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Thread: How to recover mistake in synaptic package manager?

  1. #1
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    How to recover mistake in synaptic package manager?

    I find software center too limited so I started to use synaptic. However, since I am a bit unexperienced, lately I uninstalled the wrong package and my system got almost unusable and had to reinstall Ubuntu. I have Ubuntu/XUbuntu 13.10 installed.

    Is there a way to save a recovery point in synaptic? for example in the case I uninstalled the wrong packages, is it possible to go back to a point I save beforehand, a point my system was stable?

  2. #2
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    Re: How to recover mistake in synaptic package manager?

    Not really. Uninstalled means uninstalled. But can you be more specific? What does "almost unusable" mean? Usually a linux system can be repaired without reinstalling the whole thing, especially if all you did was uninstall a package. As long as you haven't trashed the entire file system you should be able to boot from a recovery disk (or usb stick), chroot into the damaged system and reinstall whatever's missing.

  3. #3
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    Re: How to recover mistake in synaptic package manager?

    But can you be more specific? What does "almost unusable" mean?
    I had Ubuntu 13.10 (Unity desktop) installed and wanted to try xfce desktop so installed that in synaptic. But then decided to deinstall xfce after a while and removed all xfce packages. when applying in synaptic and going back to desktop, I couldnt select any programs anymore (when clickicking on them the icons in the tab disappeared), the log off/restart buttons were gone, I just screwed up...

    I installed now XUbuntu, which I prefer, but I just would like to avoid this in future, and thought maybe there is a way to save my current stable system setup, before installing new packages.

  4. #4
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    Re: How to recover mistake in synaptic package manager?

    This old chestnut.

    If you wanted to try xfce4 that's all you need to install. Find xfce4 in Synaptics>Install>logout>choose 'xfce4 session' from the 'Sessions' menu>login.

    Installing *buntu-desktop anything is usually not a great idea unless you are doing for a specific reason (like bloat, redundancy and duplication ... but seriously, unless you have good reason). From your post I'm gathering you installed xubuntu-desktop rather than xfce4. This is like having Xubuntu and all its default packages and apps installed with Ubuntu (and all its packages and apps).

    Just a tip for the future.

  5. #5
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    Re: How to recover mistake in synaptic package manager?

    ok thanks Bucky Ball .

    Actually when that happened, I tried to only install xfce4 and xfc4-goodies (not the xubuntu-desktop), but this seems to install several packages and sometime it is difficult to grasp which package does what. Anyways, now I have installed Xubuntu after that mess, happy ending cause on this little MBA there is not much space and I prefer that distro!

    I guess since it seems not possible to make a recovery point in synaptic, maybe there must be another app to this or I will try the undo button in synaptic in the future.

  6. #6
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    Re: How to recover mistake in synaptic package manager?

    i find apt-get , apt-cache search, and ppa-purge to be most effective over aptitude and software-center.


    usually a good recovery point is to simply try to reinstall the 'ubuntu-desktop gnome-shell gdm' packages after removing the new breaking stuff.. at least then you can start back fresh

  7. #7
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    Re: How to recover mistake in synaptic package manager?

    In the "good old days" it was OK to have multiple desktops installed and simply select which one to use when you login. And it's true that the display managers (gdm, kdm) still allow you to choose your session preference when you login. But it seems that in recent years the desktop managers fight with each other for control of the desktop and change various settings that can be hard to restore. I guess the display managers haven't exactly kept up with the desktops in terms of being able to sort out all the settings affected by each desktop.

    Long story short, it's not a great idea to install multiple desktops on a single system unless you're looking for a way to kill some time The documentation is out there someplace, but it can take a while to find it. If you want to try out a different environment it's safer to run it from a usb stick, or install another system on a separate disk partition.

    But with most other packages -- i.e., programs that deal with "what you use your computer for" rather than "how your computer works" -- it's generally safe to try things out and then just uninstall them if you don't like them.

  8. #8
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    Re: How to recover mistake in synaptic package manager?

    It seems that Unity and xfce are quite OK, they don't really bite each other. I have them both installed, although in practice I only use xfce. Other combinations may be less fortunate.

    Something that could be used as a recovery point for installed packages is this:
    Code:
    #To create the "recovery point":
    dpkg --get-selections >your-recovery-point.asc
    #to restore to a recovery point
    sudo dpkg --clear-selections
    sudo dpkg --set-selections <your-recovery-point.asc
    sudo apt-get dselect-upgrade
    where your-recovery-point.asc will be a file in your home directory (or wherever you want to store it). You may want to encode the date in the file name. The only catch is that dependencies may have changed, which has to be handled correctly.

  9. #9
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    Re: How to recover mistake in synaptic package manager?

    Synaptic has an "Undo" option under the Edit menu, although I've never had need to use it myself so I can't tell you how reliable it may be.

  10. #10
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    Re: How to recover mistake in synaptic package manager?

    Good comments,

    to Impavidus: this is something I was looking for, I will have to read a little about that, do you generally use these commands before installing a set of new packages?

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