a copy of the narrative in the terminal screen which logged what was actually being done.

Re: Software manager disappeared

Posted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 5:54 am
by gm10
br1anstorm wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 5:16 am
1) why did Software Manager "disappear" without warning? I had taken no other actions and made no other changes (in fact I'm about a week late with running normal updates). Fortunately Software Manager isn't a critical program. But if that can vanish overnight, what about the risk that Mint might similarly "lose" other, more important programs? Doesn't fill me with confidence about reliability/stability....
You would have received a warning. Check your log files in what context it happened, e.g. by doing this:

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grep mintinstall /var/log/apt/history.log -C5
br1anstorm wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 5:16 am
2) a simple question as part of my learning process: what's the difference (if any) between using the command line as gm10 suggested, and going to Synaptic and marking 'mintinstall' for installation?
Besides giving you a command to copy & paste being easier than describing to you how to use Synaptic? No difference. ;)
br1anstorm wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 5:16 am
3) when I did use that command, I got messages in the terminal saying that various other packages would be removed and/or added ..... and it invited me to use sudo apt --autoremove which seemed fair enough, so I did so.
See, here's the warning you got for 1) as well. You did something that was incompatible with Software Manager and it got removed in the process. I hope you paid attention to what you removed this time, because that was the likely culprit for losing Software Manager last time. Typically something like this happens when you add third party software sources like PPAs and they are not fully compatible, but I cannot say without knowing what exactly was involved.
br1anstorm wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 5:16 am
But I noticed that it "recommended" also the installation of some other Flatpak package ("giri" or some such label). I am not a fan of Flatpaks and did not understand why this was recommended or what functions it offered.
Mint's Software Manager offers integration with flatpak. On a default Mint install flatpaks from flathub.org remote are getting shown as part of the software selection.
br1anstorm wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 5:16 am
Regrettably I didn't take a copy of the narrative in the terminal screen which logged what was actually being done.
It'll also be in the log mentioned above, or the full details of what you saw are in /var/log/apt/term.log

Re: Software manager disappeared

Posted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:00 am
by br1anstorm
Aha - this is getting to be like a tutorial..... which is good!

Here's the result of that "grep" command:

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brian@brian-samsungRF511:~$ grep mintinstall /var/log/apt/history.log -C5
End-Date: 2019-07-10  11:03:20

Start-Date: 2019-07-13  20:26:55
Commandline: apt-get purge *flatpak* xdg-desktop-portal
Requested-By: brian (1000)
Purge: mintinstall:amd64 (7.9.7), flatpak:amd64 (1.0.8-0ubuntu0.18.04.1), libflatpak0:amd64 (1.0.8-0ubuntu0.18.04.1), mint-meta-xfce:amd64 (2018.11.28), gir1.2-flatpak-1.0:amd64 (1.0.8-0ubuntu0.18.04.1), xdg-desktop-portal-gtk:amd64 (1.0.2-0ubuntu1.1), mint-meta-core:amd64 (2018.11.28), xdg-desktop-portal:amd64 (1.0.3-0ubuntu0.2)
End-Date: 2019-07-13  20:27:29

Start-Date: 2019-07-18  23:14:48
Commandline: /usr/sbin/synaptic --hide-main-window --non-interactive --parent-window-id 31457312 -o Synaptic::closeZvt=true --set-selections-file /tmp/tmpqwm4grct
Requested-By: brian (1000)
--
Requested-By: brian (1000)
Remove: linux-image-4.15.0-48-generic:amd64 (4.15.0-48.51), linux-image-4.15.0-51-generic:amd64 (4.15.0-51.55), linux-image-4.15.0-50-generic:amd64 (4.15.0-50.54), linux-headers-4.15.0-48:amd64 (4.15.0-48.51), linux-headers-4.15.0-50:amd64 (4.15.0-50.54), linux-headers-4.15.0-51:amd64 (4.15.0-51.55), linux-headers-4.15.0-48-generic:amd64 (4.15.0-48.51), linux-modules-extra-4.15.0-48-generic:amd64 (4.15.0-48.51), linux-modules-extra-4.15.0-50-generic:amd64 (4.15.0-50.54), linux-modules-4.15.0-48-generic:amd64 (4.15.0-48.51), linux-modules-4.15.0-51-generic:amd64 (4.15.0-51.55), linux-headers-4.15.0-51-generic:amd64 (4.15.0-51.55), linux-modules-4.15.0-50-generic:amd64 (4.15.0-50.54), linux-headers-4.15.0-50-generic:amd64 (4.15.0-50.54), linux-modules-extra-4.15.0-51-generic:amd64 (4.15.0-51.55)
End-Date: 2019-07-31  09:49:55

