To remove Mono from your shiny new desktop installation of Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx enter the following command (after taking the usual precautions like backups of your data etc):
sudo apt-get purge libmono* libgdiplus cli-common libglitz-glx1 libglitz1
[UPDATE: Many thanks to Directhex who pointed out my error regarding the need to remove libsqlite0. I've removed it from the command above. He also requested (you can see in his comment below), that I mention that the mononono package is no longer particularly effective at preventing Mono from being installed. Thanks for the prompt Jo, I was going to but I just forgot.]
This is almost the same one as used for the Karmic Koala release (9.10), and for me the result of the above command was as follows:
The following packages will be REMOVED
cli-common* f-spot* gbrainy* libart2.0-cil* libflickrnet2.2-cil* libgconf2.0-cil* libgdiplus* libglade2.0-cil* libglib2.0-cil* libglitz-glx1* libglitz1* libgmime2.4-cil* libgnome-keyring1.0-cil* libgnome-vfs2.0-cil*
libgnome2.24-cil* libgnomepanel2.24-cil* libgtk2.0-cil* liblaunchpad-integration1.0-cil* libmono-addins-gui0.2-cil* libmono-addins0.2-cil* libmono-cairo2.0-cil* libmono-corlib2.0-cil* libmono-data-tds2.0-cil* libmono-i18n-west2.0-cil* libmono-posix2.0-cil* libmono-security2.0-cil* libmono-sharpzip2.84-cil* libmono-sqlite2.0-cil* libmono-system-data2.0-cil* libmono-system-runtime2.0-cil* libmono-system-web2.0-cil* libmono-system2.0-cil* libmono2.0-cil* libndesk-dbus-glib1.0-cil* libndesk-dbus1.0-cil* libnunit2.4-cil* mono-2.0-gac* mono-gac* mono-runtime* tomboy*
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 40 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
After this operation, 49.8MB disk space will be freed.
Do you want to continue [Y/n]?
I chose to accept this and proceeded. Of course YMMV so please check carefully before hitting that enter key. The purge switch of this command removes any configuration files as well as the packages themselves.
Compared to Ubuntu 9.10, in 10.04 there appears to be just one new Mono dependant application called gbrainy (in the Games menu) which is described thus: “a platform to train memory, arithmetical and logical capabilities with many sorts of different exercises of different difficulty levels”.
Unfortunately it appears as though the “training” objective of gbrainy might not be realised…
Over the last year or so, the BBC have carried out an experiment which examined “brain trainer” games. Subsequent analysis of the data found that these brain trainers are an empty promise as reported here in The Guardian:
Practising brain-training games will improve your performance on brain-training games, but that effect will not transfer to other aspects of brain function. They will not make you brainier, so you may as well just pootle around on the internet.
It seems that not much grey matter will be lost by removing the gbrainy package thenThe other applications expunged by removing Mono from the default Desktop installation are the same as last year: F-Spot and Tomboy.
For a very similar alternative to Tomboy try Gnote, and as I like task-related management too I also recommend the excellent GTG [Getting Things Gnome] application. To install these two simply type:
sudo apt-get install gnote gtg.
The alternative for F-Spot I usually use is a combination of gthumb and Gimp, the latter of which has been removed from the default Lucid desktop install to make space for other things. Both of these applications can be easily installed by a simple
sudo apt-get install gthumb gimp command. However there is now a new kid on the block which looks quite exciting called shotwell. Shotwell will be the default camera/image app in the forthcoming Fedora 13 distribution replacing gthumb (as it has no dependencies on Mono in the default desktop installation). It is also, I was pleased to discover, available in the main Lucid repository so can be installed using either the command line:
sudo apt-get install shotwell or you can use the very easy and graphically attractive Ubuntu Software Centre (as you can for the other applications listed above also). This is how Fedora describe Shotwell in the preliminary release notes:
Shotwell is an open source photo organizer designed for the GNOME desktop environment and has replaced Gthumb by default in Fedora 13. It supports the following features:
- import photos from any digital camera supported by gPhoto
- automatically organize events containing photos taken at the same time
- use tags to organize your photo collection
- edit non-destructively when altering photos, without ruining originals or using disk space for each copy
- publish photos to Facebook, Flickr or Picasa
- one-click auto-enhancement
- rotate, mirror, and crop photos
- reduce red-eye and adjust the exposure, saturation, tint, and temperature of your photos
- edit any photo, even if it’s not imported to the Shotwell library
I haven’t used Shotwell yet but it sounds like a good one to try out.
There you have it and hopefully that will be it for another 6 months on this subject.
