Posts Tagged ‘Other’

Debian Linux how to remove Xorg, Gnome / KDE, GDM and other graphical environment packages from a server

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Lets say by mistake you install a package and apt installs as a package dependency a whole bunch of Xorg, GDM GNOME 2 / 3 (desktop environment) along with whole other multitude of meta packages just like, lets say xinit , nautilus, totem, gedit,remmina etc.:
Mistakenly installing a graphical environment happens common (at least in my experience as admin happed many, many times). Often installing GUI by mistake is done on already well configured productive server, serving thousand of HTTP, SQL and Mails daily.
Having a started GDM login on the server takes some from the CPU time and also is extends possibilities for security breach to the server, so as always if something is not used it is better to wipe it off …

Here are some apt-get remove commands which will (COMPLETELY) remove Xserver ( Xorg ), Graphical Login Manager (GDM), GNOME desktop environment and their surrounding stuff:

# apt-get remove xorg
# apt-get remove nautilus-data nautilus-sendto libnautilus-extension1
# apt-get remove desktop-base
# apt-get remove python-gnomedesktop
# apt-get remove gdm3
# apt-get remove totem seahorse remmina gedit-common gconf2 epipha gedit-common gconf-defaults-service xauth
# apt-get remove epiphany-browser-data evolution-webcal gconf2
# apt-get remove nautilus-data nautilus-sendto libnautilus-extension1
# apt-get remove x11-common
# apt-get autoremove --purge gnome*

Here something worthy to mention is in Debian and (its deb based linux erivatives including Ubuntu), there are the so called metapackages. For those who don’t know what a meta-package is?; it is a package linked to a group of packages. Actually the meta package itself is a pre-selected Packages ready to install / remove with apt, aptitude or rest of “intelligent” package management utils available for Debian.
Once a meta-package is installed, all linked package dependencies; be it binaries or libraries as well as the proper configurations are downloaded and installed.

Very useful thing hence is listing all install-able metapackages; to list all available metapackages in Debian Linux use:

# apt-cache search metapackage


As of time of writing this post there are 276 apt installable metapackages existent on Debian Squeeze 6.0.5 Linux:

# apt-cache search metapackage|wc -l

Another more general way to see the basic types of metapackages, installable is via tasksel (tasksel is run and used during initial Debian Installer via install CD);
In tasksel, there are few meta-packages; Actually tasksel is very handy for sysadmins who install new servers :). Here is list of available meta-packs through it:

# tasksel --list-tasks
i web-server Web server
u print-server Print server
i dns-server DNS server
u file-server File server
u mail-server Mail server
u database-server SQL database
i ssh-server SSH server
u laptop Laptop
u manual manual package selection
u desktop Graphical desktop environment
i web-server Web server
u print-server Print server
i dns-server DNS server
u file-server File server
u mail-server Mail server
u database-server SQL database
i ssh-server SSH server
u laptop Laptop
u manual manual package selection

It is possible to also view sub-packages contained within, each of tasksel meta-packs, i.e..:

# tasksel --task-packages desktop

Actually using tasksel is much more “intelligent” way to remove GNOME, GDM and Xorg from a server. It will completely wipe out everything previously installed for running Desktop Environment on the host.
To remove desktop environment with tasksel:

# tasksel remove desktop

Ncurses progress bar will appear displaying all removed packages …
In my case, during trying to figure out what packages I need to remove ImageMagick as long as few other packages got removed as dependencies so I had to install them over with:

apt-get install --yes imagemagick libice6 php5-imagick libxvmc1 \
libzbar0 libxt6 libsm6 libxres1 libxtst6 libxvmc1 x-ttcidfont-conf libxxf86dga1

For people who need to remove KDE desktop environment from a host to be used as a server, check out KDE meta-packages:

apt-cache search metapackage|grep -i kde

You can remove all KDE related meta-packs within a bash loop, like so:

for i in $(apt-cache search metapackage|grep -i kde|awk '{ print $1 }'); do \
apt-get remove $i; done

