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Thread: Don't Want Libreoffice. Don't Want Abiword. So Why Force Me?

  1. #1
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    Don't Want Libreoffice. Don't Want Abiword. So Why Force Me?

    Hello, I don't want either LibreOffice or Abiword on one of my Ubuntu (12.04) boxes. When I try to uninstall LibreOffice then apt-get automatically installs Abiword. Of course, Synaptic and Aptitude do the same, while dpkg simply refuses to remove several core LibreOffice packages because of certain ridiculous dependencies based off Gnome. This just doesn't seem right. I should be able to choose which, if any, office suite I want to use. So if anyone can please help - how do I get rid of LibreOffice without getting stuck with Abiword?

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    Re: Don't Want Libreoffice. Don't Want Abiword. So Why Force Me?

    Quote Originally Posted by whitecat23 View Post
    Hello, I don't want either LibreOffice or Abiword on one of my Ubuntu (12.04) boxes. When I try to uninstall LibreOffice then apt-get automatically installs Abiword. Of course, Synaptic and Aptitude do the same, while dpkg simply refuses to remove several core LibreOffice packages because of certain ridiculous dependencies based off Gnome. This just doesn't seem right. I should be able to choose which, if any, office suite I want to use. So if anyone can please help - how do I get rid of LibreOffice without getting stuck with Abiword?
    Install another Office Suite?

    I know the same happens with browsers. You HAVE to have a browser. I had read why a little while back, but I'm not really sure anymore. I'm guessing it's the same with an office suite.

  3. #3
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    Re: Don't Want Libreoffice. Don't Want Abiword. So Why Force Me?

    First of all, why worry about it? Having more software on your computer ready to go, doesn't magically slow it down or some such. There are thousands of programs installed on your system in /usr/bin that you may never even know about, nevermind ever use.

    I would just remove the entries for LibreOffice and Abiword from the menus, for the simple reason that the use of shared libraries makes removing any large program risky, since it may remove something that another unrelated program needs.

  4. #4
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    Re: Don't Want Libreoffice. Don't Want Abiword. So Why Force Me?

    Quote Originally Posted by whitecat23 View Post
    Hello, I don't want either LibreOffice or Abiword on one of my Ubuntu (12.04) boxes. When I try to uninstall LibreOffice then apt-get automatically installs Abiword. Of course, Synaptic and Aptitude do the same, while dpkg simply refuses to remove several core LibreOffice packages because of certain ridiculous dependencies based off Gnome. This just doesn't seem right. I should be able to choose which, if any, office suite I want to use. So if anyone can please help - how do I get rid of LibreOffice without getting stuck with Abiword?
    There are a couple of ways to only install what you want. The first is the mini.iso or remove the *-desktop meta package. The desktop meta packages include all the depends and recommends needed in order to install the default desktop system for whatever version you are using.

  5. #5
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    Re: Don't Want Libreoffice. Don't Want Abiword. So Why Force Me?

    Installing Abiword or Libreoffice is not a solution when I don't want them. The thing is this: Ubuntu seems to have, for some inexplicable reason, created some very fundamental dependencies to a particular office suite. The Gnome Desktop relies on having either of those two programs around when they have absolutely nothing to do with the operating system. I was never a fan of Libreoffice, and Abiword is just a piece of work. My philosophy is to pare everything down to an absolute minimum and build up using only what I need.
    Don't get me wrong, Ubuntu is a good OS - but they have made a really stupid decision here. If they force this on us when will it end? OpenOffice 3.4 is not only the best office suite for Linux, but a good office suite by any standard. I use it by choice and I still wouldn't want that forced on me or on anyone else. Windows doesn't force an office suite down my throat (you can uninstall MS Office if you don't like it - I have), so why does Ubuntu feel it has to control that aspect of my experience? I thought Ubuntu was about choice...
    An OS can function just fine without a word processor, a web browser, or whatever. It all depends on what you want to do with it. Sure, I can just leave it there and ignore it but that's not my point. If I want something off my computer then Ubuntu should provide a way for me to do that. It's not like LibreOffice is a critical system component.
    Still would like to know how I can get this done. Thanks for the replies, BTW. I appreciate your viewpoint but disagee with getting locked into a vendor. That's one of the main reasons I didn't consider Windows 8 or OS X!
    Is a Canonical employee listening?
    Last edited by whitecat23; December 11th, 2012 at 05:24 AM.