Start-Date: 2019-07-31  09:50:19
Commandline: /usr/bin/apt install --reinstall mintinstall
Requested-By: brian (1000)
Install: mintinstall:amd64 (7.9.7), xdg-desktop-portal-gtk:amd64 (1.0.2-0ubuntu1.1, automatic), xdg-desktop-portal:amd64 (1.0.3-0ubuntu0.2, automatic)
End-Date: 2019-07-31  09:50:58
brian@brian-samsungRF511:~$ 
The earlier date in that log (13 July) gives me a bit of a clue. I don't add PPAs or software from anywhere other than the Mint-approved repos, for precisely the reasons you'd expect: I don't want to screw up my system.

The background is that - many months ago - I downloaded a video editing programme, Openshot, from the Software Manager, as it seemed to be similar to Avidemux which I used to have in Windows. The version I chose came in a Flatpak.

Much later, probably in early July, I read - in Pjotr's easylinuxtips guide here https://easylinuxtipsproject.blogspot. ... t.html#ID6 about how to "clean up" Mint - the suggestion to remove/delete Flatpaks. Since I had by then decided I didn't need or use Openshot (which as far as I could tell was the only Flatpak app I had), I therefore decided to uninstall it and get rid of the Flatpak "infrastructure" using the commands Pjotr provided.

What I failed to grasp at the time was the warning in Pjotr's guide that this would also uninstall the Software Manager (mintinstall) as well as some "metapackages". I did not go on to implement the final command in his guide, which seems to recommend the installation of a Gnome alternative to the standard Mint Software Manager. I didn't fully realise (and I haven't sought to add any more programs in recent months), that I had lost the original Software Manager completely.

It is amazing what the logs record - even if I don't have the expertise to interpret all the entries!

I'm still keen to keep things simple and not clog up or slow down my system, which is why Pjotr's advice appealed to me. Is it in fact possible to continue to run Mint 19 and indeed its successors without having to rely on Flatpaks? My non-expert impression is that Flatpaks are a layer of complexity that ought not to be needed, and thus should be avoided if possible.... but what do I know!

Re: Software manager disappeared

Posted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:16 am
by gm10
br1anstorm wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:00 am
Much later, probably in early July, I read - in Pjotr's easylinuxtips guide here https://easylinuxtipsproject.blogspot. ... t.html#ID6 about how to "clean up" Mint - the suggestion to remove/delete Flatpaks. Since I had by then decided I didn't need or use Openshot (which as far as I could tell was the only Flatpak app I had), I therefore decided to uninstall it and get rid of the Flatpak "infrastructure" using the commands Pjotr provided.
It's a mistake in Pjotr's usually reliable advice, I'll let him know.

On LM 19.1 you can only run

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apt purge "*flatpak*"
This will remove the flatpak integration from Software Manager just like you wanted.

Pjotr's full command line including xdg-desktop-portal (which should be "xdg-desktop-portal*") is only possible on LM 19.2, but that's just a tiny package that doesn't hurt anyone, anyway. ;)

Re: Software manager disappeared

Posted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:38 am
by DAMIEN1307
i have removed flatpack from software manager by also using the following line of script...DAMIEN

Delete the sources as in this example:

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flatpak remote-delete flathub

Re: Software manager disappeared

Posted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 12:40 pm
by norm.h
I'm running Mint 18.3 and "lost" Software Manager after following the above instructions to remove Flatpack.
Successfully reinstated Software Manager as advised above, but got Flatpack back as well.
flatpak remote-delete flathub
didn't work for me, I get the error "flathub not found".
So how do I remove Flatpack without losing anything else?

Re: Software manager disappeared

Posted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 12:49 pm
by gm10
norm.h wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 12:40 pm
I'm running Mint 18.3 [...]
So how do I remove Flatpack without losing anything else?
You don't, it's not supported on 18.3. You can only remove the flathub remote, which is the next best thing, because it will remove access to all flatpak applications from mintinstall (assuming you didn't add other remotes yourself):

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flatpak remote-delete flathub
You can also disable the flatpak updater from your startup applications, if you want to (it won't be doing anything, anyway).

Re: Software manager disappeared

Posted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 1:55 pm
by norm.h
Thank you