Ubuntu – How to detect and remove Python packages installed via pip


I have accidently installed Python packages to my system using pip instead of apt-get. I did this in two ways:

  • using an older version of virtualenv, I forgot to append --no-site-packages when creating the virtualenv – after that when I called pip install, the Python packages where installed to the system rather than the virtualenv
  • in a correctly setup virtualenv, I typed sudo pip install somepackage – the sudo installed to the system rather than the virtualenv

I happened to notice this because I typed pip freeze outside a virtualenv, and spotted some Python packages listed that shouldn't be there. So now my question is:

  • how do I identify all Python packages that have been erroneously installed on the system (that is, Python packages that appear in the pip freeze list, but were not installed with apt-get)?
  • how do I remove them?

Best Answer

Ubuntu Oneiric (and I expect newer versions too) install pip packages to /usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages, and apt packages to /usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages. So just check the former directory and sudo pip uninstall every package you find there.