It is also usually good idea, once all packages are removed the RC Remove Candidate deb packagse are removed too – if you don’t know what is RC I suggest you read my previous post here

Removing all rc‘s from system can be done with:

# for i in $(dpkg -l | grep -i '^rc' | awk '{ print $2 }'); do \
dpkg --purge $i; \

Though, I tested this if you follow my tutorial be careful, something might break and some essenail package or lib for (your custom) services might be removed. Be careful what is offered to uninstall only approve it if you’re 1000% sure; Please don’t count me responsible if apt- removes something which breaks your productive server 🙂

My observations on brotherhood monks life in Pomorie Monastery or how life flows in a monastery

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

My Observations on Brotherhood monks life in Pomorie Monastery - How Life in Bulgarian Orthodox Monastery goes

I'm currently once again on a pilgrimage in Pomorie Monastery St. George (Bulgaria) – EU as you should read in my previous day post. The brotherhood here is very hospital, since our coming (with Kliment), we were treated like being a part of the monks community. We're given food and allowed to eat together with the monks on one table and even we can enter into some of the interesting discussions after food :).
The life in a monastery is actually quite fascinating, though on the outside it seems boring.

As a general rule monks eat a meal twice a day. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, the meals are cooked and served usually without oil (except if the Abbot didn't bless differently). The abbot in the Monastery is like a King. The order in the whole monastery resides very much a Kingdom, where the abbot is king some of the monks are his (left and right hand and counselors) etc.

Just like in kingdoms, there are workers who help the kingdom to flourish. With the case with the monastery workers are (mostly believing people) hired (with a wage) to help with the monastery works.

The kitchen "district" has a (chef) cook lady, person/s (usually believing Christians) who help with cooking cutting and vegetables and various meal preparations etc. and serving the brotherhood and workers dinner and lunch. Oh yes I almost forgot, monks didn't eat breakfast. Their usual first meal is like 12 or 12:30 as a straight dinner.

As in Other Orthodox monasteries, here in Pomorie Monastery the monastery is named after the heavenly protector of the place Saint Martyr George.

The brotherhood life here is not as tough as the monasteries located in desert destinations, though just like in other mountain situated Orthodox Christian monasteries the monks has an established everyday Morning and Evening Church Service.

The morning Church service usually starts around 06:00 or 06:30, while on a feast days like Sunday (The Day of Resurrection of Jesus Christ) the service starts a bit later in 07:00 or at very special occasions in 07:30 …

The Evening Services usually start around 04:30 or 05:00 o'clock and continue (depending on Church calendar feast day (saint)) from 30 to 40 minutes up to 2, 3 hours (in biggest feasts or fasting periods).
All the monks should be present on Morning and Evening service, where a bell is rang whether the monks has to gather together for a Church service prayer.

As of time of writting officially Pomorie monastery has 4 monk brothers. One is the Abbot, the abbot's left hand, one other hiero-monk who sometimes is serving the Holy Liturgy church services and another monk who is in his 70s and is mostly doing Church book readings.
Occasionally the brotherhood accepts a novice pupils who want to enter the monastic life, but as long as my observations goes (during the few years I came as a pilgrim here) many of the novices find the monastic life for them and quit after a few months or a year time.

Just a year earlier the brotherhood, here had 6 monks. Unfortunately the oldest monk Father Tikhon who lived inside the monastery more than half of his life (40 years in the monastery W0W!) passed away after a short sickness and hospitalization.
Another one of the monks (Father Joanikius) was transferred by the Sliven's Metropolitan (named also father Joanikius) to serve his monkship (obedience) in our Bulgarian Monastery situation in Holy Mount Athos (Greece) , e.g. to Zographus monastery.

The Abbot of the monastery (Father Yierotej) is a young and energetic person (35 years old) with a good sense of humour and a great God given wisdom grace and joyful temper.

