Some time ago there was a very serious issue where using autoremove would render your system pretty much useless.

This issue is marked as Fix released but just to be safe I'll ask here anyway.

Yesterday I almost bork my Freya (see Did I just destroy my Freya?). It seems to be working fine so far (haven't restarted yet though), the only thing I'm hesitant about is doing an apt-get autoremove.

Right now these are the packages it wants to remove:

  freeglut3 gir1.2-peas-1.0 gtk3-engines-unico libandroid-properties1
  libboost-program-options1.54.0 libcapnp-0.4.0 libcolumbus1
  libcolumbus1-common libdbus-cpp2 libdbusmenu-qt5 libdee-qt5-3 libgflags2
  libglewmx1.10 libgoogle-glog0 libgrip0 libgsettings-qt1 libhud-client2
  libhud2 libhybris-common1 libjsoncpp0 liblttng-ust-ctl2 liblttng-ust0
  libmediascanner-2.0-0 libmirclient7 libmirclientplatform-mesa libmirplatform
  libmirplatformgraphics-mesa libmirprotobuf0 libmirserver18 libnux-4.0-0
  libnux-4.0-common libpocketsphinx1 libprocess-cpp1 libprotobuf8
  libqdjango-db0 libqmenumodel0 libqt5core5a libqt5dbus5 libqt5feedback5
  libqt5gui5 libqt5multimedia5 libqt5network5 libqt5organizer5
  libqt5qml-graphicaleffects libqt5qml5 libqt5quick5 libqt5sql5
  libqt5sql5-sqlite libqt5svg5 libqt5widgets5 libqt5xmlpatterns5
  libsphinxbase1 libthumbnailer0 libtimezonemap1
  libubuntu-application-api-mirserver1 libubuntu-location-service0
  libubuntu-platform-hardware-api1 libunity-action-qt1 libunity-api0
  libunity-control-center1 libunity-mir1 libunity-scopes1 libunwind8
  libupstart-app-launch2 liburcu1 libxcb-icccm4 libxcb-image0
  libxcb-render-util0 libxcb-xkb1 libxkbcommon-x11-0 libzmqpp3
  linux-headers-3.13.0-53 linux-headers-3.13.0-53-generic
  linux-headers-3.16.0-34 linux-headers-3.16.0-34-generic
  linux-headers-generic-lts-utopic linux-image-3.13.0-53-generic
  linux-image-3.16.0-34-generic linux-image-extra-3.13.0-53-generic
  linux-image-extra-3.16.0-34-generic linux-image-generic-lts-utopic
  linux-signed-image-3.13.0-53-generic mediascanner2.0 python-colorama
  python-distlib python-html5lib python-opengl python-wheel python3-apparmor
  python3-libapparmor qmenumodel-qml qtdeclarative5-dee-plugin
  qtdeclarative5-gsettings1.0 qtdeclarative5-qtfeedback-plugin
  qtdeclarative5-ubuntu-thumbnailer0.1 qtdeclarative5-unity-action-plugin
  qtdeclarative5-unity-notifications-plugin qtdeclarative5-window-plugin
  qtdeclarative5-xmllistmodel-plugin session-migration sqlite3

(Here's the full output of $ apt-get -s autoremove)

Can I safely run sudo apt-get autoremove or will removing some of these packages break my system?

Add: I'm running Freya and my kernel version (uname -r) is 3.16.0-43-generic.

  • What's the output of uname -r ? Jul 22, 2015 at 15:16
  • @JohnGuerreiro added.
    – Gabriel
    Jul 22, 2015 at 15:20
  • 1
    Try TimeShift for create and restore system snapshots.
    – png2378
    Jul 22, 2015 at 17:43

1 Answer 1


Good news is it doesn't want to remove the kernel, Most of those dependencies are qt related, so no impact on the system, the python ones shouldn't be very problematic, were you running an unity install? Too many unity/mir related things there. I would set these to manually installed:

sudo apt-get install gtk3-engines-unico linux-image-generic-lts-utopic linux-headers-generic-lts-utopic

This should ensure you keep getting kernel updates and gtk3-engines-unico may be needed by some themes (which you may or may not have installed).

Take with grain of salt as I don't know what applications you have installed in your system which may break after removing these dependencies, still, it won't happen like the last autoremove craze that removed network managers and the like

  • Thank you John! As i explain in the question linked (elementaryos.stackexchange.com/questions/654/…) I attempted to remove the R statistical software from my system (sudo apt-get remove r-base*) which ended up removing a lot of stuff and installing (for some reason) a lot of unity stuff. I'll wait to see if some dev says anything different and if not I'll accept your answer.
    – Gabriel
    Jul 22, 2015 at 15:41
  • 1
    I think that's a good approach, hope this small adventure of yours has a happy ending. Jul 22, 2015 at 15:45

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