Why does purging a font remove other things?

Zorin, and similar distros, come with all sorts of fonts that I will never need. I'm trying to purge them (open to suggestions, BTW), but sometimes when I try to do so from the command line, other files--important files--seem to be simultaneously deleted. For example, when I type:

sudo apt purge fonts-noto-color-emoji*

in my terminal, I get the message:

The following packages will be REMOVED:

fonts-noto-color-emoji* fonts-zorin-os-core* zorin-desktop-session*

0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 4 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
After this operation, 10.9 MB disk space will be freed.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n]

Why does removing fonts also remove those other files?

My guess is that zorin-os-desktop and the others require this one package to exist. When I run sudo apt-cache show zorin-os-desktop there description reads:

Description-en: The Zorin OS desktop system
This package depends on all of the packages in the Zorin OS desktop system.
It is also used to help ensure proper upgrades, so it is recommended that
it not be removed.

And provides with a list of all the packages it depends from. Basically, because one of its core dependencies has been removed the package manager considers it's of no use anymore and marks it for removal.
Perhaps the ZorinOS customization layer went a bit too far with the coupling of dependencies. But it was probably done for good reason, maybe to ensure consistency no matter the language the system uses or something else.

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What possible reason would you have for removing them, though? It's not like they are massive files taking up insane amounts of space. It's merely kilobytes of data.


Your 'guess' is spot on.
This is also true of browsers.


Quite true, @therealduckie. I often work with text, and I just find it annoying the click a dropdown to select a font and be greeted with hundreds of choices, many of which I've never heard of before. Everyone's different; this is just my personal quirk, I suppose.

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I'm something of a newb to Linux, and I guess I didn't know how "dangerous" autoremove could be. When I get a message about a bunch of packages being deleted during autoremove, a lot of them mean nothing to me and I just assume they're safe to delete. ... Not anymore :smile:. Good lesson to learn early in one's Linux journey!

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That's actually a pretty good reason. But yes when there are too packages being removed be careful. The thing about Linux is that it will let you shoot yourself in the foot, which is both great since it gives you more control, but also comes with risks.

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Glad this forum's here to provide potential bandages to my injured feet :smile:


Using autoremove, always take time to read what is listed for removal before stabbing the Y key.


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