software-center and remove vs. purge

Martin Pitt martin.pitt at
Tue Dec 7 16:10:32 GMT 2010

Hello Michael,

thanks for the nice summary!

Michael Vogt [2010-12-07 10:13 +0100]:
> Its difficult to tell programmatically what is going to happen when
> the maintainer script is called with "purge" as this is a shell
> script. Our tools can estimate what amount of data the configuration
> file was using (and even if the user ever modified it or not) but not
> what additional steps the maintainer script will take

I don't think it's that easy. You can only do that with conffiles, but
not with configuration files, or even data files in /var/lib (think
about PostgreSQL -- purging will take your entire database into the

I don't think this behaviour would be entirely unexpected, though. If
you "remove" a database, then I don't think it's totally surprising
that this also cleans up your data, but as you say for those 1% it's
better to be safe than sorry.

> That being said I think we should make it easy for the user to access
> the purge functionality both inside software-center and
> computer-janitor.

I like that idea, too.


Martin Pitt                        |
Ubuntu Developer (  | Debian Developer  (

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