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#1 2018-11-28 15:07:27

Registered: 2017-01-04
Posts: 1  

Removing XFCE after installing MATE

Hello Everybody,

I have been searching this forum for the procedure to remove XFCE and its related components after installing and configuring other DE, MATE in my case.

I am using Devuan ASCII and when I tried to remove xfce4 package, apt told me that a lot of other packages are no longer required and suggested to remove them using 'apt autoremove' as you can see below.

root@hp8570w:/home/anto# apt-get purge xfce4
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
The following packages were automatically installed and are no longer required:
  ant ant-optional ca-certificates-java coinor-libcbc3 coinor-libcgl1 coinor-libclp1 coinor-libcoinmp1v5 coinor-libcoinutils3v5 coinor-libosi1v5 default-java-plugin default-jre
  default-jre-headless enchant espeak-ng-data evince-gtk exfalso fonts-crosextra-caladea fonts-crosextra-carlito fonts-dejavu fonts-dejavu-extra fonts-font-awesome fonts-freefont-ttf
  fonts-lato fonts-opensymbol fonts-sil-gentium fonts-sil-gentium-basic gcj-6-jre-lib gir1.2-atspi-2.0 gir1.2-gst-plugins-base-1.0 gir1.2-gstreamer-1.0 gir1.2-gtksource-3.0
  gir1.2-javascriptcoregtk-4.0 gir1.2-keybinder-3.0 gir1.2-soup-2.4 gir1.2-webkit2-4.0 gir1.2-wnck-3.0 gksu gnome-orca gstreamer1.0-alsa gstreamer1.0-plugins-good gstreamer1.0-plugins-ugly
  gstreamer1.0-pulseaudio gstreamer1.0-x gtk2-engines-xfce hddtemp hyphen-en-us icedtea-8-plugin icedtea-netx icedtea-netx-common java-common javascript-common liba52-0.7.4 libabw-0.1-1
  libao-common libao4 libapache-poi-java libapache-pom-java libass5 libatk-adaptor libatk-wrapper-java libatk-wrapper-java-jni libaudio2 libavc1394-0 libbase-java libbasicusageenvironment1
  libbcmail-java libbcpkix-java libbcprov-java libbluetooth3 libboost-date-time1.62.0 libbrlapi0.6 libbsh-java libcddb2 libcdio13 libcdr-0.1-1 libclucene-contribs1v5 libclucene-core1v5
  libcmis-0.5-5v5 libcommons-codec-java libcommons-collections3-java libcommons-logging-java libcommons-parent-java libdc1394-22 libdca0 libdom4j-java libdotconf0 libdouble-conversion1
  libdv4 libdvbpsi10 libdvdnav4 libdvdread4 libe-book-0.1-1 libebml4v5 libehcache-java libenchant1c2a libeot0 libespeak-ng1 libetonyek-0.1-1 libexttextcat-2.0-0 libexttextcat-data libfaad2
  libflute-java libfonts-java libformula-java libfreehand-0.1-1 libgcj-bc libgcj-common libgcj17 libgif7 libgksu2-0 libgles2-mesa libgltf-0.0-0v5 libgpod-common libgpod4 libgroupsock8
  libgstreamer-plugins-bad1.0-0 libgtksourceview-3.0-1 libgtksourceview-3.0-common libgtksourceview2.0-0 libgtksourceview2.0-common libgtop-2.0-10 libgtop2-common libharfbuzz-icu0
  libhsqldb1.8.0-java libhyphen0 libical2 libiec61883-0 libisorelax-java libitext-java libjavascriptcoregtk-4.0-18 libjaxen-java libjcommon-java libjdom1-java libjs-jquery libjs-modernizr
  libjs-sphinxdoc libjs-underscore libkate1 libkeybinder-3.0-0 liblangtag-common liblangtag1 liblayout-java liblirc-client0 liblivemedia57 libloader-java liblog4j1.2-java liblua5.2-0
  libmad0 libmail-java libmatroska6v5 libmhash2 libmicrodns0 libmpcdec6 libmpeg2-4 libmspub-0.1-1 libmsv-java libmtp-common libmtp-runtime libmtp9 libmwaw-0.3-3 libmythes-1.2-0
  libneon27-gnutls libnfs8 libodfgen-0.1-1 libopencore-amrnb0 libopencore-amrwb0 libopenmpt-modplug1 liborcus-0.11-0 libpagemaker-0.0-0 libpcaudio0 libpcre16-3
  libpentaho-reporting-flow-engine-java libpixie-java libpostproc54 libpq5 libprotobuf-lite10 libproxy-tools libpython3.5 libqrencode3 libqt5core5a libqt5dbus5 libqt5gui5 libqt5network5
