Synaptic Package Manager Removed From The Ubuntu 11.10 ISO

When Canonical started developing the Ubuntu Software Center, I knew that a time will come when it will completely replace Synaptic. The Software Center is a noob-friendly replacement for Synaptic where users can discover new applications more easily.

The Software Center had already taken over the function of Gdebi in Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat and Gdebi is no longer included in the Ubuntu ISO. Unexpectedly, Canonical has decided that it is time for the Software Center to replace Synaptic as well. So, in the next daily build of Ubuntu 11.10, Synaptic will no longer be installed by default.

The decision to remove Synaptic is a very unexpected one. Yes, the Ubuntu Software Center looks prettier and new users are more likely to use it, but it does not have nearly as much feature as Synaptic does. Many of the features that are missing in the Ubuntu Software Center right now are very crucial features. Here is a list of some of the features that Synaptic has but are still absent in the Ubuntu Software Center:

  • Fix broken packages
  • Upgrade or downgrade a single or multiple packages
  • Lock packages to a specific version
  • Force install of a specific version of a package

There is still four months left till Ubuntu 11.10 gets released. I hope that is enough time for Canonical to add these missing features.

Synaptic will continue to be available in the repository, though, and can be installed with

$ sudo apt-get install synaptic

source: WebUpd8

20 thoughts on “Synaptic Package Manager Removed From The Ubuntu 11.10 ISO”

  1. Given that it is still available in the repositories, I don’t see this as a big deal even if they don’t add all the “missing” features to USS. The type of user who will want the additional features is also the type of user who will know how to install the synaptic package (or is OK with using the CLI apt tools).

    If Canonical wants to keep the ISO small enough to fit on a CD, they need to be selective about what’s in the base install. Seems reasonable to me.

  2. I find this move similar to the default move to Unity. I don’t like either Unity or this package manager front end. It’s becoming apparent that they’re marketing toward joe cable. As long as we 1337s can still install the superior alternatives, we’re good. The worst case being they completely stop supporting and developing these alternatives.

    1. In order for your “worst case” scenario to come to pass, Debian would have to stop supporting those packages. Ubuntu is, after all, still mostly Debian under the hood.

  3. Good move to do this as soon as possible, even though it may not be on feature yet. It will force the Software Centre to evolve. I want to see a donate button for the free software for those projects that want it, with Canonical handling the payment and taking a small cut to cover costs.

  4. This is a great move. Synaptic’s time has come. It is neither as easy to use as Ubuntu Software Center, and it is not as fast or flexible as apt-get. People who prefer it can install it from the repos, and it won’t be around to confuse Joe Noob.

  5. Even though I have been using Ubuntu since 7.10 I will never consider myself some sort of pseudo Sys Admin or even half-geek. I do not like what I have seen of the Unity interface and I surely do not like Software Center. However, I also am somewhat amazed at the terms “Joe Cable” and “Joe Noob” in some of the other comments. I do not know the spirit in which they were used: perhaps it was light-hearted, perhaps it was smug. I would hope not on the latter.

    Using 10.04 LTS, I’ve installed LXDE and use that session now. I hope 12.04 will not break LXDE nor Synaptic.

    Thank you, Ricky, for posting.

  6. This is a great move. Synaptic’s time has come. It is neither as easy to use as Ubuntu Software Center, and it is not as fast or flexible as apt-get. People who prefer it can install it from the repos, and it won’t be around to confuse Joe Noob.

    1. “Useful” and “must be installed by default” are not the same thing! As has already been pointed out, they’re not dropping support for it; they’re just leaving it out of the ISO image. You can still install it from the repositories.

      GIMP is useful too, and the world didn’t end when they dropped it from the 10.04 base install.

  7. >The decision to remove Synaptic is a very unexpected one.

    It was expected. Unity and the software center are two main features of the “new” Ubuntu. Philosophy is the past. Productivity? Usability? Who needs them. It’s time to release something “good looking” and make money!

    Of course it’s not going to work. It’s obvious that nobody at Canonical uses Unity for day-to-day work. But Canonical has made their choice and no there’s no way back. You can never go back from “make money” to “care about the community”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>