Besides the core monks brothrehood currently the monastery has 5 workers and about 5 to 10 persons (people who are in hardships and have no place to stay) and were accepted to get a healing and a life stabilization while living for a while in the monastery. Some of those people are almost full time living inside the monsatic walls helping with their knowledge and talents to the brotherhood
The overall number of people who inhibit the monastery is about rawly 15 people.
All this people are given free meals 2 times daily and eat together often either in the monastic kitchen or the dining-room (which is also serving as a guest room).

Before and after each meal intake the people gathered together in the dinner-room pray together asking Jesus Christ to bless their food and drink. Usually the Abbot whenever on the table is the one to ask God for a food blessing. After the meal is complete the Abbot or some of the monks says a thanksful prayer thanking Jesus for giving the daily bread and asking God to give us also the heavenly spiritual food.

The most common food eaten here is vegetables and fruits and in non-fasting days they eat some youghurt, cheese or fish. Eating meat however is un-common and most of the food consumed is fasting food (meat is considered inappropriate food for Orth Christian Monks).
The monastery is surrounded by a around a meter monastic walls. In the middle of the monastery is located the Monastic Church Saint Martyr George whichs basic walls dates back to the distant XIX century.

Pomorie Monastery oldest monastic found stone (orthodox depiction of Saint George basrelief).

Facing the church about 40 meters from the Chuch are located the monks dwelling rooms also in monastic language called (cells). The monk's cell is full of icon and holy water, crucific crosses and all kind of faith related books so in a sense the monks room looks like a tiny Church.

Right in the middle of Pomorie Monsatery there is a holy spring – disease healing water which by God's providence healed the first Abbot and beneficient of the monastery (ironically the Turkish Abbot Salim Bey who converted from Islam to Christianity and donated all his land to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church in the 18 century when still Bulgaria was enslaved by Turkish).

The monastic yard is filled with green beautiful Peach and Plumb Trees. In the monastery yard they have sew of; potatoes, tomatoes, corn and few other "basic" self-grown. vegetables.

Flowers in front of Holy Sprint Pomorie Monastery St. Martyr George

Along with the plants in one of the corners near the monastic wall there is a henhouse where some chickens and few turkeys are grown for getting fresh (natural) eggs.

In the old days the brotherhood was growing all their food by themselves as it was a tradition in the Monasteries, however with the changing times and the huge decrease of monks, growing all the monastic food on their-own became an impossible task ….

The monastery is mainly living on pilgrim or local believing people donations and the monastic land, as well as to sales of Orthodox icons and tiny faith related objects (crosses, holy bibles, church related books and literature) etc.

As I hear from some of the monks the harsh economic situation and severe world crisis that is plaguing the world also has a negative influence on the financial balance of the holy cloister too.
A monk shared with me the financial expenses of the monastery tend to be "dangerously" growing lately as the amount of people whose the brotherhood is feeding and taking care (healing) daily along with the money for restoration works are raising and the monastery experiences a shortage of money.
Still they're not discouraged but as I was told praying and hoping on God's grace to send them kind heart donators to help the monastery.

On Pomorie Monastery's website there is an e-PayPal donation form through which willing donators can help financially the monastic community

Most of the people who are in the monsatery not for a theraupetic reason (with a severe disease) work all day long. Though the work seems to be never ending here, one feels calm, relaxed and gracious.
Even staying for few hours here, makes you filled-up with God's grace and gives you new energy and hope to continue the harsh daily stress filled life.

Besides the Monastery the town of Pomorie is also very beuatiful and have all the facilities and entertainment a tourist might like to have from a modern beach resort. Yesterday I went and had my first beach time here in Pomorie.
Something interesting I noticed on the beach is the sand color which here in Pomorie is a bit blackish. The sea coast here near the beach is not big but feels cozy and there are bars near the beach shore, so anyone wanting to enjoy some of the world goods too can have a fanastic time here 🙂