How to uninstall programs in elementary OS and Ubuntu

Let’s discuss the ways of uninstalling a program in elementary OS and Ubuntu. Uninstallation of a particular application depends on how it was installed in first place. Let’s go one by one.

Software Center

For programs that are installed using ‘Software Center’ which are nothing but Ubuntu Repository sources and canonical sources that are added manually, one can simply use the same center to uninstall it. Let’s see how.

Elementary OS users need to click on ‘Software Center’ icon on the plank and Ubuntu users have to click on ‘Ubuntu Software Center’ on the taskbar.

Click ‘Installed’ and then expand the category where the program is located. Alternatively, you can simply enter the program’s name in the search box located on the top right corner.

Now click on the program item and click ‘Remove’.

Software Center
Software Center

Synaptic Package Manager

If you have used Synaptic Package Manager to install certain programs, you can use the same program to uninstall just like you did in ‘Software Center’. Note that most programs installed via Synaptic Package Manager also get listed in ‘Software Center’ too, but for I recommend to use Synaptic Package Manager as it gives the option for complete removal of the programs. Launch ‘Synaptic Package Manager’ and search the program name in the ‘Quick filter’ box. Select the program from the results and click on ‘Mark for Complete Removal’. Then click ‘Apply’ and you are done.

Synaptics Package Manager
Synaptics Package Manager

Terminal

Of course, there is always the command-line way of doing things and it does ‘feel’ different when you install and uninstall programs using Terminal and that’s one of the best ways to start learning Linux.

apt-get command:

sudo apt-get remove <package name> && sudo apt-get autoremove

aptitude command:

The apt-get remove command doesn’t remove the automatically installed programs and so you may see a bunch of leftover garbage. Alternatively, you can use aptitude, which will automatically remove things and also gives an interactive command line interface to work with.

Aptitude is not installed in Ubuntu and elementary OS by default, so if you haven’t installed it yet, you can install it using apt-get.

sudo apt-get install aptitude

Then to uninstall a package using aptitude, use the following command format:

sudo aptitude remove <package>

For example, I have removed the ‘deluge’ application in Ubuntu.

Aptitude Remove Command Example
Aptitude Remove Command Example

That’s about most of the methods used for uninstalling a program in Ubuntu and elementary OS. Which method do you use the most?

Kiran Kumar
Hi there! I'm Kiran Kumar, founder of FOSSLinux.com. I'm an avid Linux lover and enjoy hands-on with new promising distros. Currently, I'm using Ubuntu as a daily driver and run several other distros such as Fedora, Solus, Manjaro, Debian, and some new ones on my test PC and virtual machines. I have a day job as an Engineer, and this website is one of my favorite past time activities especially during Winter ;). When I'm not writing for FOSSLinux, I'm seen biking and hiking on scenic trails. Hope you enjoy using this website as much as I do writing for it. Feedback from readers is something that inspires me to do more, and spread Linux love!. If you find a time, drop me an email or feedback from the 'Contact' page. Or simply leave a comment below if you found this article useful. Have a good day!

1 COMMENT

  1. Anyway, there are some problems in removing some software with dependencies, for example: today I did not intend to install the microcode driver from AMD, I have INTEL processor and when I try to remove via synaptic it also uninstalls the linux header and linux image. I remember one day I removed all unnecessary language packs and never again got a clean login on the system. How to deal with this?

    Thank you. Good job.

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