How to remove Firefox?

Scott Balneaves sbalneav at
Tue Sep 4 15:18:36 BST 2007

Jim Kronebusch wrote:
> Well after all the trouble I had with firefox I switched to Opera for now.  However when
> I went to apt-get remove firefox I had a plethora of dependencies and was unable to
> remove it without breaking a ton of apps.  Why is this?

Firefox is part of the ubuntu-desktop meta package (a meta package is 
essentially an empty package that simply depends on a bunch of other packages), 
and as such, if you try to remove it, you end up trying to remove 
ubuntu-desktop, which removes tons of other stuff.

The reason for this is so that to make things easy for the administrator, one 
need only install the "ubuntu-deskop" package, to get all the dependencies you 
need for the full ubuntu desktop.

>  It doesn't seem right to me
> that so many core applications would be dependent on firefox.

It is a byproduct of debian package management.  And a good one, really.  It's 
one of the reasons the APT system works as well as it does: because packaging 
policy is enforced.

>  For now I guess I will
> have to use Sabayon or something to remove Firefox from the applications menu.  But I
> would like to be certain the more savvy could not get it to run.

What's the problem with them running it?  It will work correctly for most
sites you're likely to encounter, with the exception of those large image 
sites.  Besides, it may be handy to have a second option in case you run into 
something that Opera doesn't handle.

I'd say just make sure Opera's the icon on the panel at the top, and that will
suffice for all but the most curious student.  And, after all, a little 
curiosity's a good thing :)

But, if you really want to eliminate it, sabayon's the way to go.


Scott L. Balneaves | "Eternity is a very long time,
Systems Department |  especially towards the end."
Legal Aid Manitoba |    -- Woody Allen

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