Ubuntu – the Difference Between `apt-get purge` and `apt-get remove`


Is there any difference between

sudo apt-get purge <package-name>


sudo apt-get remove <package-name>  


I often see people recommend one or the other.

In other words, what does apt-get purge remove that apt-get remove doesn't?

Best Answer

As the man apt-get page says:

remove - remove is identical to install except that packages are removed instead of installed. Note that removing a package leaves its configuration files on the system. If a plus sign is appended to the package name (with no intervening space), the identified package will be installed instead of removed.

purge - purge is identical to remove except that packages are removed and purged (any configuration files are deleted too).

This of course, does not apply to packages that hold configuration files inside the user's home folder (e.g. /home/SexyNoJutsuUser), these files will not be touched ( Why does "Purge" not remove everything related to an app? )

So for example, if you were to purge Chrome, Firefox, Kodi or any other that holds some configuration files inside your /home folder, these configuration files will stay there.

On the other hand if you were to install Apache, squid, MySQL or any other services similar that save their configuration files in /etc, these configuration files will be deleted if you use purge.