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How to uninstall xorg-x11-devel and all things depending upon it?


I need to uninstall xorg-x11-devel. I found this simple task to be incredibly frustrating, so I'm posting my experience to see whether there's an better way to do things.

I fired up Cygwin Setup, selected the package for uninstall, and proceeded to the end. However, there were a couple of packages depending on xorg-x11-devel, including libXft-devel. So I ended up on a page informing me of these dependencies, which had a little checkbox at the bottom to reinstall xorg-x11-devel so that dependencies were unbroken. The box was checked. The first time through I didn't see that box way down at the bottom of my screen and so nothing happened when I clicked "Next".

Next time through, I saw the box. So I went back and tried to find the packages that depend on xorg-x11-devel. The default view for selecting packages is grouped by category. I opened the X11 category, but libXft-devel was nowhere to be found. I couldn't find any way to search for a package by name. I tried using the "cygcheck" command, but it didn't tell me anything about the package category. Neither did Ultimately, I clued in that there is a "Full" view where the packages are sorted by name. So I was able to find them.

I navigated the full view of hundreds of package names, found libXft-devel, selected "Uninstall", navigated to xorg-x11-devel, selected "Uninstall", then clicked "Next". To my surprise, it was telling me that uninstalling xorg-x11-devel would cause a problem because libXft-devel depends on it. I thought I had asked to remove both. So I went back and discovered that libXft-devel was selected for "Keep".

This time I did it in the opposite order: first select xorg-x11-devel for uninstall, then select libXft-devel for uninstall. On the next page, I got a message saying that removing libXft-devel will cause a problem because xorg-x11-devel depends on it.

After another 10 minutes, I came to the following conclusions:
(1) Packages xorg-x11-devel and libXft-devel depend on each other.
(2) If one is selected for uninstall, then selecting the other for uninstall undoes the first selection.

The only way I can see for uninstalling a package is to repeatedly click on the "New" column, cycling through the various options: "Skip", "x.y.z", "Keep", "Uninstall", etc. My hypothesis for (2) is that when I cycle through a particular version, it automatically updates the dependencies to install. But that's just a guess.

It may be that I'm misusing Cygwin Setup in some manner. I'd be interested in learning how to do this better.

On the other hand, I have used synaptic ( with both Debian and RedHat systems. It works really well and I wonder if it could be adapted to cygwin as well -- or perhaps its successor, the Smart Package Manager (


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