  libqt5svg5 libqt5widgets5 libqt5x11extras5 libraptor2-0 librasqal3 libraw1394-11 librdf0 librelaxng-datatype-java libreoffice libreoffice-avmedia-backend-gstreamer libreoffice-base
  libreoffice-base-core libreoffice-base-drivers libreoffice-calc libreoffice-common libreoffice-core libreoffice-draw libreoffice-gtk2 libreoffice-help-en-us libreoffice-impress
  libreoffice-java-common libreoffice-librelogo libreoffice-math libreoffice-nlpsolver libreoffice-ogltrans libreoffice-pdfimport libreoffice-report-builder libreoffice-report-builder-bin
  libreoffice-script-provider-bsh libreoffice-script-provider-js libreoffice-script-provider-python libreoffice-sdbc-hsqldb libreoffice-sdbc-postgresql libreoffice-style-galaxy
  libreoffice-style-tango libreoffice-wiki-publisher libreoffice-writer librepository-java libresid-builder0c2a librevenge-0.0-0 libsac-java libsac-java-gcj libsaxonhe-java libsdl-image1.2
  libserializer-java libservlet3.1-java libsgutils2-2 libshout3 libsidplay1v5 libsidplay2 libsndio6.1 libsonic0 libspeechd2 libtag1v5 libtag1v5-vanilla libtagc0 libtidy5 libunique-1.0-0
  libupnp6 libusageenvironment3 libv4l-0 libv4lconvert0 libva-wayland1 libvisio-0.1-1 libvlc-bin libvlc5 libvlccore9 libwebkit2gtk-4.0-37 libwnck-3-0 libwnck-3-common libwpd-0.10-10
  libwpg-0.3-3 libwps-0.4-4 libxcb-icccm4 libxcb-image0 libxcb-keysyms1 libxcb-randr0 libxcb-render-util0 libxcb-xinerama0 libxcb-xkb1 libxcb-xv0 libxerces2-java libxfce4panel-2.0-4
  libxfce4ui-utils libxkbcommon-x11-0 libxml-commons-external-java libxml-commons-resolver1.1-java libxml-java libxmlbeans-java libxom-java libxpp2-java libxpp3-java libxslt1.1 libyajl2
  lp-solve media-player-info mousepad mythes-en-us openjdk-8-jre openjdk-8-jre-headless orage p7zip p7zip-full policykit-1-gnome python-dbus python-feedparser python-gi python-gi-cairo
  python-glade2 python-gobject python-libxml2 python-musicbrainzngs python-mutagen python-notify python-pyinotify python-six python-utidylib python-wicd python3-brlapi python3-louis
  python3-pyatspi python3-speechd python3-uno python3-xdg qt5-gtk-platformtheme qttranslations5-l10n quodlibet rfkill ristretto slim speech-dispatcher speech-dispatcher-audio-plugins
  speech-dispatcher-espeak-ng sphinx-rtd-theme-common tango-icon-theme thunar thunar-archive-plugin thunar-media-tags-plugin thunar-volman uno-libs3 ure vlc vlc-bin vlc-data vlc-l10n
  vlc-plugin-base vlc-plugin-notify vlc-plugin-qt vlc-plugin-samba vlc-plugin-skins2 vlc-plugin-video-output vlc-plugin-video-splitter vlc-plugin-visualization wicd wicd-daemon wicd-gtk
  xarchiver xbrlapi xfburn xfce4-appfinder xfce4-battery-plugin xfce4-clipman xfce4-clipman-plugin xfce4-cpufreq-plugin xfce4-cpugraph-plugin xfce4-datetime-plugin xfce4-dict
  xfce4-diskperf-plugin xfce4-fsguard-plugin xfce4-genmon-plugin xfce4-goodies xfce4-mailwatch-plugin xfce4-mount-plugin xfce4-netload-plugin xfce4-notes xfce4-notes-plugin xfce4-panel
  xfce4-places-plugin xfce4-power-manager xfce4-power-manager-data xfce4-power-manager-plugins xfce4-pulseaudio-plugin xfce4-screenshooter xfce4-sensors-plugin xfce4-smartbookmark-plugin
  xfce4-systemload-plugin xfce4-taskmanager xfce4-timer-plugin xfce4-verve-plugin xfce4-wavelan-plugin xfce4-weather-plugin xfce4-whiskermenu-plugin xfce4-xkb-plugin xsane xsane-common
Use 'apt autoremove' to remove them.
The following packages will be REMOVED:
  task-xfce-desktop* xfce4*
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 2 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
After this operation, 22.5 kB disk space will be freed.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n] 

