Installing Gnome-Do the Minimal Way

This is a guest post by Kajjah

gnome-do-logoFor those of you who like to keep their installations lean and swift, installing software can be a problem at times. There’s lots of useful software out there, but some can be really bloated and slow, while others are small themselves, but have large or many dependencies.

This is especially true for Gnome-Do. When you install Gnome-Do, Evolution get installed along as a dependency. If you are using Ubuntu (or GNOME), where Evolution is already pre-installed, this is not an issue. However, if you are using other distro, like Linux Mint, or other desktop managers, then you won’t want to install the bulky Evolution just to use Gnome-Do.

Luckily, there is a solution for this. The trick is to install an empty Evolution package and make Gnome-Do think that Evolution is already installed on your computer.

Note: Please keep in mind that if you already have Gnome-do and/or Evolution installed, there’s no need to follow this set of instructions. Also, by using this dependency you will break anything that relies on the real dependency. There is nothing to worry about if you’re not using Evolution in the first place though.

Download the .deb file that will serve as the substitute and place it on your desktop.

Double click on the deb file to install.

If for some reason that double-clicking of the deb file doesn’t work, open a terminal and type the following:

After that, just follow the instructions here to install Gnome-do normally.

Don’t forget to change the lines you need to paste into /etc/apt/sources.list if you’re using Ubuntu 9.10.

Or if you’re using Ubuntu 9.04:

As you can see, you can save quite some space by using a substitute dependency.

Installation of Gnome-Do with full Evolution package:

gnome-do with full evolution package

Installation of Gnome-Do with substitute Evolution package:

gnome-do with substitute Evolution package

Credit for the substitute dependency: Juan Frias

Damien Damien

Damien Oh started writing tech articles since 2007 and has over 10 years of experience in the tech industry. He is proficient in Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and iOS, and worked as a part time WordPress Developer. He is currently the owner and Editor-in-Chief of Make Tech Easier.


  1. Nice tip. Thanks. Just want to add that In view of recent cases of malware embedded in .deb files I think you should not encourage people to install random deb files they find on the net. You can always create an Ubuntu/ Debian repository for your deb file to encourage good practises. Linux age of trust and innocence is becoming a thing of the past

  2. I just have one question. If Evolution is not required (since installing an empty deb is the solution) then why is it listed as being required? Secondly, why isn’t there an easier way to say no to installing packages that aren’t NEEDED? There is a “recommended” and “required” separation between packages with apt AFAIK, so why isn’t this being used here?

  3. Yfrwlf,

    Evolution is required because of one of Gnome-do’s plugins. To install packages without “recommended” packages, simply add “–no-install-recommends” to your apt-get command. This doesn’t work with Gnome-do unfortunately, because it treats Evolution as a dependency.

    1. Thanks for your comment Kajjah. It’s too bad it’s not easier for programs with plugins to call for installation of those plugins more easily, and perhaps giving a user the option for doing a minimal and maximal install of a program. In situations like the above, it might be very useful. “Lets see, do I want to install EVERYTHING that a program is linked to or do I just want to install the ‘minimal/base’ and choose to install individual plugins later?” Might be nice.

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