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Old 04-15-2009, 09:29 PM   #1
Registered: Jan 2006
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Question Do linux programs leave behind baggage?

Just a curiosity question.

When I was a windows user, I noticed that after un-installing a program, the program usually left behind "baggage" that I would have to manually clean up myself. Not life threatening, just annoying, I figure that if you un-install a program, then it should do just that, no traces left behind!

Well, I think that I noticed this as well in linux. Let me give an example. I installed vmware 6.5.1, ran into some issues with it, so I un-installed it, I even deleted the operating system image I created with it, no traces whatsoever (or so I thought).

A few months later, I installed an older version of vmware, after I started the program, it actually listed the old OS image that I had installed (and deleted). Of course, I tried to start it, and it complained that it did not exist.

It got me wondering, is this akin to a "windows registry" type situation? A ghost in the machine?

Again, not that it is hurting me or anything, but it is kind of an annoyance.

So, do linux programs leave behind trace baggage? And if so, is there a way to easily track it down and remove it?
Old 04-15-2009, 09:35 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by almcneill
So, do linux programs leave behind trace baggage?
Yes and no. It depends on your distro package management or installer script. CMIIW.

Originally Posted by almcneill
And if so, is there a way to easily track it down and remove it?
Check installer script, if any.

Last edited by hurry_hui; 04-15-2009 at 09:38 PM.
Old 04-16-2009, 01:35 AM   #3
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" Left over's " can be hidden files and directories in
your /home/<username>.
Probably the issue with 'wmware'.
Easy to spot, and easy to remove.

Logs from some apps in /var/, also easy to remove.

Last edited by knudfl; 04-16-2009 at 01:36 AM.
Old 04-16-2009, 07:55 AM   #4
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If you're using a Debian-based system,
sudo aptitude purge [package name]
will get rid of everything.


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