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How To Uninstall a .deb Package

Ubuntu 17

In the world of Linux, .deb packages are the heart of software management. They are the standard for packaging software in Debian and its derivatives, including Ubuntu. However, there may come a time when you need to uninstall a .deb package. This article will guide you through the process, using various methods.

Quick Answer

To uninstall a .deb package, you can use the Software Centre, Synaptic Package Manager, or the command line. In the Software Centre, search for the package and click "Remove". In Synaptic, select the package and click "Mark for Removal", then apply the changes. Using the command line, use the command "sudo apt-get remove packagename" or "dpkg –remove packagename". If you want to remove the package’s configuration files as well, use "sudo apt-get purge packagename" or "dpkg –purge packagename".

What is a .deb Package?

A .deb package is a Unix archive that contains two bzipped or gzipped archives. One archive holds the control information and another contains the installable data. It is the standard software package format for the Debian distribution and its derivatives.

Uninstalling a .deb Package

Using the Software Centre

The Software Centre is a user-friendly way to manage packages on Ubuntu and other Debian-based distributions. Here’s how to uninstall a .deb package using the Software Centre:

  1. Open the Software Centre.
  2. Search for the package you want to uninstall.
  3. Click on the package and select the “Remove” button.

Using Synaptic Package Manager

Synaptic is a more powerful and flexible way to manage packages. Here’s how to use it to uninstall a .deb package:

  1. Go to System → Administration → Synaptic Package Manager.
  2. Click the “Status” button and select “Installed (local or obsolete)”.
  3. Right-click on the package you want to remove and select “Mark for Removal”.
  4. Click the “Apply” button to uninstall the package.

Using the Command Line

For more advanced users, the command line offers the most control and flexibility. Here’s how to uninstall a .deb package using the command line:

  1. Open the terminal.
  2. Use the command sudo apt-get remove packagename to uninstall the package. Replace packagename with the name of the package you want to uninstall. The sudo command gives you administrative privileges, apt-get is the package handling utility, and remove is the operation that uninstalls the package.
  3. If you don’t know the package name, you can search for it using apt-cache search package-name and then remove it using apt-get.
  4. Alternatively, you can use dpkg --remove packagename to uninstall the package. dpkg is the Debian package management system, and --remove is the operation that uninstalls the package.

Removing Configuration Files

When you uninstall a package, its configuration files are usually left behind. If you want to remove these as well, you can use the purge operation:

  • Use sudo apt-get purge packagename or dpkg --purge packagename to remove the package along with its configuration files. The purge operation removes the package and its configuration files.

Uninstalling Manually Installed Packages

Manually installed packages can be removed in the same way as packages installed from a repository. You can use the Software Centre, Synaptic, or the command line as described above.

Conclusion

Uninstalling a .deb package is a straightforward process, whether you prefer to use a graphical interface or the command line. Remember to replace packagename with the name of the package you want to uninstall, and use sudo if you need administrative privileges. If you want to remove a package along with its configuration files, use the purge operation. Happy Linuxing!

What is the difference between a .deb package and a .rpm package?

A .deb package is the standard software package format for the Debian distribution and its derivatives, while a .rpm package is the standard software package format for Red Hat-based distributions like Fedora and CentOS.

Can I uninstall a .deb package using the command line?

Yes, you can uninstall a .deb package using the command line. Use the command sudo apt-get remove packagename or dpkg --remove packagename, replacing packagename with the actual name of the package you want to uninstall.

How can I remove a .deb package along with its configuration files?

To remove a .deb package along with its configuration files, you can use the purge operation. Use sudo apt-get purge packagename or dpkg --purge packagename, replacing packagename with the actual name of the package you want to remove.

Can I uninstall manually installed packages in the same way as repository-installed packages?

Yes, you can uninstall manually installed packages in the same way as repository-installed packages. You can use the Software Centre, Synaptic Package Manager, or the command line to remove them.

How can I search for the package name if I don’t know it?

If you don’t know the package name, you can use the command apt-cache search package-name to search for it. Replace package-name with a keyword related to the package you are looking for.

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