Ubuntu – Apt wants to remove ubuntu-mate-desktop


To preface my question, I already know about this question, but it doesn't have any answers (plus it's for an older version), so I'm opening this one, because this is becoming a pretty big issue for me.

I have 2 applications on Ubuntu MATE 15.04 that I want to remove; Firefox and apport. However, when I issue sudo apt-get remove firefox or sudo apt-get remove apport, I get the following:

Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
The following packages will be REMOVED:
  apport apport-gtk ubuntu-mate-desktop
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 3 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
After this operation, 994 kB disk space will be freed.

Of course, I don't want to remove ubuntu-mate-desktop, no matter how small it is, but I want to get rid of both apport and Firefox. It's possible that this is an issue with other software that I just haven't seen yet, but these two are the culprits I've seen.

My question boils down to this: how do I get rid of Firefox and apport without getting rid of ubuntu-mate-desktop? Thanks.

Best Answer

apport and apport-gtk are both marked as dependencies by ubuntu-mate-desktop. If you remove one of the former, the latter will also be removed.

ubuntu-mate-desktop is a meta-package, enclosing the set of packages that make up the Mate DE. apport and apport-gtk are part of this set, meaning they are deemed core components of this DE. If you remove one of them, then you no longer have the complete Ubuntu Mate DE installed and the meta-package is removed. However, all the other packages remain installed and the DE should function as before.

Finally, note that on stable releases Apport is disabled by default.