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I am experimenting with a RPI 3B in Kiosk mode. The RPI has a 480x320 LCD screen attached. The RPI is running Rasbian Buster image. The OS is fully patched.

I have a Qt UI program that should be the only UI present. The desktop manager's start bar/start panel is taking valuable screen real estate. I want to remove the desktop manager.

According to Rasbian docs, the OS provides the Pixel and the LXDE desktop. I removed the desktop manager, but the desktop is still present after a reboot. I seem to be suffering a disconnect.

Why do I have a start panel and desktop after removing the desktop manager?


Here is what aapt has to say about LXDE.

$ apt list --installed | grep -i lxde

lxde-common/stable,now 0.99.2-3 all [installed,automatic]
lxde-core/stable,now 10 all [installed,automatic]
lxde-icon-theme/stable,now 0.5.1-2 all [installed,automatic]
lxde/stable,now 10 all [installed]

And then removal:

$ sudo apt-get remove lxde-core lxde-common lxde-icon-theme
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
The following packages will be REMOVED:
  lxde lxde-common lxde-core lxde-icon-theme openbox-lxde-session
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 5 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
After this operation, 11.7 MB disk space will be freed.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n] Y 
(Reading database ... 99056 files and directories currently installed.)
Removing lxde (10) ...
Removing lxde-core (10) ...
Removing openbox-lxde-session (0.99.2-3) ...
Removing lxde-common (0.99.2-3) ...
Removing lxde-icon-theme (0.5.1-2) ...
...

And after reboot:

$ apt list --installed | grep -i lxde
$ apt list --installed | grep -i pixel
$

When I boot the device after removal, I still have this (but smaller):

enter image description here

(Image courtesy Raspbian docs).

  • 1
    If you were actually using the 3 year old OS to which your link refers (Jessie) it might work! – Milliways Dec 12 '19 at 0:53
  • Thanks @Milliways. Do you know where the current/latest docs are located? That is one of the few hits Google returns. – jww Dec 12 '19 at 0:59
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Why do I have a start panel and desktop after removing the desktop manager?

I can't answer this well, but more packages need to be removed. An apt search for 'desktop' showed four hits. desktop-base and desktop-file-utils were removed next:

# apt-get remove desktop-base desktop-file-utils

After rebooting the desktop was still present.

gsettings-desktop-schemas was included in the apt search for 'desktop', but removing it cast too wide a net. Networking gear was going to be removed with it. I did not test its removal because I need networking.

Next was an apt search for 'panel'. I believe lxpanel and lxpanel-data were the important two. After removing lxpanel and lxpanel-data and rebooting the desktop was gone.

# apt-get remove lxpanel lxpanel-data

The Qt program still worked as expected by talking directly to the X server.


Here are the results of searching for "desktop", "start" and "panel". lxpanel and lxpanel-data were the important two. After removing lxpanel and lxpanel-data and rebooting the desktop was gone.

$ apt list --installed | grep -i desktop

desktop-base/stable,now 10.0.2 all [installed]
desktop-file-utils/stable,now 0.23-4 armhf [installed,automatic]
gir1.2-freedesktop/stable,now 1.58.3-2 armhf [installed,automatic]
gsettings-desktop-schemas/stable,now 3.28.1-1 all [installed,automatic]
sound-theme-freedesktop/stable,now 0.8-2 all [installed,automatic]

$ sudo apt-get remove desktop-base desktop-file-utils
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
The following packages were automatically installed and are no longer required:
  alsa-base bluealsa fonts-piboto fonts-quicksand gdisk gnome-themes-standard
  gstreamer0.10-alsa gstreamer0.10-plugins-base gtk2-engines-clearlookspix
  gtk2-engines-pixflat libarchive13 libatasmart4 libavahi-glib1
  libblockdev-fs2 libblockdev-loop2 libblockdev-part-err2 libblockdev-part2
  libblockdev-swap2 libblockdev-utils2 libblockdev2 libbluetooth3 libgck-1-0
  libgcr-base-3-1 libgdata-common libgdata22 libgoa-1.0-0b libgoa-1.0-common
  libgphoto2-6 libgphoto2-port12 libgstreamer-plugins-base0.10-0
  libgstreamer0.10-0 libimobiledevice6 libjansson4 libldb1 libnfs12 liboauth0
  libparted-fs-resize0 libplist3 libplymouth4 libsmbclient libtevent0
  libudisks2-0 libusbmuxd4 libxfce4util-bin libxfce4util-common libxfce4util7
  libxfconf-0-2 lxplug-bluetooth lxplug-cputemp lxplug-ejecter lxplug-network
  lxplug-ptbatt lxplug-volume pi-greeter pimixer pipanel pishutdown
  pixflat-icons plymouth plymouth-label plymouth-themes python-talloc
  rpd-plym-splash rpd-wallpaper samba-libs udisks2 xfconf
Use 'sudo apt autoremove' to remove them.
The following packages will be REMOVED:
  desktop-base desktop-file-utils gvfs gvfs-backends gvfs-common gvfs-daemons
  gvfs-fuse gvfs-libs raspberrypi-ui-mods
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 9 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
After this operation, 19.3 MB disk space will be freed.

$ apt list --installed | grep -i start

libstartup-notification0/stable,now 0.12-6 armhf [installed,automatic]

$ apt list --installed | grep -i panel

lxpanel-data/testing,now 0.10.0-2+rpt7 all [installed,automatic]
lxpanel/testing,now 0.10.0-2+rpt7 armhf [installed,automatic]

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