A lot of packages and services installed with ubuntu-* meta packages are unneeded for 99,9% of users. This spec would identify such packages and a solution to be more modular with them.


Currently, on the standard ubuntu Desktop, there are a lot of unneeded or not always useful services (evms, lvm, hplip, ...). Even the desktop is full of not always needed stuff : xsane if you don't have a scanner, hundred of tamil fonts, ...

It's not optimal at all to have all of those packages installed by default :

  • it takes disk space
  • services takes RAM and CPU.
  • some of those services can have bugs which affect a lot of users who don't even know what the service is. There are reports, for example, of evms freezing the boot process or hplip taking the whole ram (when there was no hp printer !)
  • The boot time can be dramatically improved by removing all unneeded services
  • On no high-end computers, the installation requires a geek in order to remove all of this and makes the computer fully usable.

This spec will identify such packages and find a way to deal with them, like :

  • lvm and evms are only needed by advanced users that know what those services are. So it can be asked at install in advanced mode and not installed by default.
  • only install some fonts if a related locale is installed
  • perhaps having a more modular installation
  • only launch hplip if a printing is requested AND an HP printer is plugged.
  • ...

Use cases

  • Michael does not have a really fast laptop. He wants to use Ubuntu with a fast as possible boot and not hundreds of processes running. After all, it's a laptop to do web browsing and word processing, nothing else.
  • Sydney wants to use OpenOffice to make pretty printing. But she has too much strange fonts. It's really difficult to find the pretty fonts in that mess.

  • John doesn't have a scanner. He wants to remove xsane with synaptic. But he's afraid of removing "ubuntu-desktop"..
  • John doesn't have a printer that is compatible with CUPS and the WinPrinter he bought isn't supported by any PPD, so he tries to remove CUPS, but is again told that would remove "ubuntu-desktop"..

  • Irina wants to learn more about Ubuntu. She tries to understand what is the goal of every line in the boot process. After looking on Google, she doesn't understand why she has "evms" and "lvm".



Services (take RAM and CPU) :

that can safely be removed on a typical Dapper installation :

  • evms evms-ncurses
  • lvm-common lvm2

that are useless without a specific hardware :

  • hplip

Packages (take disk space and can be confusing) :

that are useless without a specific hardware :

  • sane xsane

that are useful only for some languages support :

modular componant install :

  • gather packages in "tasks" or "modules"
  • RedHat seems to have a similar system. Debian already have a basic tasks management.

  • an agent is able to select tasks depending on vendor_id and product_id at cold or hot plug.
  • base install require minimal tasks, select special tasks (such as laptop, desktop, server, etc.), suggest other.
  • A gnome-task-install allow user to add tasks to its computer (printing support, file sharing, etc.)



Data preservation and migration

Outstanding issues

BoF agenda and discussion


RemovingDefaultPackages (last edited 2008-08-06 16:37:45 by localhost)