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In Debian 11 stable with KDE, why would uninstalling konqueror also remove libreoffice, xorg,etc? Why would it cause the installation of firefox-esr?

sudo apt-get remove konqueror
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree... Done
Reading state information... Done
The following packages were automatically installed and are no longer required:
  apper apper-data coinor-libcbc3 coinor-libcgl1 coinor-libclp1 coinor-libcoinmp1v5 coinor-libcoinutils3v5
  coinor-libosi1v5 cups-pk-helper fonts-symbola gir1.2-wnck-3.0 kdeaccessibility kmag kmousetool kmouth kontrast
  libkf5konq6 libqaccessibilityclient-qt5-0 libreoffice-calc libreoffice-draw libreoffice-help-common
  libreoffice-help-en-us libreoffice-impress libreoffice-kf5 libreoffice-plasma libreoffice-qt5 libwnck-3-0
  libwnck-3-common lp-solve mythes-en-us node-normalize.css orca print-manager python3-brlapi python3-cupshelpers
  python3-louis python3-smbc python3-speechd qtgstreamer-plugins-qt5 system-config-printer-common
  system-config-printer-udev task-desktop x11-apps x11-session-utils xbrlapi xinit xkbset xorg
Use 'sudo apt autoremove' to remove them.
The following additional packages will be installed:
  firefox-esr
Suggested packages:
  fonts-stix | otf-stix
The following packages will be REMOVED:
  kde-baseapps kde-plasma-desktop kde-standard konq-plugins konqueror task-kde-desktop
The following NEW packages will be installed:
  firefox-esr
0 upgraded, 1 newly installed, 6 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Need to get 55.5 MB of archives.
After this operation, 180 MB of additional disk space will be used.

When I sudo apt autoremove, it doesn't try to remove those "no longer needed" packages. But when I try to remove konqueror, it says it will remove a whole lot of stuff that seems completely unrelated.

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2 Answers 2

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konqueror is a strong dependency of kde-baseapps, itself a strong dependency of kde-plasma-desktop, itself a strong dependency of kde-standard, itself a strong dependency of task-kde-desktop; it is a also a strong dependency of konq-plugins. So removing konqueror causes all those packages to be removed through cascading dependency removal.

The removal of those packages results in packages becoming autoremovable because the only reason they are present (as far as apt is concerned) is because they are pulled in by one of the removed packages. For example, task-kde-desktop recommends apper, so removing the former means the latter becomes autoremovable (assuming nothing else depends on it, strongly or weakly, which is the case here).

firefox-esr is installed as a result of removing konqueror because some other package you have installed has a strong dependency on the www-browser virtual package; konqueror provides that, removing it means it is no longer satisfied, but instead of removing the depending packages, apt chooses to install another www-browser provider (or more likely, an alternative direct dependency), firefox-esr.

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kde-baseapps depends upon the konqueror package, so removing konqueror causes kde-baseapps to be removed...which, in turn, causes the others to be removed.

firefox-esr is probably being installed because some other package depends on virtual package www-browser and firefox-esr is one of several packages that provide it.

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