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How To Purge and Reinstall a Package with Dependencies in Ubuntu using APT

Ubuntu 10

In this tutorial, we will guide you on how to purge and reinstall a package along with its dependencies in Ubuntu using the Advanced Packaging Tool (APT). This is particularly useful when you encounter issues with a specific software package and need to completely remove and reinstall it.

Quick Answer

To purge and reinstall a package with dependencies in Ubuntu using APT, you can use the sudo apt-get purge <package-name> command to remove the package along with its configuration files, and then use the sudo apt-get --reinstall install <package-name> command to reinstall the package. APT will automatically handle the dependencies.

What is APT?

APT, short for Advanced Packaging Tool, is a powerful package management system used by Ubuntu and other Debian-based distributions. It allows you to install, update, upgrade and remove software packages in a user-friendly manner. APT handles dependencies so that you don’t have to manually install each required package.

Purging a Package

Purging a package means removing the software package along with its configuration files. This is different from simply removing a package, which leaves configuration files intact. Purging a package can be particularly useful when the package is causing issues and you want to reinstall it from scratch.

To purge a package, open a terminal and type the following command:

sudo apt-get purge <package-name>

Replace <package-name> with the name of the package you want to purge. For example, if you wanted to purge nginx, you would type:

sudo apt-get purge nginx

The sudo command is used to run the following command with superuser privileges. The apt-get purge command removes the package along with its configuration files.

Reinstalling a Package

After purging a package, you might want to reinstall it. This can be done using the --reinstall option with the apt-get install command. This option tells APT to reinstall the package, even if it’s already installed.

To reinstall a package, use the following command:

sudo apt-get --reinstall install <package-name>

Replace <package-name> with the name of the package you want to reinstall. For example, to reinstall nginx, you would type:

sudo apt-get --reinstall install nginx

The --reinstall option tells APT to reinstall the package, and the install command installs the package. If the package has dependencies, APT will handle them automatically.

Conclusion

In this tutorial, we’ve shown you how to purge and reinstall a package along with its dependencies in Ubuntu using APT. This can be particularly useful when a package is causing issues and you need to reinstall it from scratch. Remember to replace <package-name> with the actual name of the package you want to purge and reinstall.

If you want to learn more about APT and its capabilities, check out the APT manual. It provides a comprehensive overview of APT and its various commands and options.

What happens if I only remove a package without purging it?

If you only remove a package without purging it, the package will be uninstalled but its configuration files will remain on your system. This can be useful if you plan on reinstalling the package later and want to keep your custom configurations intact.

Can I purge multiple packages at once?

Yes, you can purge multiple packages at once by specifying their names separated by a space. For example, you can use the command sudo apt-get purge package1 package2 package3 to purge multiple packages simultaneously.

What happens if I reinstall a package without purging it first?

If you reinstall a package without purging it first, the package will be reinstalled but its existing configuration files will remain unchanged. This can be useful if you want to reinstall a package without losing your custom configurations.

Will reinstalling a package remove its dependencies?

No, reinstalling a package will not remove its dependencies. APT handles dependencies automatically, so if a package has dependencies, they will be installed or updated as needed during the reinstallation process.

Can I reinstall multiple packages at once?

Yes, you can reinstall multiple packages at once by specifying their names separated by a space. Use the command sudo apt-get --reinstall install package1 package2 package3 to reinstall multiple packages simultaneously. APT will handle the dependencies of each package automatically.

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