  6. #6
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    Re: Don't Want Libreoffice. Don't Want Abiword. So Why Force Me?

    You could switch to a distro like ArchLinux, that way YOU control exactly what goes onto your system as it only installs the base OS and you build on it from there.

  7. #7
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    Re: Don't Want Libreoffice. Don't Want Abiword. So Why Force Me?

    I don't seem to have this problem on my system, but my guess is that some big metapackage like ubuntu-desktop or desktop-base depends on an office suite.

    Sometimes these situations feel like you are being "forced" but that's not the situation at all. It can be tricky to get the dependencies just right so that installing and removing packages do "the right thing" consistently, and occasionally you just end up with a weird situation like this.

    Probably the thing to do is use synaptic to look at the properties of abiword and check the "dependencies" tab. Switch the dropdown to "dependants", and this should give you a clue as to which program is requiring abiword. Looks like ubuntu-gnome-desktop, gnome, xubuntu-desktop, and lubuntu-desktop all require it, so if you've got any of those metapackages installed, you have to uninstall them.

    Keep in mind that uninstalling a metapackage will mark all its dependencies as auto-removable, so you need to mark those as manually installed to make sure you don't end up losing your desktop.

    Seems like a big deal to go through, but like I said it can be a tricky dance to make sure packages behave like people think they should.

  8. #8
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    Re: Don't Want Libreoffice. Don't Want Abiword. So Why Force Me?

    The post about things depending on other things and the one suggesting using the mini iso are both valid. I've had a couple of experiances involving this. In one I wanted to remove the weather function and it wanted to drag the entire desktop with it. In another I wanted to play a fairly graphically rich desktop game ( 0 ad ) on a machine with 1,8 gig ram and it was stuttering a bit, so I booted to the comand line thinking to free up some ram and improve performance. On trying to run it from there it simply wouldn't go because it needed X.
    If the problem is resources you could try running whatever it is that you want to run from the command line and see if it goes before trying the mini iso.
    Another choice would be to boot into a lighter distro than ubuntu, slitaz ( http://www.slitaz.org ) and antiX ( http://antix.mepis.org/index.php?title=Main_Page ) are both excellent, for whatever task it is. If the task is regular duel booting may be an option.
    My own old machine ( duel core 1,8 gig ram ) is still fine for most tasks in Ubuntu but not for high end games or media manipulation now that a gig is used for the gui so I duel boot, a tweeked Mepris which is as nippy on my machine as Ubuntu 7.04 was, for the more intensive tasks.

    If it's about security then not enableing macros in the word processors helps but they're pretty secure anyway.

    Edit
    I took so long posting the above I got signed out and missed the last few posts. Now I understand, you want what is often called a "barebones" system. Well there are lots of them. If you use this page
    http://distrowatch.com/search.php
    Ticking "no desktop" will bring up a lot of candidates. Also differant gui's often have differant software bundles with them and one may suit your needs better, some of the very light ones have little more than an installer with them.
    Distros are always a meta packges anyway, somewhere between full bells, whistles and dependancies and fully customiseable barebones there will probably be one to suit.
    Last edited by houseworkshy; December 11th, 2012 at 06:19 AM.


  9. #9
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    Re: Don't Want Libreoffice. Don't Want Abiword. So Why Force Me?

    Moving to another distro is not an option given that Ubuntu 12.04 seems to work quite well in other respects. I'll just install the dependencies and hope they make Apache OpenOffice an option in the near future. Since version 3.4 it's been spectacular in my opinion, and I highly recommend it. Thanks all.

  10. #10
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    Re: Don't Want Libreoffice. Don't Want Abiword. So Why Force Me?

    I'm pretty sure removing ubuntu-desktop doesn't actually do anything unless you're trying to upgrade between different versions.

    Had to remove to get rid of pulseaudio*, didn't notice anything different.

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