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Old 12-20-2015, 06:28 AM   #1
chasejltl
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Uninstalled Program in Startup Applications


I am trying to understand uninstalling in Linux. I know I can go to the application in Menu and right click, choose uninstall. But does that get rid of everything? I ask because I just checked my Startup Applications and it shows an application that I uninstalled a few days ago. Do I need to do anything else after Uninstalling through the Menu to remove an application?
Thanks!
 
Old 12-20-2015, 11:39 AM   #2
jailbait
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You will probably do a better job of uninstalling an application if you use your distribution's package manager. Your package manager should have options to uninstall an application and to completely uninstall an application. The uninstall option means to remove the program. The completely uninstall option means to remove the program, the program's control files, the menu entries, and the man pages.

-----------------
Steve Stites
 
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Old 12-20-2015, 11:44 AM   #3
Steven_G
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Think of it this way: *nix has two "sides". Your side and the system side. Almost all of the stuff for your side is in your home folder. Pretty much everything else is for the "system". (Technically this is not 100 accurate, but IMHO it's the easiest way to look at things when you're first getting started.)

Now, the quality of uninstall scripts that come w/ various programs varies as widely as do the quality of the programs themselves; i.e some are great and some suck.

From my own personal experience even the good uninstall scripts usually only remove the stuff that the program wrote to the "system" side of things and won't remove your stuff; which if you think about it makes sense. *nix is *extremely* customizable. The author of a program has no way of knowing what kind of changes you are going to make to your system to make his program behave in new and novel ways.

So, after a good uninstall scripts cleans up the system side you need to clean up your side. Conversely, after running a poorly written uninstall script you'll need to clean up both sides of the system.

Cleaning your side is easy: Open your file browser and hit Crtl+h. A bunch of folders will pop up that start with a dot. These are hidden user interface configuration files that tell the program how to interact with you. If you just uninstalled foo then dig through the file tree and manually remove anything that belonged to foo. (There are much more elegant ways to do this from the CLI, but you have to walk before you can run.) BTW, even though the instructions to run at start technically belongs to your side of the system it won't be stored in your home folder and you'll need to remove it manually.

Now, cleaning up the system side of things is whole other story and you can blow up your system if you're not careful. But, google is your friend and there are programs out there to help you do things like manage orphaned packages. You can also find programs to help you search for files so that you can delete them manually. And depending on your distro the included package managers and/or system managers have tools for working on that kind of stuff. But, proceed at your own risk b/c you could turn your system in to a brick. Linux expects you to educate yourself and will gladly give you enough rope with which to hang yourself. Make sure that you back up both your data and your installation when playing with and learning about such things just in case your system goes KaFnBoom!

Last edited by Steven_G; 12-20-2015 at 01:05 PM.
 
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Old 12-20-2015, 01:18 PM   #4
chasejltl
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Excellent! Thank you both for the information.
I am finding that, yes, google is my best friend when I need to fix my newbie mistakes lol.
I think I will leave the system side alone until I am more versed with how this all works. I plan on being a little more cautious and selective on what I install so I dont have to mess with all of it
 
Old 12-21-2015, 01:56 AM   #5
ondoho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chasejltl View Post
I know I can go to the application in Menu and right click, choose uninstall. But does that get rid of everything? I ask because I just checked my Startup Applications and it shows an application that I uninstalled a few days ago.
i suppose ubuntu mimicks windows behavior, but under the hood it should be performing a packet management uninstall.

that said, if an application leaves its menu entry behind, that's bad style, and i think it's the app's fault, or its developer(s), of course.

most probably it's a .desktop file either in $HOME/.local/share/applications or in /usr/share/applications.
 
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