I've made two stupid mistakes today: I mistakenly uninstalled a lot of programs through the terminal & I tried receiving help on the ubuntu stack exchange instead of here (which I didn't know about).

1 - I ran sudo aptitude to find a specific package that I wanted to delete. I pressed "Install/Remove Pkgs" and there was a section of packages that were to be removed because they were "no longer used". So, I did a noobish move and pressed "g" to remove these seemingly unused packages.

The menu closed and the terminal processes began, I watched. I started seeing programs that were obviously being used by me. So, I hurried up and exited terminal to stop the process.

A few moments later, I saw some applications including the software center disappear. A lot of programs, packages and dependencies were wiped before I ended the process midway through the damage.

2 - I decided to go to the ubuntu stack exchange for help. I had a history log file of everything uninstalled and was hoping there was a way to get all of that back at one time. I was hoping that I could batch download/install everything that was uninstalled with that information.

For a long time, I basically got all my answers from the ubunu stack exchange. Since elementary is based on ubuntu, I thought they were pretty much the same and worked the same way.

I got an answer and due to my ignorance on desktop eviornments, one command they gave me was to reinstall the ubuntu desktop. Once I rebooted, I came to see the ubuntu login screen and that everything was literally ubuntu. I also got a hand full of errors, the application menu is semi transparent and there is most likely more issues prevalent. I now know that elementary uses the pantheon desktop, a little too late I suppose.

Though it did work in terms of reinstalling the native apps like software center at least, everything I lost earlier hasn't been recovered. But even worst, I don't have the pantheon desktop environment anymore and what I have now is messed up, probably more than what I can notice. I guess the bright side is that it does work at least. But I think I broke it.

Can anyone help me resolve this? can things be repaired? or am I just screwed?

1 Answer 1


Seems to me you can only do is to reinstall elementary OS. If there some files you want to backup, try it, but that's what I would do, reinstall system.

  • I don't think I can at the moment, I no longer have a flashdrive currently to reinstall/backup elementary.
    – Aric
    Jun 3, 2016 at 13:05

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