Removing packages - slimming server

David Timms dtimms at
Sat Mar 18 09:54:09 UTC 2006

Aryanto Rachmad wrote:
> I want to remove all the packages which are not required for a
> server. So I tried to remove the packages intended for client, like
> wireless-tools and wpa_supplicant. When I did that to wireless-tools
> package it was said that I have to remove also all packages for
> dependencies, like the following:
>  Removing: 
> wireless-tools          i386       1:28-0.pre13.5.1 installed 231 k 
> Removing for dependencies: 
> NetworkManager i386       0.6.0-2          installed         1.1 M 
> authconfig i386       5.2.2-1          installed         1.2 M 
> authconfig-gtk i386       5.2.2-1          installed         158 k
> I don't know whether I need those packages or not for a server.
Some would be nice to configure the server ;)
You could perform configuration using the system-config-? tools,
then remove them :)  Or learn enough do the config in the /etc text 
files manually.

> How to remove only specific packages without removing all the
> dependencies using yum? 
rpm -e wireless-tools
you see the same y needed by (installed) x messages. Even rpm doesn't 
let you do it. This is because (certain often very specific) functions 
of an application will fail. rpm (and yum that uses it, and pirut/pup 
that uses yum) is there to help you not have a broken system.

> Is that a good idea?
eg unsupportable (for a free distribution - expect even less than no 

> Where can I find detail information about the packages for Fedora,
> especially why one package dependents on the others?
In the packages themselves, and with a little terminal window rpm usage:
$ rpm -q --info wireless-tools
$ rpm -q --provides wireless-tools
$ rpm -e wireless-tools
needs NetMan...
$ rpm -q --requires NetworkManager
$ rpm -e --requires NetworkManager
etc. This soon gets really boring.

The real why is that the package requiring the other package may only 
need that functionality in certain circumstances eg: only if you have a 
wireless chipset, but at this stage of rpm development there is no way 
for package designers to instruct rpm that a requires is optional, ie 
needed only in certain cases. I understand that some other package 
managers have solutions to this problem. This would also be useful at 
saving space for installation of language support files for languages 
you haven't installed.

That said, NetworkManager is used these days to help bring network 
interfaces back after a suspend. On a server this is probably not an 
issue. If the server isn't a print server, the cups/printer stuff 
shouldn't be needed, along within anything mentioning or having a gui.
You might like to yum remove evolution.

The other way to do a server is to unselect everything at install, this 
leaves/install just the minimal required to boot the machine. So minimal 
that during one test I didn't get yum nor rpm, making it extremely 
difficult to add the server packages I wanted. So make sure you choose 
yum !!


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