Installer removes many unrelated packages!
The HPLIP installer, in automatic mode, removes existing hplip and hpijs packages. As a side effect, the installer also removed lots of unrelated, but important packages. This could seriously damage the entire Linux installation !
Explanation of the error: In Ubuntu 8.04, packages hplip and hpijs are installed as dependencies under an important parent package, called 'ubuntu-desktop'. Although these dependencies don't have priority 'depends' but only 'recommends', the use of flag '--assume-yes' seems to trigger the removal of the parent package 'ubuntu-desktop'.
In a cascade-like fashion, dozens of other packages that are dependencies of the parent package are also removed. This includes packages like: Xorg, brasero, tomboy, f-spot, compiz, network-manager, tracker, mono-runtime, pulseaudio and lots of library and support packages related to these packages.
The HPLIP installer gives absolutely NO on-screen indication that all those packages are removed. I only found out what was going on when I manually checked the package install log file to see why the removal of two packages (hplip and hpijs) was taking so long...
Shocked, I immediately interrupted the HPLIP installer and have tried to reinstall all removed packages. It looks like I was quick enough, and don't have to restore a backup.
Root cause of problem: IMHO, the Ubuntu install utility reacts in an unexpected manner on the removal of two non-mandatory dependencies of an important parent package. Strictly, this is not only the responsibility of the HPLIP team, but also of the Ubuntu team. I linked this bug report to their project as well.
|affects:||ubuntu → aptitude (Ubuntu)|