phasing out of Synaptic?

Liviu Andronic landronimirc at
Tue Nov 4 12:51:41 UTC 2014

Thanks all devels for the explanations.

On Tue, Nov 4, 2014 at 12:10 PM, Sean Davis <smd.seandavis at> wrote:
> Hey Liviu,
> We are indeed shipping Ubuntu Software Center instead of Synaptic in
> Xubuntu.  We haven't had Synaptic in quite some time.  I've heard reports
> that software center is a pain to use, but the search works pretty well for
> most things.
Yup, "a pain to use" pretty much sums up my experience. Search may be
working, but when I tried to use it I got blocked on installing (it
required as sign-in, from memory, and I didn't even know where to
start and which account to use, so just installed Synaptic).
User-wise, awful experience.

> Using the Software Center does not require a Launchpad account, but signing
> in gives you the ability to sync packages across multiple computers and
> purchase some non-free software (several games, legal codecs, etc).
But that's the point, really. It's as evil as Google requiring a Gmail
account to install software on Android phones, even if it concerns
only a subset of packages in Xubuntu's case. With Synaptic no such
"must sign-in" restrictions exist, and in an open-source environment
this really is how it should be. Xfce is one of the last refuges from
corporate takeover in the open-source world, and I would hope Xubuntu
to share (at least partly) Xfce's philosophy and drive. So far we've
been spared from the Apple-ization at Xfce, be it smartphone
user-interface or closed iTunes-like environment, and I expect Xubuntu
to stay true to that.

> It might not be the best for power users, but thankfully searching for
> "Synaptic" provides Synaptic and Muon, so users can still find and use what
> they want.
Sure, but again that's the issue, really. "Default" users will simply
be confronted with, well, default package selection. If you present
users with USC by default, they wouldn't know that other means to
installing packages exist. And this isn't just about power users. If
you were a novice, how would you know beforehand that a saner way to
install packages, that requires no pesky sign-ins and tied to very
specific internet services, exists? And how would you know that the
damn thing is called... yup you guessed it... "synaptic"? No one knows
this other than long-time power users...

I know that it must come across differently, but I'm doing my best not
to rant here. :) I guess my proposal would be that if Canonical
insists (read: forces) subsidiary projects to use USC by default,
perhaps we should consider also shipping Synaptic at the same time. I
understand the shivers that shipping two default tools for the same
job must provoke in developers, but in this case it is a necessity
IMO. It is after all an essential bit of the OS.

Best regards,

> Thanks!
> Sean
> On Tue, Nov 4, 2014 at 6:00 AM, Paul Sutton <zleap at> wrote:
> -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- Hash: SHA1 On 04/11/14 10:52, Liviu
> Andronic wrote:
> Dear all, I've noticed that Ubuntu was no longer installing Synaptic by
> default, and instead was shipping the shiny Software Center. Is this true of
> Xubuntu, too? Does it also phase out Synaptic in latest releases? I'm asking
> since each and every time I tried to use the Software Center, I found it
> positively unusable and reverted to install Synaptic and move on from there.
> (Last time I was even under the impression that you couldn't install
> anything in Software Center without a Launchpad account, which is
> unacceptable in an open-source distro.) I think defaulting to the Software
> Center in Xubuntu would be a terrible design decision... Regards, Liviu
> I hope not as I am like you find software centre is too big, I just want to
> install software, so when not using apt would choose synaptic. It looks
> nice, but power users don't need shiny they need something to just work.
> However software centre with all its shininess does fit in with Ubuntu, but
> as long as synaptic is installable I can't see a problem. if this IS the
> case you can always switch to ToriOS ( which uses synaptic.
> Paul - -- @zleap14 diaspora : zleap at
> Documentation lead @ ToriOS -----BEGIN PGP
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