It’s that time again
Fortunately, Mono is still quite trivial to remove and has not, apparently, increased its infiltration of the Ubuntu/Gnome code base as one might have been led to believe if you’d read this on the 1st April:
“Mark Shuttleworth, the Benevolent Dictator for Life of the popular Ubuntu Linux distro, has announced his plans to rewrite all of Gnome, X11 and the Linux kernel using the Mono platform…
Ubuntu is Linux for human beings, and, believe it or not, Microsoft employees are human beings too. We think we need to work closer with Microsoft to ensure heterogenous data silo paradigm middleware enhancements can continue to grow. Oh, and they gave me this nice T-shirt.”
As was the case with 8.10 Intrepid Ibex, there are just two applications in the default Jaunty desktop install which depend on Mono: F-Spot and Tomboy.
As an alternative to F-Spot, I happily use the Gnome viewer gThumb for managing the import and deletion of images from our digital cameras. I actually think it is better for a simple reason. It allows me to copy the images off my camera and delete them from the camera at the same time. The last time I tried F-Spot (admittedly quite a while ago now) I could never find a setting to do this.
And for note taking I have been happily using notecase. Although I note [pun intended] that the developer has stopped work on the free version himself the code is available under a BSD license so if anyone wants to pick it up and run with it they can. Anyway – notecase works fine for me and is still in the repos.
There are many other note taking type applications too. Here is what looks to be quite a comprehensive (albeit old) list of them: http://linuxappfinder.com/utilities/notes
But this is just GREAT!
Whilst I was preparing this article, I came across this on April 1st too. I actually did think it was a joke.
You can now use a virtually identical application to Tomboy without Mono! (This is still an early development so YMMV).
Even better, as it isn’t built on top of Mono, it has fairly meagre requirements too:
sudo apt-get install gnote
[sudo] password for alord:
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
The following NEW packages will be installed
gnote libboost-filesystem1.34.1 libboost-regex1.34.1 libxml++2.6-2
0 upgraded, 4 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
1 not fully installed or removed.
Need to get 1130kB of archives.
After this operation, 3400kB of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue [Y/n]? Y
3.4MB vs. 54.0MB. That’s a decent comparison I think.
OK. The moment you’ve all been waiting for…
To remove that patent-trap-masquerading-as-free-software from your Shiny New Ubuntu Jaunty system simply type:
sudo apt-get purge libmono0 mono-common libgdiplus
Thanks to a keen eyed commenter, Lupine, we note that there is another package that lurks hidden and must be explicitly removed. I have added
libgdiplus to this command since first publishing. To remove it individually just enter
sudo apt-get purge libgdiplus. Thanks Lupine.
Then watch what happens next…
The following packages will be REMOVED
f-spot* libart2.24-cil* libflickrnet2.1.5-cil* libgconf2.24-cil* libglade2.0-cil* libglib2.0-cil* libgmime2.2a-cil* libgnome-keyring1.0-cil* libgnome-vfs2.24-cil* libgnome2.24-cil* libgnomepanel2.24-cil* libgtk2.0-cil* libmono-addins-gui0.2-cil* libmono-addins0.2-cil* libmono-cairo2.0-cil* libmono-corlib2.0-cil* libmono-data-tds2.0-cil* libmono-data2.0-cil* libmono-getoptions2.0-cil* libmono-i18n2.0-cil* libmono-posix2.0-cil* libmono-security2.0-cil* libmono-sharpzip2.84-cil* libmono-sqlite2.0-cil* libmono-system-data2.0-cil* libmono-system-web2.0-cil* libmono-system2.0-cil* libmono0* libmono2.0-cil* libndesk-dbus-glib1.0-cil* libndesk-dbus1.0-cil* mono-2.0-gac* mono-2.0-runtime* mono-common* mono-gac* mono-jit* mono-runtime* tomboy*
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 38 to remove.
After this operation, 54.0MB disk space will be freed.
Do you want to continue [Y/n]?
Oh yes please…
To wrap up this post, we’ve been using Jaunty on various devices for some time now. It’s been really stable, boots very fast and is probably the best desktop operating system you can get anywhere and for any price right now. Thanks to Canonical and the rest of the amazing FOSS Community for making Ubuntu and this release happen.
Our Libertus Server Appliances, with the Mono-free Jaunty 9.04 server edition, are available from today.
I have had a long-time problem with Mono and the Mono-based applications that, for reasons I do not understand, come installed by default with Ubuntu.
For those who don’t know about it, Mono:
provides the necessary software to develop and run .NET client and server applications on Linux, Solaris, Mac OS X, Windows, and Unix.
