Ubuntu – Why are basic Gnome apps disappearing in 20.04


I upgraded to 20.04 from 19.10 a few weeks ago. Everything has been working fine except for a few teething problems I easily sorted out. I regularly update my system with sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade and since the last update some basic Gnome apps have been removed. For instance yesterday the gnome.logs app had gone and when a called it from the command line I got this message:

$ gnome-logs

Der Befehl 'gnome-logs' wurde nicht gefunden, kann aber installiert werden mit:

sudo snap install gnome-logs # version 3.34.0,  or sudo apt install gnome-logs # version 3.34.0-1ubuntu1

(The German reads "The command 'gnome-logs' was not found but can be installed with: …….)

I reinstalled it with sudo apt-get install gnome-logs and the version 3.34.0 was installed and works as it did previously.

Then today I needed to use the calculator, but that too had disappeared! And when I called it from the command line I got the same message to (re-)install with snap or apt.

Why are these often used apps being removed? Is it someone trying to get me to switch to using snap rather than apt or reminding me that the packages are available in snap?

Whatever the reason, trying to open often used apps only to find you have to re-install them is frustrating and subtracts from the pleasure of using Ubuntu.

Best Answer

  • There is fundamental difference between the ways the mentioned applications are shipped with Ubuntu 19.10 and 20.04. Those are apps are pre-installed as snap packages in Ubuntu 19.10 whereas in Ubuntu 20.04, they're shipped via a more traditional way (installed with apt).

    It seems during the upgrade process, the updater couldn't deal with the change and thus simply removed the snap ones but didn't install the replacements via apt. It's very unlikely there is a conspiracy going on. To be safe, consider reinstalling the ubuntu-desktop meta-package once again.

    P.S. GNOME Characters also falls under this category, you should see the same behaviour with that application too.