I'm trying to remove all GUI elements off my raspberry pi 4 and run it headless only, but whenever I try to do sudo apt purge x11-common*, it gives this error:

Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
Note, selecting 'x11-common' for glob 'x11-common*'
Some packages could not be installed. This may mean that you have
requested an impossible situation or if you are using the unstable
distribution that some required packages have not yet been created
or been moved out of Incoming.
The following information may help to resolve the situation:

The following packages have unmet dependencies:
 libxt6 : Depends: libice6 (>= 1:1.0.0) but it is not going to be installed
          Depends: libsm6 but it is not going to be installed
 openjdk-11-jre-headless : Depends: libxtst6 but it is not going to be installed
E: Error, pkgProblemResolver::Resolve generated breaks, this may be caused by held packages.```

2 Answers 2


You do not ask a question. If it is to have a Raspbian operating system without any GUI elements then just flash the Light version of Raspbian. At time it is Raspbian Buster Light. These images does not have any support of a Graphical User Interface and uses only the command line on a console.


You could just use

sudo raspi-config

Take option 3 Take option 1

Select command line (I always force logon)

The amount of space taken up by 'X' is very small on the SD and who knows you may need a GUI for something later.

The last time I tried removing the GUI I took out:

  • xserver-xorg
  • xinit
  • raspberrypi-ui-mods
  • lightdm

But that was before Buster.

You can save a bit of power if you are only using ssh by running the tvservice --off command - that kills the HDMI support.

Also remember that Raspbian Buster with desktop is a lot smaller (just under half size) of the Raspbian Buster with desktop and recommended software as it does not include a pile of games, languages, readers etc as documented here by RPF

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