Synaptic Package Manager killed off

It has been the mainstay of the Linux Ubuntu operating system, but the Canonical has suddenly disconnected the Synaptic Package Manager.

The operating system has been going through a purge of various software parts lately. Gone is the Gnome GUI, in favour of the much hated Unity front end.

Now it seems that Canonical thinks its “Ubuntu Software Center” is ready for the main time and  time has come to kill off Synaptic.

When the Software Centre first appeared, there were many Linux geeks who thought that the writing was on the wall for Synaptic. It was designed for the non-techie to actually install software easier.

In Ubuntu 10.10 the Software Center took over the function of Gdebi in Ubuntu 10.10 which was banished from the Ubuntu ISO. But the Software Center’s removal is a bit of surprise. There was just a note that in the next daily build of Ubuntu 11.10, Synaptic will no longer be installed.

But this is likely to upset those who already feel that Ubuntu is dumbing itself down to the stone-age. While the Ubuntu Software Center looks nice and will attract new users it can’t do as much as Synaptic. For example it can’t fix broken packages, upgrade or downgrade a single or multiple packages or force the installation of a specific version.

Synaptic will continue to be available in the repository, though, and can be installed with the $ sudo apt-get install synaptic command. However, these things are getting much harder to do in Ubuntu. It is leading some to think that the operating system is getting so dumbed down, that it is not worth bothering with .

Generally people who want Linux on the desktop are either those who have had it installed on their PC on the assumption that they will not touch anything, or those who like to tinker. Replacing Synaptic will stop a lot of the tinkering.