Question

FreeBSD 11 default packages, can I remove them?

I just spun up a FreeBSD 11 (no ZFS) droplet. When I run pkg info I get a long list of installed packages, a few of them have to do with X11 but I don’t plan on using a GUI. Is there any reason to keep them around or could I just remove everything?

Here are the packages installed:

avahi-app-0.6.31_5             Service discovery on a local network
avahi-autoipd-0.6.31           IPv4LL network address configuration daemon
ca_root_nss-3.27.1             Root certificate bundle from the Mozilla Project
curl-7.51.0_1                  Non-interactive tool to get files from FTP, GOPHER, HTTP(S) servers
dbus-1.8.20                    Message bus system for inter-application communication
dbus-glib-0.104                GLib bindings for the D-BUS messaging system
expat-2.2.0                    XML 1.0 parser written in C
gdbm-1.12                      GNU database manager
gettext-runtime-0.19.8.1       GNU gettext runtime libraries and programs
glib-2.46.2_3                  Some useful routines of C programming (current stable version)
gnome_subr-1.0                 Common startup and shutdown subroutines used by GNOME scripts
gobject-introspection-1.46.0   Generate interface introspection data for GObject libraries
indexinfo-0.2.5                Utility to regenerate the GNU info page index
kbproto-1.0.7                  KB extension headers
libICE-1.0.9_1,1               Inter Client Exchange library for X11
libSM-1.2.2_3,1                Session Management library for X11
libX11-1.6.4,1                 X11 library
libXau-1.0.8_3                 Authentication Protocol library for X11
libXdmcp-1.1.2                 X Display Manager Control Protocol library
libdaemon-0.14_1               Lightweight C library that eases the writing of UNIX daemons
libffi-3.2.1                   Foreign Function Interface
libiconv-1.14_9                Character set conversion library
libnet-1.1.6_4,1               C library for creating IP packets
libpthread-stubs-0.3_6         This library provides weak aliases for pthread functions
libxcb-1.11.1                  The X protocol C-language Binding (XCB) library
libxml2-2.9.4                  XML parser library for GNOME
pcre-8.39                      Perl Compatible Regular Expressions library
perl5-5.20.3_15                Practical Extraction and Report Language
pkg-1.8.8                      Package manager
py27-pip-8.0.2                 Tool for installing and managing Python packages
py27-setuptools27-23.1.0       Python packages installer
python2-2_3                    The "meta-port" for version 2 of the Python interpreter
python27-2.7.12                Interpreted object-oriented programming language
readline-6.3.8                 Library for editing command lines as they are typed
rsync-3.1.2_5                  Network file distribution/synchronization utility
sudo-1.8.18p1                  Allow others to run commands as root
vim-lite-8.0.0019_1            Improved version of the vi editor (lite package)
xproto-7.0.28                  X11 protocol headers```
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Accepted Answer

Usually FreeBSD is installed with the very minimal set of packages required to have a working system. So, I strongly advise not to remove such packages, specially on a remote machine. In fact in your list there is really nothing you can safely remove but vim. You can safely remove vim and replace it with nano. Yet, I strongly suggest to learn vim as it is more powerful and useful on a remote machine.

Regarding X11, don’t worry, only some headers are installed for compatibility with package builds. X11 is not installed!

You can check the details of every package in the official port database. You may want to try to remove them in a local vm with Vagrant to see what happens. Beware that most of the package you listed are dependencies of other packages.

Regards,

Nicholas

Vanilla FreeBSD does not come with any packages preinstalled so yes you can remove them and see if it affects the web console in any way. SSH is part of base OS and you will have access to reinstall these packages if needed.

In my local node I have the bare minimum packages for running lighttpd + FastCGI + PHP 7.