How to Uninstall Software Packages on Ubuntu

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Sometimes you might install an application on your Ubuntu, and after trying it, you decide this app is not for you. In this case, you’ll probably want to uninstall the package.

In this article, we will show you how to uninstall software packages using the graphical “Ubuntu Software Center” and through the command-line, using the apt or apt-get commands.

Only root or user with sudo privileges can uninstall packages from Ubuntu.

Uninstalling Packages using the Ubuntu Software Center

If the command-line is not your thing, you can uninstall applications through the Ubuntu Software Center (USC). This utility provides a graphical interface to find, install, and uninstall apps.

  1. In the Activities screen, search for “Ubuntu Software” and click on the orange USC icon. This will open the USC tool.

  2. To get a list of all installed applications, click on the “Installed” tab at the top navigation bar.

  3. Scroll down until you find the application you want to uninstall and click on the “Remove” button next to it.

The Ubuntu Software tool shows only installed applications that have a graphical user interface (GUI). If you cannot find the package that you want to uninstall, then you should remove the package from the command line.

Uninstalling Packages using the Command Line

Everything you can do using the GUI tools, you can do from the command line. In fact, the command line gives you more options and control for uninstalling the software packages.

You can open your terminal either by using the Ctrl+Alt+T keyboard shortcut or by clicking on the terminal icon.

Before uninstalling the software package, you must first find the exact package name. To get a list of all installed packages on your system type:

sudo apt list --installed

The command will print a long list of the installed packages. It might be a good idea to pipe the output to less to make it easier to read. Or you can use grep to filter the results.

On Ubuntu, Debian, and related Linux distributions you can install, update, uninstall and otherwise managing software packages using the apt and apt-get command-line utilities. The syntax of both commands is identical.

To remove an installed package, run the following command:

sudo apt remove package_name

Replace package_name the name of the package you want to remove.

sudo apt-get remove package_name

You can also uninstall multiple packages. The packages names should b separated by space:

sudo apt remove package1 package2

The remove command uninstalls the given packages, but it may leave some package files behind. If you want to remove the package including all its files, use purge instead of remove :

sudo apt purge package_name

Uninstall Snap Packages

If the application you want to uninstall is not listed when running sudo apt list --installed then probably it was installed as a snap package.

To list all installed snap package run the following command:

snap list

Once you know the exact package name you can uninstall it by typing:

sudo snap remove package_name

Uninstall Unused Packages

Whenever you install a new package that depends on other packages, the package dependencies will be installed too. When the package is uninstalled, the dependency packages will stay on the system. This leftover packages are no longer used by anything else and can be removed.

You can remove the unneeded packages with:

sudo apt autoremove

Conclusion

We have shown you how to remove applications from your Ubuntu through the command line and using the Ubuntu Software Center. Knowing how to remove packages is an essential part of Linux system administration.

There are a number of reasons why you will want to remove a previously installed package from your Ubuntu. For example, you might need to uninstall an application that you no longer need or to free up your disk space.

Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions.