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Old 12-14-2015, 01:06 AM   #1
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Finding unknown package names and deleting software

As a relative noob to linux this has me baffled. When you install a program with apt-get and then later decide you want to completely delete that program, how in world do you find the package name of that program so that you can delete it?

I installed eclipse CDT and sublime text using what was recommended by each website. Using the terminal I installed both. I have no use for eclipse on my linux build and the version of sublime was incorrect (first version, not even v2) so I try to delete them and I cannot find the package.

So my question is this:

If you install software with apt-get:

1) How do you figure out what the terminal command is to open that program for example no where in the installation process does sublime ever tell you the command to open a file with sublime is "subl" so if I install a new program how am I supposed to know what the command is?

2) When you want to uninstall said program but don't know what the package name is, how do you get the package name without scrolling through the thousands of OS programs in the root directory? In my case the command names eclipse and subl aren't the package names. With only knowing the command name how do I easily find the package name?

I managed to find where eclipse was installed an deleted it manually but unlike windows it installed java as well and is still showing up in the packet manager. Since I don't know where those files are located I cannot delete them. I have no use for java on my build so I would prefer to free up that almost 1GB of space, yet I don't know how to delete all those unneeded files without spending essentially years searching and deleting everything I think I don't need.

Last edited by TheWinterSnow; 12-14-2015 at 01:09 AM.
Old 12-14-2015, 03:09 AM   #2
Registered: Jan 2011
Location: Planet Earth, Australia, NSW
Distribution: openSUSE Leap 42.1 (x86_64)
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Assume you are using Debian,

11.4 How can I configure an X11 program's application defaults?

Debian's X programs will install their application resource data in the /etc/X11/app-defaults/ directory. If you want to customize X applications globally, put your customizations in those files. They are marked as configuration files, so their contents will be preserved during upgrades.

For Install, UnInstall and related suggest read Debian:

Suggest also Browse:

Linux is Learning :-)

BTW am openSUSE which is slightly different ;-)

Old 12-14-2015, 07:01 AM   #3
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apt-get remove --purge packagename
will remove about everything regarding the package packagename, [...]
Particularly useful when you want to 'start all over' with an application because you messed up the configuration.
Old 12-14-2015, 03:17 PM   #4
Registered: Aug 2006
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You can install a graphical tool like synaptic. Use it to display info about the package you installed and pulling up its properties you can see its files (usually in /usr/bin) and dependencies. You can then elect to remove it from your system. You can also remove its dependencies, just be sure they are not used by another package you may need!

Warning: By the way let synaptic or apt remove the package for you, ie don't manually delete files outside of a package managing tool.

Last edited by roy_lt_69; 12-14-2015 at 03:21 PM. Reason: Added warning!
Old 12-14-2015, 07:51 PM   #5
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You can use dpkg to list installed packages. See this:
Old 12-15-2015, 02:19 PM   #6
Registered: Jul 2012
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Originally Posted by frankbell View Post
You can use dpkg to list installed packages. See this:
Expanding on this reply you can use
dpkg -S /path/to/file
where /path/to/file is the absolute path of a file that you know belongs to the program you want to uninstall. This could be for example the executable that runs it.
If you started the program e.g. by typing "eclipse" into the command line you can find that executable by running
which eclipse


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