Synaptic Removed From Ubuntu Linux v11.10

by on June 25, 2011 · 26 comments· LAST UPDATED June 25, 2011

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Synaptic is a front-end for the apt package management system. The program allows you to perform all actions of the command line tool apt-get in a graphical environment such as installing, upgrading, downgrading and removing of single packages or even upgrading your whole system. The upcoming Ubuntu Linux version 11.10 (code named Oneiric Ocelot) has removed Synaptic Package Manager.

To be frank, I never used Synaptic or so called the Software Center. I use apt-get all the time to install, remove, and update the system or apt-cache to search required packages. Synaptic is fine tool and I'm not sure why Canonical decided to remove the same. Canonical is making lots of new decisions and no one in the enterprise environment like new changes.

How Do I Install Synaptic?

Open a command-line terminal (select Applications > Accessories > Terminal), and then type:
$ sudo apt-get install synaptic

I've already switched from Ubuntu Linux to Debian Linux v6.0. So, I'm not worried too much about all new changes (read as Canonical's crazy decisions). More information is available here.

What do you think of Canonical's new decision? Would you switch to stable desktop system such as RHEL 6 or Debian 6?

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1 miro June 25, 2011 at 6:23 pm

It doesn’t quite matter to me anymore, since i switched to Fedora about a year ago. Actually, this doesn’t matter at all. There’s no real need for Synaptic. Canonical has been busy building Software Center, which might not be too bad of an alternative. It still uses same apt-get and apt-cache underneth. Someday, user that may have been using Synaptic will replace it with cli tools eventually – as they are much faster and easier to use than any gui. Once they understand the basics. Now that Gnome has shot itself in the leg, i’m excited to see what Unity has to offer in the future.

Canocal’s work is out of step with dinosaurs like Gnome (or even free desktop people), but it still keeps persuading people tp try Linux in general. Some of those people will see the light. Those of these people who want to learn new things and write something on their own will always find their way to use cli tools.

I’m not worried about Canonical’s decisions, no matter how crazy they will seem. Canonical is after larger and larger user base, and that is not going to happen with gtk2. Sometimes whole desktop war seems mindless and it brings to mind recent South Park episode called Humancentipad..

Canonical has created nice gateway drug for first timers. Can’t blame them for that.

2 Foo Brew June 25, 2011 at 6:28 pm

I’m a senior Linux admin for a large corporation and use RHEL 4/5/6 for the enterprise exclusively; However, until now, I’ve always preferred Ubuntu for the desktop over say, Fedora. I can’t count how many non-Linux users I’ve directed to Ubuntu because of how user-friendly it was to the non-admin and, yet, how predictable the internals were should I need to provide help. RHEL is for the enterprise and, therefore, will only frustrate you if you try to run it on the desktop. Ubuntu seems to be on a path of abandoning all the strengths of the OS which have propelled it to the elite status it’s enjoyed for quite a few years now. Aspects of the OS like consistency, portability, predictability and a balance of end-user and admin friendliness are quickly being abandoned.

I’m all for evolving the desktop experience and occasionally swapping out media players, graphics tools, default plugins, etc. but there’s a lot of “change for the sake of change” going on under the covers right now with Ubuntu. It’s really unfortunate too since recommending it to friends used to be a no-brianer. Now, I’m not so sure. What will they remove next?

I think the real question now is: Debian or Fedora?

3 TryMe June 25, 2011 at 6:56 pm

I suggest:
Linux Mint
OpenSUSE
Arch
Puppy
PCLinuxOS

I use Linux Mint

4 Dave March 1, 2013 at 11:12 am

A very good Distro to recommend to Windows users moving to Linux now that Ubuntu is gone rogue is Zorin OS core 6 , I put it on my Daughters old Toshiba Satelite and it flys now compared to xp, she didnt even know I put Linux on her laptop until I asked her how is your computer working and she said its faster, I then told her it was Zorin with the same Wallpaper. She is happy didnt have any problems and is sticking with it.

5 John June 25, 2011 at 6:50 pm

I’m not really sure what canonical are up to but they seem hell bent on removing good stable tools and graphical environments for feature free and bug ridden new stuff. Luckilly this is Linux, not windows or OSX so I can just pick a more sane distro instead if I want. Linux mint seems to be the best for me at the moment. Go the green machine.

6 BoBo June 25, 2011 at 6:51 pm

RHEL 5 or 6 is out of question. On other hand Fedora seems like a good candidate for an experiment. Debian is too slow on desktop side.

