why do gui programs depends on xserver

Asked by Zoran Bošnjak

I am using ubuntu 20.04 server (server edition), without xserver + another ubuntu 20.04 node with active xserver.

My intention is to run some GUI applications on the "server", but with a display on "another node" where the xserver is already running, for example running from another node:

ssh -X user@server
sudo apt install retext
# It's not "retext" speciffic. Only an example.

The problem is that installing "retext" on the "server" would also install (and auto start on reboot) the xserver on the "server". What is worse is that also other unwanted processes are activated automatically, for example: auto suspend mode which puts the "server" into sleep after a while.

How do I prevent starting or even installing xserver on the "server", but still being able to run GUI programs as described in the scenario above?

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actionparsnip (andrew-woodhead666) said :


Its a GUI based application so the GUI parts will be pulled in as dependencies. You can opt to not install the suggested packages

Why install a GUI editor on a server? What are you trying to do here?

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