When I try to uninstall iceweasel it wants to uninstall dependencies like 'gnome' and 'gnome-core', which of course I don't want. I tried to follow several instructions in apt-get - autoremove wants to uninstall Gnome ... but to no avail.

A clue would maybe be that something messed up when I installed kde to give it a try ( now I am back on gnome2 ).

If someone has already been in my case ...

  • How about using apt-get purge iceweasel? It would remove Iceweasel, as well as, its configuration files. – Barun Dec 28 '13 at 5:49
  • no it does not change anything Barun, it does not change anything ... – PerrierCitror Dec 28 '13 at 6:27

In my Debian install, gnome-core has a required dependency on iceweasel. If you attempt to uninstall iceweasel, you by definition break the gnome-core installation, which means it needs to be uninstalled as well. And gnome has a required dependency on gnome-core; rinse, repeat. So, you're kinda stuck.

This state of affairs is arguably a GNOME packaging bug, and gnome-core should more properly be depending on the virtual package gnome-www-browser or www-browser.


You need only to mark the package it wants to remove as manual installed. Lets say:

sudo apt-get autoremove iceweasel
The following packages will be removed:
  iceweasel gnome

If there's a package you don't want to remove you only do:

sudo apt-get install gnome
gnome is already installed
marked as installed manually

Then when you remove iceweasel, it doesn't try to remove gnome. Done.


The gnome and gnome-core packages are meta-packages. They don't contain any files, just dependencies on other packages. So technically you don't need them and you won't be adversely affected. If you uninstall iceweasel, gnome and gnome-core, the only thing you'll be missing is iceweasel.

What you will miss, is if in the next version of Debian gnome or gnome-core depend on new additional packages they won't be automatically installed by the dependency graph.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.