The same result when I tried to remove other xfce components like xfdesktop4, xfce4-session, etc. It will mark all other packages a part from xfce components in the list to be removed, so those packages will be removed when I would do 'apt-get autoremove'.

I could hold those packages other than the xfce component using apt-mark, but I don't think that is practical.

Could any of you let me know the best way to remove only all xfce components?

Thanks a lot in advance for your help.

Kind regards,



#2 2018-11-28 18:45:37

Registered: 2016-12-03
Posts: 16  

Re: Removing XFCE after installing MATE

sudo apt-get remove $(dpkg-query -l | grep  '^.i'| grep xfce | awk '{print $2}')

by the way, I think I saw your name somewhere...


#3 2018-11-28 18:45:51

Registered: 2017-11-25
Posts: 175  

Re: Removing XFCE after installing MATE

Read this post, maybe it helps.

Good luck, rolfie


#4 2018-11-28 18:58:26

Registered: 2017-03-16
Posts: 465  

Re: Removing XFCE after installing MATE

What a knotty mess. One wouldn't think that uninstalling xfce4 would leave things such as vlc and libreoffice orphaned.

I'm guessing that you inherited the XFCE desktop environment from whatever install media you used (maybe even the official Devuan installer). The million dollar question is how XFCE was installed in that media. I wouldn't know the answer to that, even if I knew which installer you used. But we can work backwards based on a premise: XFCE was most likely installed using a metapackage (e.g., task-xfce-desktop) that pulled in another metapackage (e.g., xfce4). Once we're dealing with metapackages of metapackages, a lot of stuff gets dragged in as dependencies.

Try running aptitude why vlc and aptitude why libreoffice and repeat with a few other packages in your list of "automatically installed but no longer required" that are clearly not a part of XFCE. You'll probably find a non-xfce metapackage that brought in these applications as dependencies. Manually install that metapackage then uninstall xfce4. Not a quick and easy solution, but I think it would do the trick.

EDIT: The suggestion in rolfie's thread (installing task-mate-desktop) sounds quite promising.

Last edited by GNUser (2018-11-28 19:04:04)


#5 2018-11-29 21:41:18

Registered: 2017-11-25
Posts: 175  

Re: Removing XFCE after installing MATE

Another alternative is to install just the basic system without any desktop, either Jessie and upgrade to ASCII which I had to do before I found an ASCII install media some months ago, or nowadays directly use ASCII, then manually install xorg, lightdm and the mate. On top I manually installed Firefox ESR, Libreoffice and other stuff I need. Got 3 PCs working now in this setup, and no hasle with removing unwanted stuff. 

Regards, rolfie


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