In Debian 11, when I do apt update and upgrade, if Firefox ESR got an update, it gets for tens (hundreds?) of language packs like firefox-esr-l10n-hr. Is there a way to not use these packages? I just want the default Firefox in English.

In Firefox's own settings menu, it doesn't allow me to remove language packages. Any other way to do it?


1 Answer 1


You probably have the firefox-esr-l10n-all package installed. It depends on all of the other language packages:

$ apt-cache show firefox-esr-l10n-all | grep Depends:

Depends: firefox-esr-l10n-ach, firefox-esr-l10n-af, firefox-esr-l10n-an, firefox-esr-l10n-ar, firefox-esr-l10n-ast, firefox-esr-l10n-az, firefox-esr-l10n-be, firefox-esr-l10n-bg, firefox-esr-l10n-bn, firefox-esr-l10n-br, firefox-esr-l10n-bs, firefox-esr-l10n-ca, firefox-esr-l10n-ca-valencia, firefox-esr-l10n-cak, firefox-esr-l10n-cs, firefox-esr-l10n-cy, firefox-esr-l10n-da, firefox-esr-l10n-de, firefox-esr-l10n-dsb, firefox-esr-l10n-el, firefox-esr-l10n-en-ca, firefox-esr-l10n-en-gb, firefox-esr-l10n-eo, firefox-esr-l10n-es-ar, firefox-esr-l10n-es-cl, firefox-esr-l10n-es-es, firefox-esr-l10n-es-mx, firefox-esr-l10n-et, firefox-esr-l10n-eu, firefox-esr-l10n-fa, firefox-esr-l10n-ff, firefox-esr-l10n-fi, firefox-esr-l10n-fr, firefox-esr-l10n-fy-nl, firefox-esr-l10n-ga-ie, firefox-esr-l10n-gd, firefox-esr-l10n-gl, firefox-esr-l10n-gn, firefox-esr-l10n-gu-in, firefox-esr-l10n-he, firefox-esr-l10n-hi-in, firefox-esr-l10n-hr, firefox-esr-l10n-hsb, firefox-esr-l10n-hu, firefox-esr-l10n-hy-am, firefox-esr-l10n-ia, firefox-esr-l10n-id, firefox-esr-l10n-is, firefox-esr-l10n-it, firefox-esr-l10n-ja, firefox-esr-l10n-ka, firefox-esr-l10n-kab, firefox-esr-l10n-kk, firefox-esr-l10n-km, firefox-esr-l10n-kn, firefox-esr-l10n-ko, firefox-esr-l10n-lij, firefox-esr-l10n-lt, firefox-esr-l10n-lv, firefox-esr-l10n-mk, firefox-esr-l10n-mr, firefox-esr-l10n-ms, firefox-esr-l10n-my, firefox-esr-l10n-nb-no, firefox-esr-l10n-ne-np, firefox-esr-l10n-nl, firefox-esr-l10n-nn-no, firefox-esr-l10n-oc, firefox-esr-l10n-pa-in, firefox-esr-l10n-pl, firefox-esr-l10n-pt-br, firefox-esr-l10n-pt-pt, firefox-esr-l10n-rm, firefox-esr-l10n-ro, firefox-esr-l10n-ru, firefox-esr-l10n-sco, firefox-esr-l10n-si, firefox-esr-l10n-sk, firefox-esr-l10n-sl, firefox-esr-l10n-son, firefox-esr-l10n-sq, firefox-esr-l10n-sr, firefox-esr-l10n-sv-se, firefox-esr-l10n-szl, firefox-esr-l10n-ta, firefox-esr-l10n-te, firefox-esr-l10n-th, firefox-esr-l10n-tl, firefox-esr-l10n-tr, firefox-esr-l10n-trs, firefox-esr-l10n-uk, firefox-esr-l10n-ur, firefox-esr-l10n-uz, firefox-esr-l10n-vi, firefox-esr-l10n-xh, firefox-esr-l10n-zh-cn, firefox-esr-l10n-zh-tw

Uninstall that, and you will be able to uninstall any of the language packages that you don't want.

Alternatively, uninstall the ones you don't want (or all of them) and that will cause apt to offer to remove firefox-esr-l10n-all too (as its dependencies will no longer be satisfied).

If you no longer have firefox-esr-l10n-all installed, the other -esr-i10n packages will be marked as automatically installed. You can remove all packages that were auto-installed when the package that depended upon them is no longer installed by running:

apt-get --purge autoremove

Alternatively, you can uninstall all of the packages that firefox-esr-l10n-all depended upon by running something like:

apt-get purge $(apt-cache show firefox-esr-l10n-all |
  sed -n -e '/^Depends:/{s/^Depends: //; s/,//gp}')

The sed script ignores all lines that don't begin with Depends:, removes the Depends: from that line, and deletes all comma characters too. That gives a useful list of packages for apt-get purge to remove.

  • 1
    Thank you (sorry I can't upvote yet). I just installed Debian 11 with KDE, didn't do any package management other than updates. I get the same results as you in apt-cache, but weirdly when I try sudo apt remove firefox-esr-l10n-all, it says Package 'firefox-esr-l10n-all' is not installed, so not removed. Edit looks like I can remove individual languages. So I guess I use that grep output to remove everything. And hope firefox won't try to auto-install them back?
    – wololoo
    Commented Jul 10, 2022 at 6:22
  • 1
    yep, you can delete all the other language packages. my guess is that you had the ...-all package installed briefly, so maybe try apt-get --purge autoremove. Otherwise try something like apt-get purge $(apt-cache show firefox-esr-l10n-all | sed -n -e '/^Depends:/{s/^Depends: //; s/,//gp}')
    – cas
    Commented Jul 10, 2022 at 6:28
  • OK, I just removed all the language packages. Thanks for the alternatives too :)
    – wololoo
    Commented Jul 10, 2022 at 6:31

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