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Remove residual config (rc) files in Debian/Ubuntu

After removing virtualbox package on my PC with

apt remove virtualbox-5.1

I found the package still list in dpkg -l.

root@hon-pc-01:~# dpkg -l | grep virtual
rc  encfs                                      1.8.1-3                                               amd64        encrypted virtual filesystem
ii  gvfs:amd64                                 1.28.2-1ubuntu1~16.04.1                               amd64        userspace virtual filesystem - GIO module
ii  gvfs-backends                              1.28.2-1ubuntu1~16.04.1                               amd64        userspace virtual filesystem - backends
ii  gvfs-bin                                   1.28.2-1ubuntu1~16.04.1                               amd64        userspace virtual filesystem - binaries
ii  gvfs-common                                1.28.2-1ubuntu1~16.04.1                               all          userspace virtual filesystem - common data files
ii  gvfs-daemons                               1.28.2-1ubuntu1~16.04.1                               amd64        userspace virtual filesystem - servers
ii  gvfs-fuse                                  1.28.2-1ubuntu1~16.04.1                               amd64        userspace virtual filesystem - fuse server
ii  gvfs-libs:amd64                            1.28.2-1ubuntu1~16.04.1                               amd64        userspace virtual filesystem - private libraries
ii  openvpn                                    2.3.10-1ubuntu2                                       amd64        virtual private network daemon
ii  python3-virtualenv                         15.0.1+ds-3ubuntu1                                    all          Python virtual environment creator
ii  unity-scope-virtualbox                     0.1+13.10.20130723-0ubuntu1                           all          VirtualBox scope for Unity
rc  virtualbox-5.1                             5.1.14-112924~Ubuntu~xenial                           amd64        Oracle VM VirtualBox
ii  virtualenv                                 15.0.1+ds-3ubuntu1                                    all          Python virtual environment creator
root@hon-pc-01:~# 

Now it is marked as “rc” instead of “ii”.

rc means some of the config files for this package is left on the server. To completely remove, you need to use

apt remove --purge virtualbox-5.1

On checking i found many other packages i removed did the same, left behind config files. To see all packages that are removed and still have config files on your PC, run

dpkg -l | grep "^rc"

To see only package name, run

dpkg -l | grep '^rc' | awk '{print $2}'

Now to remove them all, run

apt purge $(dpkg -l | grep '^rc' | awk '{print $2}')

OR you can use

apt-get remove --purge `dpkg -l | grep '^rc' | awk '{print $2}'`

Posted in Ubuntu