I've just installed debian wheezy on an old laptop (using the xfce4 desktop environment via debian-live-7.7.0-amd64-xfce-desktop.iso). I don't intend to use it as an office machine, so I decided to remove the main desktop applications, as, e.g., they keep cropping up in
sudo apt-get remove libreoffice orage brasero exfalso quodlibet gimp imagemagick ristretto xsane
then I cleaned up any dependencies:
sudo apt-get autoremove
I did this via an
ssh login from another, client machine as I wanted to navigate the application menus on the old laptop at the same time as typing in the packages to remove.
Only problem is that I didn't look to closely at all the xfce4 packages that I was warned would be removed, and it turns out that I have removed my whole desktop environment! When I saw a message on my client machine
Removing lightdm ... [ ok ] Stopping Light Display Manager: lightdm.
my old laptop screen went blank! Clearly I have done something very very wrong, although I can't see what.
I have some other debian wheezy machines that I'm using as headless servers, and I'd intended to run the same command line on them once I'd got my old laptop sorted, but I don't want to go ahead until I'm sure I know what I'm doing.
So what did I do wrong, and how should I go about removing these desktop applications without suffering the catastrophic loss of my whole desktop?
Update: it seems if I simulate reinstalling xfce4 via
sudo apt-get install -s xfce4
the only package out of the ones I didn't want that gets reinstalled is
orage, the calendar that integrates into the desktop environment.