7 nutellajunkie June 25, 2011 at 8:07 pm

Its amazing the bias that some people can feel, and here at n00bsonUbuntu we are no different. Where as my co-admin prefers 11.04/11 and beyond for the latest and greatest stuff. He adores to test and write about the new stuff that catches his eyes, etcetera.

Me on the other hand, im in love with 10.10. To the point where I have turned off distribution upgrades. Until such time as I am not happy. Anyway back to topic. We love Ubuntu because of his it works and perhaps at the start, where it came from.

Canonical are just getting too Microsoft on us. Whether we like it or not, its their (his?) money, he can do it whatever way he feels. Little spoilt brat Mark, whether he says it or not, has NOT ONE interest in what us “minions” have to say – I know, because I have personally written to him several times, with no result. We are not forced to use it the way it was built! Unlike those poor macwin folk.

As mentioned above, the beauty of Linux is freedom. We love Ubuntu for those reasons, and not Canonicals corporate B$ ways. If one day I wake up and I dont feel that feeling I get, then I just move to another distribution entirely. After-all, I still used my Amiga until 2002 before I felt I wanted to use Linux :)

I enjoy looking in on distro review sites, which give tonnes of up-to-date ISOs to download and try out on media or your virtual machines!

Another beautiful thing about Linux is the discovery of new software for things you enjoy doing. So inevitably, Ubuntu Software Center will teach people to look for more freedoms.

8 Cae June 25, 2011 at 11:51 pm

Canonical will slowly remove all things familiar to Linux users and replace them with their own interfaces.

They are following Apples footsteps.

When user base and system is “good” enough, they will even throw away all Linux baggage, for good or for bad.

9 nutellajunkie June 26, 2011 at 12:49 am

This, I doubt very much.. the Linux world work with different ethics that has not and will not be allowed to change. Trust the penguin!

10 Foo Brew June 26, 2011 at 1:06 am

Unfortunately, I think Cae is right. Shuttleworth made a statement a few years ago that their model for development is OSX. They won’t ditch the kernel, of course, but pretty much everything else is likely to either be removed or replaced with something developed specifically by Canonical.

I really do hope they succeed and while I’m not totally abandoning them, I still prefer a “standardized” Linux with minor customizations by the distro.

After reading some of the excellent comments here plus a little research, I think my plan is to go with fedora on my home server and try Mint for my desktop system. Both are currently 10.04 LTS.

The main problem I face now is that I’ve been with GNOME since the mid 90′s no matter the distro. After miro’s comments and blog post he linked, I’m very worried/concerned/scared about GNOME3. Personally, I can’t stand KDE because of how much like Windows it looks but is Xfce or the others real contenders in terms of power?

11 nutellajunkie June 26, 2011 at 2:52 am

@few broo

YES! Yet another beautiful reason I love Linux, is the powerful and resource friendly window managers (as they are called). Xfce is lovely, and so are the others.

Ironically, please use Synaptic, search for “session” and you will find a couple to get you going. Then when you try those. Search for “xfce”, then the other derivatives. When you install each or or all, because you can have and use them all at the same time if need be. You just log using another session.. Click your username, before putting in pass, look at the bottom panel, you will see some options, click whichever session you wish to use.

Ubuntu has given me and many others the confidence to continue loving this operating system. And frankly, my Ubuntu is more like Debian now anyway since I installed and upgraded (all those years ago from Version 6) and yes Gnome is wonderful. You will be able to use it, until the day you dont want to use it ;)

12 georgio June 26, 2011 at 8:38 am

I’m watching Ubuntu from far away (well, not so far away, I use Fedora).
I’m always a bit shocked that Ubuntu decides to go away from Linux de facto standards:
- gnome
- synaptics
- gimp
and probably other packages.

I’d prefer if they invest their time and energy in fixing/improving those popular packages.
It always seems to me as if the “Ubuntu CEO” wants to become a millionaire one day, so is tempted to go to a proprietary platform.

13 Foureyesboy June 26, 2011 at 11:25 am

OH! Synaptic is so powerful and yet friendly and easy to use. Though it lacks the pretty face of the Ubuntu Software Center, I still find myself the need to use Synaptic from time to time.

First Unity and now Synaptic, what’s going on with them?

14 ba summitt June 26, 2011 at 1:21 pm

I started moving to Debian two ubuntu iterations ago. I think change is wonderful, even if I myself am averse to it. But I also believe that Canonical is alienating its huge user base (and I haven’t seen a clear indication as to why they are taking this gamble). I have yet to hear ANYONE, anywhere say that they like the last iteration ([anti]Unity). I personally didn’t like 10.04. But I was already moving to Debian then. They just saved me the trouble of maintaining any more Ubuntu machines.