That sounds pretty innocuous on the face of it. But Mono has a potentially fatal sting-in-the-tail for some, and leaves a rather nasty taste in the mouths of many others…
The potential sting is because Mono is developed and supported largely by Novell who are, as we all know so well, in a patent-protection deal with Microsoft. This caused a huge storm when they signed the deal – basically because it gave some “credence” to Ballmer’s “Linux/OSS breaches 235+ patents” line. So, it’s O.K. for Novell to do stuff that implements helps M$’s stuff because they have “protection” from being sued [yeah right - who really believes that one!]. But what about everyone else???
The nasty taste which has always ‘ever-so-slightly’ tainted my use of Ubuntu is that Mono is there only to support applications written in languages and for platforms which are basically Microsoft’s. It encourages software development using systems that are based on technologies almost certainly encumbered by a whole raft of M$ patents. To my mind, there are many great non M$ languages and architectures out there which are almost part-and-parcel of Linux programming and I see no need to bring .NET, ASP or even Visual Basic to my desktop. If I want to write an application, I could use PHP, Python, PERL, C, C++, Java and, of course, many others. Why do I need to endorse and encourage the proliferation of non-free software by relying on M$’s IP and the smell of their stinky patents?
Well, I figured I don’t. So, I thought I’d see what happened if I removed Mono from Ubuntu.
As a test I typed the following (but I didn’t accept the Y/n question before doing some further research):
sudo apt-get remove --purge mono-common
The following packages will be REMOVED
banshee f-spot libart2.0-cil libavahi1.0-cil libboo2.0-cil libflickrnet2.1.5-cil libgconf2.0-cil libglade2.0-cil
libglib2.0-cil libgmime2.2-cil libgnome-vfs2.0-cil libgnome2.0-cil libgtk2.0-cil libgtkhtml3.16-cil
libmono-addins-gui0.2-cil libmono-addins0.2-cil libmono-cairo1.0-cil libmono-cairo2.0-cil libmono-corlib1.0-cil
libmono-corlib2.0-cil libmono-data-tds1.0-cil libmono-data-tds2.0-cil libmono-security1.0-cil libmono-security2.0-cil
libmono-sharpzip0.84-cil libmono-sharpzip2.84-cil libmono-sqlite2.0-cil libmono-system-data1.0-cil
libmono-system-data2.0-cil libmono-system-web1.0-cil libmono-system-web2.0-cil libmono-system1.0-cil libmono-system2.0-cil
libmono-zeroconf1.0-cil libmono1.0-cil libmono2.0-cil libndesk-dbus-glib1.0-cil libndesk-dbus1.0-cil libtaglib2.0-cil
mono-common mono-gac mono-jit mono-runtime tomboy
This lot removes just three applications from Ubuntu 8.04: Tomboy, F-Spot and Banshee. And they aren’t exactly desktop behemoths either.
The long list of libraries and things that just might break something else looked pretty scary to simply accept without question. So I built a quick Ubuntu Hardy 8.04 VM using Virtualbox and tried it in there first. It seemed to be fine. Nothing else I tried broke. I rebooted the VM and tried loading several applications and it all worked as expected.
So here we go then; to get rid of Mono, Tomboy, Banshee and F-Spot, simply type the following.
sudo apt-get remove --purge mono-common libmono0
--purge switch removes the old packages from the package manager’s cache so you actually get the disk space freed up too)
Now I must confess to having used Tomboy in the past. But after a bit of research some time ago I found what I think is actually a better alternative called Zim. It is basically a desktop Wiki application:
Zim is a WYSIWYG text editor written in Gtk2-Perl which aims to bring the concept of a wiki to your desktop. Every page is saved as a text file with wiki markup. Pages can contain links to other pages, and are saved automatically. Creating a new page is as easy as linking to a non-existing page. Pages are ordered in a hierarchical structure that gives it the look and feel of an outliner. This tool is intended to keep track of TODO lists or to serve as a personal scratch book.
I have been using Zim for several months now and am very happy with it.
F-Spot is easily replaced by gthumb which, for me at least, does exactly the same thing: it gets photos from my camera.
I never used Banshee after looking at the UI once. I found Rhythmbox much more obvious and easy to use, and it is already installed as well.
So, to replace the 44 packages (and 3 apps) above with non-encumbered alternatives, simply type:
sudo apt-get install gthumb zim
Of course please check your own system before blindly following my instructions. I checked carefully before removing Mono to make sure nothing was going to break. I would recommend you do the same, and, of course, back up your Tomboy notes first