Uninstalling software from the command line via Terminal is one of the most important tasks while dealing with troubleshooting a remotely connected Ubuntu PC. In today’s Terminal Tuts session, let’s take a deep dive into it.
Uninstalling Software from Terminal in Ubuntu
The following guide is tested on Ubuntu 17.10, but should work on older Ubuntu versions as well as Linux Mint, and elementary OS.
Step 1) In order to uninstall a software package, you need to know the exact name of it. We shall use dpkg list command for it. Launch ‘Terminal’ and enter the following command:
You should see a long list of applications. Note down the name of the program which you want to uninstall. For example, I want to remove VLC Media Player, which is listed as just ‘vlc’.
Step 2) To uninstall a program, we shall use remove command along with apt-get, which is typically used to install applications. Of course sudo command to carry out superuser tasks. There are two important things to consider on what’s your uninstallation plan.
Keep Personalized Settings:
If you are removing a program only to reinstall later, then you may want to keep the configuration files, which will remember your personal settings applied in that app. In such case, use the remove command as follows:
sudo apt-get remove package_name
In my case, to remove vlc:
sudo apt-get remove vlc
On the other hand, use –purge command to completely uninstall the app if you plan not to reinstall the app.
sudo apt-get --purge remove package_name
sudo apt-get --purge remove vlc
Now that you have uninstalled the software, you may want to do some extra cleanup to remove the dependencies of the software you uninstalled now or may be in the past. Dependencies are the apps and libraries that are used by the software you no longer have in your PC. Note that it is completely safe to do so because no application is using them.
sudo apt-get autoremove
As you see autoremove command is generic cleaning command for any obsolete packages that are left over in your PC.