The rock solid foundation of Debain is, in my opinion, what made Ubuntu what it was (before they began ignoring what their users wanted/needed). So, while I use other distros from time to time, I always return to Debian. The Debian attitude toward licencing also impresses me. If you read their philosophy and licences you will see something that at first may seem intolerant of change. But I have come to understand that their rules are intolerant of any license that may impinge on their license. It is not ‘change’ as much as corporate encroachment that they defend their distributions from. This attitude, for me, shows an unyielding defense of their principals and their users.

@Bobo, in my experience Debian is no different than Ubuntu as related to speed on a desktop. Interestingly, trying different default desktops has “cured” this issue. I have learned to love Openbox, Fluxbox, IceWM, and especially Enlightenment. If I may make (yet another unsolicited) recommendation, take antiX for a spin. I really like it. I am also partial to Puppy and MacPup. And BodhiLinux is outstanding, even if it uses a U10.4LTS base for its Enlightenment Desktop (I am eager to see which direction they take next. I don’t think that their users NOR their developers are satisfied with Canonical).

15 Reno Paslah June 26, 2011 at 2:03 pm

wow…. I don’t know ubuntu version move faster…. I still use 11.04…. but now 11.10 have released… so who (s) developer of ubuntu?, if person like me can give source or developing like ide or something?

16 reņģis June 27, 2011 at 9:06 am

First you say that you don’t even use Synaptic anyway, then you note that Software Center makes it redundant, then you show how easy it is to get Synaptic back by using a single command, and then you and the others bitch incessantly. One thing that Software Center does well is allow you to make searches. I prefer it over using apt-cache(8) to search packages. Ubuntu and Unity have their fair share of flaws, but arguments like “I’m not in favor of stagnation, but they need to keep Synaptic and Gnome forever, because that’s what everyone is used to” are disingenuous. If you are against changes, you are for stagnation. Stagnation is exactly what the Linux desktop world has been doing, and at least Ubuntu is trying to fix something, but it seems like you’d rather bury it.

17 TryMe June 29, 2011 at 12:14 pm

Nice try Canonical Ltd.

18 ba summitt June 29, 2011 at 12:31 pm

You can’t “fix” something that no one uses anymore without regressing to the point where you left the track. (Sheesh, corporate bots!)

19 yoander June 27, 2011 at 3:06 pm

I have used Fedora and Ubuntu interchangeably for desktop and Fedora prior to 7 version and CentOS for servers, now I’m using Ubuntu 10.10 and of course the look and feel is beauty and the power of gnome 2.32 is evident but I don’t like the new Ubuntu and G3 directions so I’m planning to move net week (Saturday) to Debian 6.0 LXDE edition because is beauty and lightweight, otherwise Debian 6.0 was released with a free kernel version and it split repositories in free and no free software so is more easy to maintain a complete Free (by FSF) OS.

20 Broker June 27, 2011 at 3:11 pm

This is not good

21 Curtis July 26, 2011 at 12:08 pm

I personally don’t use synaptics a lot, however I have used it in the past and i do find it to be a useful application. So yes if they get rid of synaptics without any reasonable way of the user getting it back then i could easily decide to switch to any one of the 100 up to date linux distro’s on the market place.

My personal preference after ubuntu is mint, followed by fedora and I have used them both. the only reason I am using Ubuntu now is because its the most commonly used and excepted version of linux.

22 Satya August 24, 2011 at 11:08 am

I used synaptic. All does not use Linux always but only when required. So, for many of people like me, graphical env or easy to remember env helps.

23 Andrew September 4, 2011 at 6:10 pm

Despite my being a command line junkie, I prefer Synaptic to aptitute. I just find it faster for browsing/searching packages. Ubuntu Software Center just doesn’t cut it as a replacement.

24 handaxe November 11, 2011 at 7:31 pm

On lower spec machines USC is slower overall than synaptic. I never use it – apt-get and synaptic rule the roost. I too keep a Debian testing desktop which, horrors, just the other day upgraded to Gnome 3. Grump! Like it better than Unity tho. At least there is an out of the box functional “sys tray”.

25 mcris July 5, 2012 at 8:27 am

Hello, is there a way to replace Ubuntu 12.04 with Debian (or any other Linux) and keeping my saved data on the HDD? After last update Ubuntu is swapping like hell and with only one browser window and tab, my flash game from Facebook (oops) is slooooowed so much I can’t play it!

26 nixthis July 8, 2012 at 4:46 am

You might use gparted, create another small partition to store your data in, and install your new os, transfer your data to your new home directory and then either keep your new partition for a backup, other os, or delete it and expand your os partition to swallow it.

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