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Thread: [SOLVED] What happens if...

  1. #1
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    [SOLVED] What happens if...

    I installed the "home" directory on a different partition as recommended in several forum posts. Everything is working fine, but being a Windows power user and Linux newbie I'm installing and testing a lot of applications. Some work well for me, some doesn't. So I'm starting to use the Synaptic Manager to completely wipe out those applications that I don't want anymore.

    I have a few concerns:

    1 - Could Linux lose performance because of removed applications left-overs like Windows?

    2 - What happens if after some weeks testing I decide to format the system drive and re-install a clean Ubuntu, without formatting the "home" partition? Does all my installed programs, personal files and configurations will be preserved inside the "home" partition? Do I still need to install all applications again?

    3 - How do I clean up the system without re-installing Ubuntu? I don't want any left-overs making a party inside my system.

  2. #2
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    Re: What happens if...

    1/3 - Generally this is not a problem. When you uninstall packages some do get left behind though. There are a couple things you can do. One that comes to mind is running
    Code:
    sudo apt-get autoremove
    Understand that if you uninstall apps in synaptic that their configuration files are often left behind. This is done because you might decide to reinstall the app. Select "completely" remove in Synaptic to get rid of configurations files as well when you uninstall an app.

    2 - If you format / (root) you will not harm the configuration for most your apps. But, yeah you will have to reinstall the apps again. Up side is that once you install the apps, it will seem like you never reinstalled, cause the apps will be configured just as they were before you reinstalled.
    Last edited by mevets; August 23rd, 2008 at 04:43 AM.
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  3. #3
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    Re: What happens if...

    As a side note to 1. If you want to completely remove a program together with its configuration files, you can select the package for complete removal in synaptic or from the command line:
    Code:
    apt-get purge package_name
    or
    Code:
    aptitude purge package_name
    As usual, when removing something read carefully what is being done before approving a change, so that nothing vital to the system is taken out.
    Say NO to software patents in the European Union!

  4. #4
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    Re: What happens if...

    Thanks for the quick replies. Very helpful, specially now that I installed something that is messing with compiz.

    Quote Originally Posted by mevets View Post
    Up side is that once you install the apps, it will seem like you never reinstalled, cause the apps will be configured just as they were before you reinstalled.
    AWESOME! I'm starting to hate Windows and regret not using Linux before.

    Quote Originally Posted by xeth_delta View Post
    As usual, when removing something read carefully what is being done before approving a change, so that nothing vital to the system is taken out.
    That is the tricky part

  5. #5
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    Re: What happens if...

    Freaking awesome! I already have a clean install with almost all apps installed and configurations still intact.

    Now I see how handy the "sudo apt-get" command is. I can download all my apps with a simple copy & paste action

  6. #6
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    Re: What happens if...

    If you use aptitude to install and remove apps

    Code:
    sudo aptitude install
    Code:
    sudo aptitude remove
    it will find and automatically remove any unneeded dependencies that were installed with the package you are removing.

    This wont work if you installed the package with apt-get

  7. #7
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    Re: What happens if...

    Quote Originally Posted by nothingspecial View Post
    If you use aptitude to install and remove apps

    Code:
    sudo aptitude install
    Code:
    sudo aptitude remove
    it will find and automatically remove any unneeded dependencies that were installed with the package you are removing.

    This wont work if you installed the package with apt-get
    I would like understand this. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

    When you want to install or remove a new applet you can use the GUI or CLI. In the first case you can use the "Add/Remove" manager or the "Synaptic Manager". The first will not remove dependencies, but will install necessary ones. That's why some apps ask you to use the Synaptic for removal, because it can install and remove all dependencies.

    So, I guess using the CLI, "apt-get" is the command for accessing the "Add/Remove Mananger" backend and "aptitude install" or "aptitude remove" are commands to use the "Synaptic Manager" backend, right?

    Which one is use when you download and install a "*.deb" file or when you click an apt URI?

  8. #8
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    Re: What happens if...

    I believe that both add/remove and synaptic use apt-get - someone please correct me if I`m wrong.
    Also I beleive it is possible to get in a mess if you chop and change between apt-get and aptitude. If you have used synaptic, add/remove and apt-get alot in the past it is probably better to stick with them - there is apt-get autoremove.
    If you can remember what you installed every program with then it doesn`t matter but problems arise because you should remove something with the same command you installed it with.
    Hope that makes sense.

  9. #9
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    Re: What happens if...

    Quote Originally Posted by nothingspecial View Post
    I believe that both add/remove and synaptic use apt-get - someone please correct me if I`m wrong.
    Also I beleive it is possible to get in a mess if you chop and change between apt-get and aptitude. If you have used synaptic, add/remove and apt-get alot in the past it is probably better to stick with them - there is apt-get autoremove.
    If you can remember what you installed every program with then it doesn`t matter but problems arise because you should remove something with the same command you installed it with.
    Hope that makes sense.
    It makes sense that could cause problems, because it is almost impossible to remember how I installed every app. This could lead to big mess, specially because a newbie like me tend to follow instructions from the forum posts by the book, usually without knowing the difference between "apt-get" and "aptitude".

    Usually when I want to simply remove an app I go to "Add/Remove" manager. When I want to wipe out personal configurations I go to Synaptic and select "completely remove" option, which I guess is the interface for "aptitude remove". I'm using CLI only when suggested by tutorials from this forum.

  10. #10
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    Re: What happens if...

    If you accidentally remove, just reinstall.

    Ubuntu won't let you do the really hazardous things, like remove perl-base, for instance.

    You will get a message like so:
    You are about to do something potentially harmful
    To continue type in the phrase ‘Yes, do as I say!’
    But equally, it is better to use a package manager, rather than apt-get (aptitude and synaptic) simply because you can see what you are doing.
    That way, you can decide for yourself whether it be a good or bad thing...

    [EDIT]
    Alternatively, you could dry-run the install/removal process before actually doing so.
    Code:
    sudo apt-get --simulate
    and you'll be able to see what apt-get will do to your system had the command been ran.

    Regards
    Iain

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